Thanksgiving dinner spread
Roland Tanglao/Flickr
Celebrating Thanksgiving dinner doesn’t have to be a family thing, a “Friendsgiving” can be a great alternative way to spend the holiday.

I’ve always hated Thanksgiving. The thought of surrounding myself with my family members during the holiday is a source of dread rather than excitement. I dread the passive-aggressive comments about how I look or the sneers from relatives who wish I could be anything but a journalism major. If you’ve ever been shamed by your family for being you, just know that you are not alone.

There is no excitement in surrounding yourself with people who don’t support you—especially people who think because they’re family, they are allowed to insult you. It’s a frustrating experience especially during the holidays when family seems to be the most important.

This year, I’ve decided to forego any celebration with my relatives in favor of celebrating “Friendsgiving” with my closest friends. For those who’ve never heard of Friendsgiving, it’s basically how it sounds. You get together with your friends and celebrate Thanksgiving. There are no rules and any type of food is welcome.  If you don’t have the ability to go home to see your family or don’t have a place you can comfortably celebrate Thanksgiving, then Friendsgiving is the thing to do, as it creates togetherness without the forced interactions.

Sometimes friends can mean more than family and that’s okay. The holidays are about celebrating the things that you are thankful for and if that means you’re redefining what family means to you, then celebrate Friendsgiving without worry.

This year, I will happily sit around my friends on Thursday and celebrate Thanksgiving a new way. There will be no passive-aggressive comments or judgment of my life decisions. During Friendsgiving, I will feel what I always feel when I’m with my friends: loved and accepted.

Madison Vialpando can be reached at or on Twitter @madisonvialpan2.