Holiday Guide

The Family You Choose: Why You Need Friendsgiving

Celebrating the season with friends might just keep you sane.

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The holidays are that special time of year when families gather to eat a lot of food, catch up with one another and hope that nobody brings up politics. But as a younger generation is coming into adulthood, the idea of family is changing. What better way to celebrate that than with a Friendsgiving or a Friendsmas feast? Here are five reasons why doing so will enrich your holiday season, or at the very least give your family a case of FOMO.

1. The Cure For What Ales Ya
Maybe you’re one of the lucky ones with a family full of beer snobs who would scoff at the idea of a holiday feast being wasted on a fridge full of Coors Light. If not, you’re probably not looking forward to a long meal of extolling the virtues of the growler you brought from Long Live Beerworks (425 West Fountain Street, Providence. LongLiveBeerworks.com) or Tilted Barn Brewery (1 Helmsley Place, Exeter. TiltedBarnBrewery.com) to a deaf crowd of pilsner philistines. At Friendsgiving you can talk about hops until your beards fall off.

2. The Rhody Factor
When it comes to hostess or Yankee Swap gifts, you can’t go all in on Rhody kitsch if you’re celebrating with family out of state. “It’s just what I’ve always wanted!” said no one from Tuscaloosa ever upon receiving a “Keep Warren Weird” t-shirt. Luckily if you’re throwing a satellite celebration with friends in the 401, you can go full post-ghost Scrooge at places like Craftland (212 Westminster Street, Providence. 401-272-4285, CraftlandShop.com) without having to avoid the outline of our awesome little state.

3. It’s Star Wars Spoiler Season, Charlie Brown!
Everybody has a friend or a friend of a friend who works at Hasbro, and the amount of spoilers that get printed on toy packaging is staggering. Invite this person to your Friendsgiving. Who knows, maybe with a little luck, a Jedi mind trick and a few extra rounds of mulled cider, you could find yourself in possession of some juicy plot details for Star Wars: Rogue One before it hits theaters.

4. It’s All in the Mix 
No one likes Christmas music. In fact, people dislike it so much that when Hanson was like “Hey Thanksgiving, want a selection of maddeningly catchy and endlessly annoying songs about turkey?” Thanksgiving responded with a curt “Hard pass” and rescinded Hanson’s invitation. On the upside, Rhode Island is bursting with amazing musicians to add to your party playlist, sparing your guests from the inescapable assault of holiday tunes. But if you have to do Christmas music, The Brown Bird Christmas Album (BrownBird.Bandcamp.com) is pretty essential December listening.

5. Your Friends Are Family, Too
The rulebook is evolving when it comes to what defines family, and there’s no better example of that than when friends come together to forge their own traditions alongside or as an alternative to what has been rigidly defined as “a day for family.” Instead of catching up in between one chaotic holiday tradition and another, set aside some time for a low stakes day of food and good cheer with the people who are just as important as the crazy clan you were born into.