“Home for the holidays” took on new meaning for my husband and me this year. We stayed at our home and hosted a childfree Friendsgiving.
I consider them family
One friend who joined us also enjoys hosting events in her home. She said something at dinner that really resonated with me: “We consider any guest in our home family.”
As I looked around, I realized I consider all 12 of our Friendsgiving guests part of our childfree family. Our tribe.
We’re very thankful for our childfree friends and their support of our childfree lifestyle.
(To read about why we hosted a childfree Friendsgiving and tips for doing so, click here.)
A well-traveled, eclectic group
We had a thrillingly eclectic group of guests. Some we’ve known for over a year now and others we met for the very first time.
Our only rule for guests was: fat pants required! This created a relaxed environment for comfortable socializing. It seemed to help our five new friends from MeetUp.com let their guard down quickly, fitting right in to the group’s lively conversation. At no point did I see anyone struggling to be part of the fun!
While visiting with folks before dinner, it was apparent to me we had gathered together a crowd of well-traveled individuals. The list of destinations collectively visited by the group is far too long to include here. Some of the countries they have actually lived in are Afghanistan, Bahamas, China, Korea, France, Germany, India, Iraq, Italy, and Mexico.
We’re serious about meals
For the pièce de résistance, a beautifully browned turkey, of course! Each of our guests brought a side dish to share, including stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, sweet potato casserole, green beans in butter sauce, sweet corn, zucchini bread, and homemade cranberry sauce.
One guest brought homemade buttered dinner rolls for the group. I may be ruined for store-bought rolls forever! Baking is therapeutic for her and eating her baked goodies is therapeutic for me. A win, win!
It was especially fun to introduce the Thanksgiving holiday to a gal who moved to the U.S. from the Bahamas just two weeks ago. The dish she brought to share was a Bahamian style macaroni and cheese casserole. The recipe of creamy cheddar cheese, onions, green bell peppers, herbs, and spices, was a keystone for celebratory meals where she grew up. It was an honor to share in a taste from her childhood.
No time for games
We planned to play group games after dinner, but instead just enjoyed sipping wine and chatting with each other late into the night. Conversation ranged from holiday traditions to studying abroad, from languages spoken to limited edition sports cars, from marriage to Army challenge medals. The full gamut!
I may be the only one to admit it, but I surely wasn’t the only one who returned for seconds of dessert. Apple, pecan, and pumpkin pies, and pumpkin mess cake. Mmmm!
What the Childfree crave
As he was leaving, one of our Friendsgiving guests said it was his “best Thanksgiving ever!” I did set a lovely table and my husband did prepare a deliciously juicy turkey, but that is not what made our holiday the best ever for him.
“You are the best friends and hosts a childfree man could hope for. Thank you for being the great people that you are.” If it’s not the tablescape or the turkey that makes us great in his eyes, what is it?
We respect his decision to not have children. We accept him as he is. He finds a sense of belonging within the childfree tribe. We enjoy our time together with a mutual understanding of our position on parenting. It’s not the only thing we have in common, but it does bind us together in a special way.
What the childfree crave, just like everyone else, is to feel like we truly belong.