Thanks to my pal Uncle Sam, my family and I live far away from all of our family. My mother and other immediate family live in Idaho, a 27-hour drive and $500 non-holiday season per-person flight (wowza) from our current duty station. My husband’s family is eight hours away. Getting up there is doable and affordable, but the journey is just long enough to make it a pain.
“Friendsgiving” is the word somebody who knows more about this stuff than I do coined to explain the choice to enjoy the traditionally family-centric Thanksgiving holiday with friends. No traveling. No hauling yourself to and from a faraway place. Just staying in town with friends.
It’s not that I don’t love our family – I do. But I have this thing in my head that says that the holidays are fun, joyous and at least a little relaxing for everyone involved. And do you know what is not relaxing? Traveling.
“Friendsgiving” worries out editor-in-chief Jacey on a personal level, and here’s why: with children in their 20s, Jacey sees the writing on the wall. She wants her immediate family to want to be together for the holidays, not to spend it with anyone but her.
I can understand that. But for me it’s not yet personal. It’s hard to think about my 5-year-old doing much of anything alone, since he still frequently needs my help to snap a particularly cranky button on his little jeans. Growing up? Going away? Inconceivable.
According to the folks who run the Skout app, I’m not alone on my desire to stay close to home. Eighteen percent of the adults between 30 and 39 they surveyed said they will be spending Thanksgiving with friends. Eleven percent of adults between 18 and 29-years-old said they would be spending it with friends.
Had they surveyed military families, I think they would’ve found a much higher percentage planning to stay home and enjoy the holiday with friends. If there is one thing military life and its spattering of poorly located bases teaches you, it’s to make friends that are closer than family.
Because not traveling over the holiday can be about more than just sheer laziness. It can also be about wanting to spend your time with the family you’ve made where you are. And that’s OK, too.
So we want to know -- how do you spend the holidays? Are you a "Friendsgiving" type by choice or by force? Or do you go home no matter what? Tell us in the poll and then check out the results!
Photos courtesy U.S. Army.