On the final Thursday of every November, Americans gather around the table celebrating what they are thankful for with family and friends. In the final days before traveling home, Anselmians do the same with their college friends who have become family, hosting “Friendsgivings” all over campus.
The term “Friendsgiving” explains itself, a time spent with friends in reflection and fellowship over a meal. The event has become popular with college students and young professionals alike, spending intentional communal time with friends before heading home.
Here at Saint Anselm, the Benedictine value of community is fostered among students. This value has become an integral part of the pre-Thanksgiving meal, and has become an Anselmian tradition for many upperclassmen.
“My friends at Saint Anselm are like family to me, so it is only natural to have a Thanksgiving with them just as I do with my family at home,” says senior Jackie Parece.
This past week, groups of friends gathered around makeshift dining room tables, sharing a potluck style meal, some complete with a Snapchat geofilter. This tradition arose out of the desire for friends from different parts of the country to celebrate together before heading home to their families. Freshmen and sophomores may share a meal in Davison Hall commemorating the holiday, but juniors and seniors harness their cooking skills, as well as plenty of recipes off of the internet, to pull of a similar meal to that of the traditional one they will experience in a few short days. Cooking a turkey in a Father Bernard Court oven may not be the easiest task to accomplish, but with the help of Mom and Dad’s advice, some even tackled a twenty-pound bird.
ANSELMIAN GENEROSITY: In an annual tradition now in its 14th year, Saint Anselm College faculty, staff, students, the monastic community, administration, and entire departments collect and assemble the makings of complete Thanksgiving meals for families in need in the Merrimack Valley of New Hampshire. The baskets include whole uncooked turkeys, stuffing, potatoes, breads, vegetables, pies, beverages, decorations and more. Read more about the annual Thanksgiving basket blessing ceremony »
Ashling Stanek ’17 hosted a “Friendsgiving” celebration this past weekend; she comments: “The friends I have made at Saint Anselm are some of the most important people in my life. As we think about graduation and heading off to NY, Cali, Boston, Swaziland, and Russia, we think about the weddings, graduation and life events that will call us back together. So it was really important that we have one Thanksgiving all together because this might be the only time we are in the same place during this holiday.”
This tradition typically brings family back together again, but for seniors who will be graduating and moving on, the tradition has transitioned into a moment to reflect on their time in college and be thankful for the years spent together before graduation. Holidays are meant to be spent with loved ones, and this new holiday is no different.