Holidays are pretty important for us nostalgic folk. They’re a time for family, friends, eating, and all those silly traditions accumulated throughout the years. I love that one family’s holiday is like nobody else’s  — and Thanksgiving is no exception!
 
Maybe your family always go to a movie after dinner. Maybe you stay up for Black Friday and maybe you don’t eat turkey. Or maybe you don’t even celebrate… either way, it’s fascinating, isn’t it?!
 
But if you want to make some new memories this year, take a look at my top 5 must-do Thanksgiving traditions! And then tell me yours!


 
1. Friendsgiving
 
I think of my group of friends as my second family, as I know a lot of you guys do too. So it only makes sense to celebrate twice — once with our relatives, and once with each other (and beer!).
 
I’m proud to say that my friends and I are on our third year of Friendsgiving! It happens right before the real Thanksgiving (and sometimes it’s better!). Basically, we all volunteer to bring different food — homemade, if you know what’s good for you — and then we party. With said food.
 
2. Watching Friends

 
At Friendsgiving, the Friends Thanksgiving episodes are usually on loop in the background. It’s kind of the inspiration behind “Friendsgiving”, after all.
 
And if Friends is kind of the inspiration behind Friendsgiving, then it’s definitely the inspiration behind the “state game.” In Friends, on one Thanksgiving episode, they played a game where everyone had to remember the 50 states before they could eat. So each Friendsgiving, before we eat, we play the state game. Everyone cheats (I guess that’s another tradition), and then we get bored and eat anyways. Ah, tradition.
 
3. Kid’s Table Forever
 

I’m lucky to have so many cousins, and even luckier that we’re all around the same age (the eight of us are all somewhere between 20 and 27). A “kid’s table” is no longer necessary, but we insist on it every year. We get to talk about inappropriate things and laugh and be obnoxious without any reprimanding stares from our parents (who, oddly enough, take Thanksgiving pretty seriously). I hope we’re still sitting at the kid’s table in our forties — it creates a bond like nothing else!
 
4. Secret Santa Name-Drawing
 
Once dinner is over, my cousins and I put our names in a hat. The name you draw is the person who’s gift you are responsible for at Christmas.
 
This is my favorite tradition, since it ties in two holidays! But it’s especially nice because it forces my family to get together again for Christmas (which is hard when there are so many of us). The best part of it, though is that we each inevitably draw the same name as the year before… It’s like fate! Family tradition fate! What could be better?
 
5. Staying up for Black Friday

 
Even after all of our parents go home to bed, we kids stay up all night waiting for the local mall to open. We watch TV or go to Denny’s to pass the time, and it’s nice to just catch up with each other without the nosey adults around. Ultimately, this Black Friday agenda is silly because we never end up buying anything… we mostly just get Starbucks and watch all the crazies fighting each other over video games.
 
But I guess having an excuse to spend the whole night with my cousins justifies it!
 
 
Now that I’ve got all sentimental about my favorite Thanksgiving traditions, I want to hear yours! I’m always in the market for new traditions…

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