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Celebrating ‘Friendsgiving’ in Wisconsin in 2020

14 Dec, 2020
Celebrating ‘Friendsgiving’ in Wisconsin in 2020

Staff and students at Kings Wisconsin at UWO-Fox Cities continued with their annual tradition of celebrating 'Friendsgiving' together to mark the start of the holiday season. A few changes had to be made in 2020 to adapt to the new rules and regulations and keep people safe, but it was still enjoyed by all and was a great reminder of all that we still have to be thankful for at the end of a difficult year.

Thanksgiving is a national holiday in the US celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November each year to celebrate harvest and blessings. The Thanksgiving tradition started when Pilgrims settled in Plymouth, Massachusetts and got their first harvest in the ‘New World’. The first Thanksgiving was celebrated together with the Native Americans. Today, Thanksgiving is normally celebrated by families gathering getting together, having a huge seasonal meal, watching thanksgiving parade and watching an American football game.

Thanksgiving, when celebrated among friends, is knows as ‘Friendsgiving’ — Friends + Thanksgiving. Friendsgiving has been a tradition at Kings Wisconsin since we started welcoming students in 2018. Friendsgiving is celebrated at Fox Village Student Housing. In normal years, Thanksgiving meals would be catered to Fox Village along with games and karaoke for students to enjoy and hangout together. The traditional Thanksgiving meal includes turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, pumpkin pies, green bean casserole, baked ham, mac and cheese, and cookies. The food would be displayed buffet-style and students would come and grab what they wanted to eat.

But, like so many things in 2020, this year's Friendsgiving event was a little different! We didn’t provide a catered Thanksgiving meal like the one described above because of the current situation with the pandemic. Instead, we ordered KFC Big Box menu to go! Kings students were allowed to pick their preference of chicken, sides (fries, coleslaw, whole kernel corn, gravy, mac & cheese, Mashed potatoes and gravy) and drinks. Students met staff in the Student Union to pick up their meal and write a message about what are they thankful for this year and put it up on the “Thankful Turkey”.

Kings Wisconsin Social Media Ambassador, Aru, and her friends had put up the Christmas tree and decorated it to bring the holiday spirt. This year we weren’t able to celebrate Thanksgiving the same way we normally would, and not with all of our students as many have been studying online from their home country this year, but we hope that next year will be different and we can be all together and celebrate Friendsgiving in the normal Kings Wisconsin-style!

Staff and students at Kings Wisconsin are now looking forward to the end of the year holiday party/goodbye party for students that will be transferring after this semester. Due to the travel restrictions and quarantine rules, most Kings Wisconsin students are planning to stay in the US over the holidays and work on building their student profile and preparing for the university transfer process next semester. A number students have already been accepted to UW-Madison (#42) as well as other great universities — such as University of Georgia (#47), University of Minnesota — Twin Cities (#66), and Boston University (#42) — and others are waiting to hear back from the schools they have applied to.