HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - Wednesday is a busy day for families as they start baking and preparing dishes and desserts for Thanksgiving.
Parents say it's a big deal when the kids can come home. But college kids back in town say they're getting seconds and thirds as they have their own Friendsgiving feasts, a trend that's growing among young men and women around the US.
"I love being able to see my family and spend time with them," Auburn sophomore Josh Carter said.
Tuesday meant a trip to the store for June Wunsch, picking up some Thanksgiving essentials.
"It's always very hectic. But I enjoy it, I love my family," June Wunsch said.
On Wednesday, June's kitchen will be a frenzy as she prepares for a party of 12.
"The thing my grandkids love most is strawberry shortcake," June said.
College kids back in Huntsville will sit down with mom and dad on Thursday. But the rest of the week is a chance to re-connect with old peers.
"I don't get to see them a lot, so I get to see them this week," Auburn sophomore Terrance Kendall said.
"In high school, we don't really do this," Auburn sophomore Peter Choi said. "But now in college, we've all kind of branched out. It's nice to get together and talk about what we've been going through."
The young men are getting a few helpings this week as they spend what's known as Friendsgiving, a holiday feast among close friends.
"It's a more laid back atmosphere," Kendall said.
"You can goof off and have fun, it's a less serious environment," Carter said.
For other young people in the workforce, flying or driving home for turkey day isn't always in the cards, which is a big reason for the growing social trend.
"I think it's wonderful that they become independent, and if they can't make it home, they have friends they can enjoy the holiday with," June said.
Butchers at Rocket City Meats say some customers are deviating from the traditional turkey, in favor of exotic meats like duck, lamb, Cornish hens, and prime rib. In many cases, they take less time to cook.