SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Passing the mashed potatoes or having a belly laugh over a years old inside joke – to some, Friendsgiving may just be another excuse to celebrate with your friends.

But who’s complaining? Something about sharing a meal with your companions is undeniably appealing.

A mash-up of the words “Friends” and “Thanksgiving”, Friendsgiving has been on the rise since the mid-2000’s.

According to Google Trends, people didn’t start looking up and using the term Friendsgiving until late 2012.

By 2020, it was officially recognized and added to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, in January of that year.

Back when the 2007 recession hit, many young adults began to move to more urban locations to begin work. Because of this, they were away from their families during the holidays, and in an effort to save the cheer, they rallied among each other.

Some of the top cities where Friendsgiving was searched were Boston, New York, Philadelphia, San Jose and Chicago.

And although it pre-dates the holidays formal “birth”, this gathering began way before it was ceremonially named. And this ideology can reign true beyond Friendsgiving.

So to put it simply, it is a modern and adaptive take on the traditional Thanksgiving.

“There’s less pressure to perform for your family members since you’re just with your friends. You can relax instead of giving grandma something to brag about,” said college graduate and Friendsgiving attendee, Katie Spinks.

The holidays can be very stressful, so having a friend-oriented evening to look forward to can be the highlight of some peoples Thanksgiving. Clinking glasses with your friends may just outweigh putting your best foot forward at the dinner table over the canned cranberry.

As the years have gone on, Thanksgiving has promoted itself from one day, to an entire season, the same way Christmas and Halloween have.

The food brought and shared doesn’t always have to be the “normal” Thanksgiving dishes.

Usually, Friendsgivings are potlucks, yet, there is no shortage of possibilities that you could be placing down at the table.

I mean, the meal could turn into a Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, filled with popcorn, toast and jellybeans.

According to New York Post, these are the top five most popular “classic” dishes during Friendsgiving:

  • 54% of people like turkey
  • 45% of people like mashed potatoes
  • 39% of people like sweet potatoes
  • 39% of people like beef tenderloin
  • 36% of people like gravy

However, people may bring chili, chicken wing dip, fun seasonal desserts, mac n cheese and more.

So when is Friendsgiving formally supposed to happen? There is no specific date that it falls on, but usually the time frame is sometime between the week and weekend before Thanksgiving.

So this year, as Thanksgiving nears, and you decide to host your friends, make sure to slap a label on it and turn it into an annual holiday event! It’ll be a great memory with even greater stories to tell years down the line.