NEW YORK — A quote from Harper Lee’s groundbreaking American novel To Kill A Mockingbird states, “You can choose your friends, but you sure can’t choose your family.” Now, according to the results of a new survey of 2,000 young Americans, most would much rather give thanks with the friends they’ve chosen instead of the family they were given. Perhaps shockingly, about seven in ten respondents (68%) say they prefer “Friendsgiving” over a more traditional Thanksgiving spent with family.
For those unaware, Friendsgiving is a fairly new tradition that has been steadily picking up steam in the United States, in which groups of friends gather together to host a more casual version of Thanksgiving. Most of the time, Friendsgiving celebrations take place a few days before or after Thanksgiving.
In fact, 62% of the respondents, all between the ages of 18-38, report they don’t enjoy hosting or attending traditional Thanksgiving celebrations at all. Commissioned by Sabra, the survey found that 58% of young Americans dread the thought of family Thanksgiving celebrations because of all the personal questions that will come their way.
Additionally, two in five prefer Friendsgiving over Thanksgiving because they can be more open and honest among friends, and 38% say Friendsgiving is better because they don’t have to worry about offending a relative.
All in all, 28% of respondents say they are planning on hosting their own Friendsgiving this year. While sometimes hosting a traditional Thanksgiving event for family and distant relatives can feel like a chore, among the group of respondents planning to host Friendsgiving this year, 67% say they are actively looking forward to the occasion.
If this is the first you’re hearing about Friendsgiving, you may be surprised to learn that for the most part, traditional Thanksgiving food is still on the menu at such get togethers. At their next Friendsgiving, 44% of respondents say they expect to be eating traditional dishes like turkey and stuffing. Still, over a quarter also added that they usually change things up by serving guacamole or hummus.
Interestingly, the survey also found a common worry that connects both Thanksgiving and Friendsgiving; four in five respondents usually struggle to decide what food to contribute to both events. More over, 44% say they are intimidated each year at the prospect of cooking traditional Thanksgiving food, and turkey was by far (53%) the most frequently cited dish that incites kitchen anxiety.
Desserts also seem to be a big source of pre-Friendsgiving jitters. Among respondents who say they tend to get nervous about preparing traditional Thanksgiving food for their friends, 52% say pumpkin pie is stressful to cook, followed by apple pie (39%), and cherry pie (38%).
It is also very common for various dishes to be forgotten during Friendsgiving, with 59% of respondents saying their fall feast failed to include a main Thanksgiving dish, such as turkey. Other dishes often neglected include desserts (56%), salads (51%), sides (46%), and dips (42%).
Alcohol is usually included though, with only a third of respondents saying their Friendsgiving, or Thanksgiving, events take place without some wine or beer within reach.
The survey was conducted by OnePoll.