When we were younger, my friends and I would try to plan and have our annual “Friendsgiving” in the days leading up to the actual Thanksgiving holiday. This, of course- was always a nightmare- since none of us could find a free night in-between working our respective jobs and visiting family at the same time. So, someone was almost always and unfortunately left out as a result depending on the scheduling.
To try and prevent this from happening and ensure everyone was included, we then decided for a couple of years that “Friendsgiving” would become “Friends-Mas”- and take place between Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. This worked well for a brief period of time, but as more and more of us began getting married, or starting families, or moving away- coordinating a big potluck dinner at a designated location that would be convenient for everyone during a time of year that is always insanely busy- essentially made “Friendsmas” became another stressful holiday event that was difficult to put together.
And now here we are- older, wiser, and infinitely more prepared. “Friendsgiving” and “Friends-Mas” has now become the annual “Friendly New Year!” party where we all put aside a weekend in early January, after the holidays to avoid total chaos- and pick someone’s home (it changes yearly to alleviate the potential stress of the same person hosting over and over) to spend a couple of days eating, drinking, exchanging gifts and catching up. No longer is the dinner a dreaded, rushed and confusing affair- but a carefully planned gathering that is as laid-back and casual as possible.
This past weekend saw my friend Holly hosting our 2019/2020 edition at her new home in Candia, New Hampshire- about an hour and forty five minutes away from Boston and pretty much in the middle of nowhere- which is perfect for a group of friends who just want to play board games, drink margaritas, listen to music and go hiking without distraction or interruption during “January Thaw”- which is when the temperatures get a little high for a few days at the beginning of the year and the snow starts to melt before it dips back into the frigid cold again and lasts from the end of the month until Spring eventually arrives.
With beautiful weather throughout the weekend- it was a great time to be outdoors. Candia is a beautiful little town, and although there isn’t a whole lot to do outside of hiking through streams and over pathways- we ventured into neighboring Londonderry, New Hampshire when we wanted to rejoin civilization- and grab a delicious breakfast at Poor Boy’s Diner.
Best home fries ever, by the way.
It’s still too early to tell who will host the 2020/2021 event for everyone, but I kind of hope it’ll be me. I might have a smaller place than some- but I would come up with one incredible menu. And the decor? You know it’d be perfection!