Why Friends-Giving?

by Liza Wilson – Executive Director

The exact origin of Friendsgiving is unclear, but it seems the term itself gained popularity in the early 21st century. The rise of social media and the sharing of experiences online may have contributed to the popularization of the term as people began to share their non-traditional Thanksgiving celebrations with friends. As a result, Friendsgiving has become a cultural phenomenon, with many people choosing to celebrate Thanksgiving with their friends either in addition to or instead of traditional family gatherings. The informal and flexible nature of Friendsgiving allows individuals to create their own traditions and celebrate with chosen family and friends.

Ultimately, Friendsgiving has gained popularity because it provides a flexible and enjoyable way for people to express gratitude, share a meal, and create meaningful memories with friends who hold a special place in their lives.

Friendsgiving means a lot to me because I became your “Friend” in 2020 when I became your ED.
Friends, are supportive of each other.
Friends, are present during happy times, sad times, lonely times, and challenging times.
Friends, lend an ear and a shoulder when needed.
I want my RSNS and Gan Shalom friends to know that someone cares. That I care. That RSNS is a community that values connections with each other, and with that sense of meaningful relationships, I felt it necessary to offer a day to be together and celebrate each other.

A day to be with our chosen family – to express our gratitude for the meaningful relationships, friendships, and support group we have created.

A day to be flexible and informal – to create and share our traditions and favorite dish(es) in a relaxing and enjoyable atmosphere.

A day to celebrate shared experiences – to strengthen bonds over a preferred potluck meal.

A day to celebrate cultural diversity – a great opportunity to share different culinary traditions and customs creating an enriching experience.

support system – Friendsgiving emphasizes the importance of our social connections. It’s a time to express gratitude for the support system we have built with our friends, acknowledging their role in our lives.

A day of creativity and personalization – the informality allows us to plan and create an atmosphere where we can celebrate and reflect our preferences with others.

A day of fun and relaxation – a space where you can enjoy the company of friends without the potential stresses or expectations that may come with family gatherings.

A day to build tradition – with a sense of continuity within our community.

A day to build memories – it allows us to build and cherish memories with our friends. These shared experiences contribute to a collective history that strengthens the bonds among friends.

A day to express gratitude – it allows us to show our appreciation for the friendships we have formed and the positive impact our friends have had in our lives.

Whatever “Friends-giving” may mean to you just know you are not alone. There is a community that appreciates you, accepts you for who you are, acknowledges you, shares with you, and is always available to you. May this be the first of many!

Liza Wilson