Why Thanksgiving is the best holiday for nurturing your friendships
Thanksgiving is a holiday that, growing up, you probably spent with your family. Family time can be a wonderful thing, but for those of us who occasionally spend Thanksgiving Day avoiding our nosy aunt's intrusive questions about our career and love life, a nontraditional Thanksgiving can be the perfect holiday.
The nontraditional Thanksgiving with friends — or Friendsgiving — is the best way to develop your relationships even more.
You may not normally get to cook with friends, and Friendsgiving provides a great opportunity to experience that. The kitchen has a unique way of letting conversation flow around the shared activity of preparing a meal. You and your friends can spend time together is a new way, cooking side by side and creating something you all get to enjoy. You can also share past Thanksgiving memories,which helps you learn more about each other's families and experiences.
This is also the time for your Pinning skills to shine. There are great Thanksgiving recipes on Pinterest for any cooking skill level, so there's no excuse to not make something for your friends. Bringing a dish to the table that you have actually made yourself — rather than one you picked up at a store — shows special commitment and care.
It's so easy to get caught up in the day-to-day routine of life, and that often stops us from actually taking time to just sit with friends and be thankful for them (instead of squeezing them in for a ten minute coffee date between meetings and appointments).
We often think our friends just intuitively know how much they mean to us, but that may not be the case. Sometimes you never know how much you have impacted someone's life until you hear them say it. Going around the table and verbalizing how much the friendships around you have meant to your life can be good for the soul.
It's true every year, but this year may have been especially tough for you or some of your friends, so it's important to take time to acknowledge the people who bring light into your life. Make sure the people around you know what they mean to you.
We can get so used to meeting friends at restaurants and bars. Letting someone into your home can be a little scary – you are literally letting someone into the place that, in most cases, is most "you." It's like the physical version of allowing yourself to be vulnerable in a conversation. They see the pictures on your wall, the books you read, and the decor of your household. Inviting friends over to your home is really an invitation to get to know each other more, but that shouldn't be something to fear.
Treating close friends as additional family — and sharing your home with them — creates a sense of safety, a deeper intimacy, and more commitment to one another. Starting to act like family with your friends is a habit. When you have the habit of loving one another like a family, it fosters better friendships.
Take this holiday to be intentional about creating strong bonds of friendship with those around you. Cook together, tell each other how thankful you are for one another, and treat each other as the "family" you have chosen to do life with.