Ryley Anthony , ENN Staff

Thanksgiving is a nationwide holiday commonly celebrated with families acknowledging who and what they’re thankful for. Some families come together and cook dishes using recipes passed down from generations while others choose to go out to a restaurant to enjoy their Thanksgiving dinner. Either way the holiday is guaranteed to be filled with tasty food, laughter, and those you love most. But friends are also included in the category of “loved ones.” Over the past few years, circulating on social media, people have been celebrating Friendsgiving. Close friends gather together and cook and eat their favorite dishes, celebrating what they’re especially thankful for, friendship. 

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, Lake Ridge students begin to make plans for the holiday. While it’s important to spend time with family, students also value hanging out with their friends. Junior, Sydney Lewis, loves Thanksgiving because she gets to spend time with those she loves and has already made plans for the entire week.

“I think it’s important to spend Thanksgiving with both family and friends because it’s good to take time to catch up with your loved ones and enjoy each other’s presence. I’m going to a Friendsgiving which is where all my friends come together and bring a dish, and just have a mini Thanksgiving. Then on Thanksgiving day, I’m planning on running in the Turkey Trot and then having Thanksgiving at my house with my family,” said Lewis. 

Junior, Taya Lounnarath, has a unique approach when it comes to who she believes she should spend time with on Thanksgiving. To Lounnarath, it doesn’t matter if it’s a friend or family member, just as long as she is with someone she genuinely enjoys. 

“I think spending time with both friends and family can be fun and a good way to bond, but I don’t think either of them are necessary. People should surround themselves with those who just make them happy on Thanksgiving. Whether it be friends or family or both,” said Lounnarath. 

Although several students would like to spend time with friends for Thanksgiving, sometimes their schedule, or parents, prevent them from doing so. Some have access to Friendsgving while others have never spent time with their friends for the holiday and are limited to spending Thanksgiving with their family.

Sophomore, Madelyn Herrera, values time with her family, but wishes she could hang out with her friends as well, this year for Thanksgiving. 

“I haven’t planned any events with my friends because usually my parents preferred it to just be family. I’m sure other parents think Thanksgiving should be more family orientated as well. I am thankful for my friends and wish I could have Friendsgiving with them because they understand me in a way family often can’t. They support me and are always there for me. They never fail to make me feel comfortable and happy,” said Herrera. 

Junior, Karsen Kohler, gets the opportunity to celebrate Friendsgiving and is already thinking about the fun activities that will take place and the flavorful food her and her friends will eat. 

“I am planning on going to a Friendsgviing with some of my friends where we will appreciate good food and one another’s company! My favorite food to eat with my friends on Friendsgiving is anything to do with macaroni and cheese. They always seem to be the most delicious dishes. This year I am cooking corn casserole for my friends for our dinner,” said Kholer. 

Appetizing food and exciting activities can easily deviate from the true significance of Friendsgiving. That significance being, to reflect on the type of friends you surround yourself with, how they benefit your life, and most importantly how you benefit theirs and show your gratitude towards them. 

Lounnarath makes it a habit to show her friends appreciation. She wants those she loves to know she is beyond thankful for them, not only during the Holidays, but year-round.

“I show my friends I’m thankful for them by giving them gifts, spending time with them, writing them letters, and being a good listener towards them,” said Lounnararth. 

Herrera believes before you can show your appreciation towards a friend you have to identify important aspects within their friendship that makes the relationship authentic.

“The most important aspect is having the same morals and wanting what’s best for one another. Surround yourself with people who are there to see and help you thrive and grow,” said Herrera. 

Creative Writing teacher, George Olsen, expresses his wisdom and wants students to understand that friendship is a key factor to a content life. 

“Friendship implies a common integrity shared by two people and if they have integrity, if they believe in integrity, then they could have some degree of confidence that that person is going to protect them.  Protect their feelings, protect their property, and protect them emotionally. Friends are who we go to to find solace to share joy and to have someone to celebrate with,” said Olsen.