The Rise of Friendsgiving: How Millennials Have Invented Their Own Holiday

It has all the trimmings of a Thanksgiving feast, but none of the family drama. Welcome to the age of Friendsgiving. Millennials in the U.S. are embracing a new version of the fall tradition, gathering with friends for their own turkey feasts and creating their own holiday in the process. 30% of Millennials 13-24-years-old on Thumb told us that they celebrate Friendsgiving. The phrase has even made it to Urban Dictionary. The new holiday has taken over college campuses and urban friend groups alike, and is starting to become an important ritual for many Millennials.

The rules around Friendsgiving are not hard and fast. For some, the holiday replaces Thanksgiving, especially if they are stuck at home, in dorms, or abroad, and aren’t able to make it to their family festivities. Friendsgiving celebrations have been thriving on college campuses, where students might not have the time or money to travel. But for others, Friendsgiving is being added to their schedules in November in the weeks before or the days after their regular Thanksgivings. So if they are already getting their regularly scheduled serving of turkey and pie, why is Friendsgiving becoming a thing

It might sound like a cliché explanation, but Millennials’ group mentality probably has a lot to do with the new holiday. For them, friends aren’t just friends, but another form of family. As one student newspaper put it, “Not only does Friendsgiving give students the opportunity to be thankful for their second family at school, but it also removes the inevitable awkward moments that come with any family holiday…Have a Friendsgiving. Celebrate both of your families.” Friendsgiving solidifies a friend group or a clique and makes the people in that group feel special, and more like family. On top of that, the holiday is…

 
 

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Millennial News Feed

Quote of the Day: “Bojack Horseman was my favorite show last year because it was funny and real. Maybe too real, just beautiful.”–Male, 23, AZ

Binge drinking in college is common, and suggested reasons for the behaviors range from boredom to helicopter parenting—but it’s also possible they’re drinking to extremes to escape extreme stress. Today’s college students can have an “intense preoccupation with success” thanks to the competition it takes to get into schools, fear of the tough job market, and looming loan debt. In this context, “blacking out has become so normal that even if you don’t personally do it, you understand why others do. It’s a mutually recognized method of stress relief. To treat it as anything else would be judgmental." (NYTimes)

Once again, Millennials’ food preferences are “killing” a major product. Young consumers’ preoccupation with health have caused a yogurt problem for General Mills, where sales in the category have nosedived 15%. The downturn is likely due to the new perspective that sugar, not fat, is the real diet evil, a shift that has caused low-fat and low-cal foods to “fall out of vogue.”(As we predicted.) In more positive, related, news for the brand, organic and natural products have seen “immense growth.” (MediaPostMSN)

More teens are on YouTube than on the biggest social networks, according to research from the National Cyber Security Alliance and Microsoft. Their poll of 13-17-year-old internet users found that 91% say they use YouTube, compared to 66% who use Snapchat, 65% who use Instagram, and 61% who use Facebook. Their heavy use of the site is one of the reasons that YouTube creators have more influence over their purchase intent than traditional TV and movie celebs. Interestingly, the second most-used platform was actually Gmail, with 75% of teens reporting they use the email app. (eMarketer)

Millennials have been called out as a threat to the diamond industry, causing Twitter to offer their own blunt explanationsfor why the generation isn’t buying the “sparkly status symbols.” But hold up: De Beer’s annual report has declared, “Millennials spent nearly $26 billion on diamond jewelry [in 2015]…acquiring more than any other generation.” So why is everyone saying they aren’t buying diamonds when they reportedly purchased 45% of retail sales in four major markets? It might be another case of a narrative about the generation being more click-worthy than the reality. (Forbes)

This month, the Generation Beauty event brought together Instagram beauty influencers, beauty brands, and their loyal teen fans for a weekend of meet-and-greets and product samples. Young consumers are undoubtedly looking to their favorite digital personalities for product recommendations, and say it’s best “when they give their honest opinion,” trusting those posts more than those where copy is read directly off a package—“a dead giveaway that it’s sponsored.” Collaborations between brands and social influencers are reportedly especially popular with fans. (Racked)

Quote of the Day: “Jane the Virgin was my favorite show to watch last year because it was dramatic, yet relatable and hilarious. I also love the fact that it features many women actors and actors of color.” –Female, 17, Guam

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