Friendsgiving: Foster positivity and gratitude at your celebrations

Friday, November 10, 2023 Friendsgiving: Foster positivity and gratitude at your celebrations

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The autumn holiday season is upon us and it's the time of year when Husker students gather to share gratitude and create lasting memories.

Whether you plan an on-campus Friendsgiving gathering or reconnect with hometown friends for festivities over Thanksgiving break, you can celebrate while prioritizing everyone's well-being and fostering a positive and responsible social environment.

Here are tips for creating a memorable and safe celebration while integrating harm reduction practices.

Plan early and travel safe.

Given the hectic academic schedules, plan your Friendsgiving gathering well in advance. Ensure all attendees have a safe mode of transportation, especially if the event involves alcohol consumption. Organize rideshare options or designate a sober driver to prioritize everyone's safety. If you are hosting at your home allow them to stay at your home for the evening.

Choose the correct venue.

Select a suitable and accessible location that accommodates the size of your group. Opt for a space that encourages a comfortable and secure environment for all participants, whether it's a residence hall, campus lounge, or a friend's apartment. Make sure your friends know about a designated areas for smoking and vaping.

Theme your celebration and harm-free activities.

Add a unique touch to any Friendsgiving by incorporating a fun theme and interactive and engaging activities. Instead of focusing solely on alcohol-centric events, consider hosting a movie marathon, sports-themed games, or a music-inspired karaoke contest to promote a vibrant and enjoyable atmosphere.

Make it a potluck with healthy alternatives.

Embrace the spirit of community by organizing a potluck-style meal where everyone contributes a dish. Encourage the inclusion of nutritious food options and provide non-alcoholic beverages to ensure a well-rounded and balanced dining experience for all attendees. Discover flavorful drink recipes with UNL’s Mocktail Mixology.

Express gratitude and build meaningful connections.

Foster a culture of appreciation and camaraderie by asking guests to share their appreciation of others through thoughtful activities such as a gratitude jar or personalized notes. Promote a supportive and inclusive environment that values meaningful connections and shared experiences among friends.

Capture the moment and preserve the memories.

Document the joyful gathering with a group photo to commemorate the occasion. Emphasize the significance of cherishing the camaraderie shared during Friendsgiving, and encourage attendees to tag their experiences on social media to foster a sense of community and belonging. Share your experience with campus by tagging #UNLFriendsgiving.

Enjoy a safe break and Go Big Red!


Want an Alcohol and Other Drugs presentation or program for your RSO, chapter, or group? Connect with Jon Gayer, assistant director for alcohol and drug education, at and 402-472-2583.

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