Call It ‘Squadsgiving’


At this point in its lexical existence, the phrase Friendsgiving is a little bit eye-roll-y, especially when preceded by a hashtag and posted on social media. But no matter what the phrase is, the concept remains very nice.

An invitation to a Friendsgiving conjures images of close pals gathering for an ambitious Thanksgiving-themed meal, downing too much booze, and enjoying a decently cooked turkey and sides without the emotional cost of fielding “Why aren’t you married/rich/with child yet?” questions from relatives. Friendsgiving is a warm hug and a guarantee of companionship for those who don’t spend Thanksgiving with their families. Friendsgiving equals fun, and that is why we allow the dumb word to be uttered so frequently.

This year, while looking at some early warm-and-fuzzy Friendsgiving photos on social-media outlets, I noticed a hashtag abomination: #squadsgiving.

Why does Squadsgiving exist?

It exists because of Taylor Swift. Now, before you raise objections, I know very well that the term squad has origins long predating Tay Tay and Gigi and Kendall and Lena. But Taylor and her damn squad were the beginning of the bastardization of the concept and the general ruin of any sort of cool associated with it. Once Taylor Swift shoved the concept of “squad” down our collective throats and made it mean “looking leggy in arenas,” there was really no turning back. Nobody can just have best friends anymore. It can’t just be a group of buds, a gaggle of pals, or even a cool crew. It must be “squad,” therefore it must be Squadsgiving.

We can also blame Instagram; without it, the phrase would have no reach. Where there is a “squad,” there is the need to incite envy via social media. Does a squad even exist if it can’t make someone comment, “Squad goals”? Do you think anybody is going to be jealous of your Friendsgiving? No. They’ll just think you like turkey. But, if all goes according to plan, they will look at your #squadsgiving posts and think, Ugh, squad as fuck. And then they will throw you a “like.”

But here’s the problem with Squadsgiving, other than the fact that it’s an unpleasant word to say and hear. Unlike warm, fuzzy Friendsgiving, Squadsgiving is about duck-faced domestic posturing. It’s about one person art-directing all of the photos for so long that the turkey gets cold and the gravy congeals. Nobody can wear their eating pants because they have to look cool for the ‘gram. There is no warmth, only calculated staging for maximum “like”-ability. Squadsgiving is the holiday of Shop Jeen acolytes, not adults.

I vote we agree to abstain from Squadsgivings before it becomes permanent. Instead, let’s use any of these non-abhorrent descriptions: “I’m attending an early Thanksgiving dinner with my friends,” or “I’m throwing a Thanksgiving-themed dinner party before the holiday,” or “I’m celebrating my favorite one of the seven sins, gluttony.

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