Family is more than blood ties. The need to seek out friendship is hardwired into humanity.
Friendship is a vital support system that improves your health and enriches your personal life. So when the holidays come around, it's a great time to show your friends just how thankful you are to have them in your life.
Hosting a Friendsgiving is a not-so-new tradition, but it's an increasingly popular one to celebrate friendship and friends as family, minus the crazy family drama.
Here are six things to keep in mind when planning this year's Friendsgiving:
1. Bring your own game.
Geeks and non-geeks rejoice, for these are not the games of your parents.
Scrabble and Twister still have their place, but Cards Against Humanity and Exploding Kittens serve up ridiculous fun, no matter what you'll be eating for Friendsgiving.
Be prepared when someone stops an action in Exploding Kittens with the Pope of Nope. Do not deny his Holiness, and learn the power of gratitude when you diffuse an exploding kitten.
2. Bring your own booze and a side dish.
Don't let the stress of the holiday season drive you to drink. If you need a beer before the family chaos begins, it's best to do it in the company of friends.
Up your mac and cheese game with pumpkin mac and cheese, and pair it with a delicious dark beer of your choice.
What's BYOB without Thanksgiving drinking games?
Play “Would You Rather” with beer or shots. Would you rather eat boogers or bugs? If bugs gets the least amount of votes, that group has to drink.
3. Make Pad Thai.
For many, the morality of Thanksgiving is also called into question with the colonization of America and the suffering of Native Americans.
Still, there's something nice about gathering with loved ones over a big meal and expressing your gratitude for their existence.
Make Friendsgiving a unique celebration by making your own Pad Thai, a simple dish that will infuse this holiday with much needed simplicity and peace. Experiment in the kitchen with friends and try different cuisines every year!
Because the same turkey, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie gets old after awhile.
4. Order Chinese takeout.
If you don't trust yourself over fire or a hot stove, or if you just feel lazy, support your local Chinese restaurants by ordering takeout.
Takeout has a long history, as Kin-Chu Café in Los Angeles became one the first venues to begin a takeout service in the 1920s. Today, nearly half of Americans include takeout as a part of their food budget.
Chinese takeout is healthier, fuss-free and delicious. Combine a takeout Friendsgiving with a movie night, whether that's anime, horror or movies about ridiculous Thanksgiving happenings.
5. Get out of the house.
Host a Friendsgiving anywhere but where you are by taking Friendsgiving on the road.
Fill a picnic basket with the traditional trimmings, turkey sandwiches or PB&J. Climb a mountain. See a new city. Go camping and cook your Friendsgiving meal over an open fire or in a cozy cabin in the woods.
Getting out of town and back to nature with friends will deepen your bond and help you relax.
6. Don't burn the turkey.
At some point, you will go head-to-head with cooking a turkey. It's an inevitable rite of of passage of adulting.
YouTube will always come to the rescue, but know that even if you do burn the turkey, it'll make a hilarious story among friends for years to come. Keep a frozen pizza ready in the fridge, just in case.
It's not so bad. You just have to take out the icky parts (aka the giblets), and then it's all in the stuffing and basting.
Which begs the question: How the heck do you stuff a turkey? Here's a tip: Not with your head.
Regular stuffing, sage, oranges and more are delicious.
Friendsgiving is an increasingly popular holiday for a reason: Your friends are family.
Celebrate that bond in a way unique to your friendship. Be weird and wacky.
Try out your first traditional or nontraditional Thanksgiving together. Regardless of the ridiculousness that ensues, you'll have an amazing story to share.