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Millennials are often blamed for ruining everything. Everywhere you look online, you’ll see headlines proclaiming that millennials are destroying the 9 to 5 work day, dating, face-to-face communication, vacations, and even avocado toast. We don’t know if any of that is true, but according to a new study by famed Dutch beer brand Heineken, millennials are changing the way holidays like Thanksgiving are celebrated.
Heineken commissioned the study with Wakefield Research. It focused on how stress over politics and other issues are making millennials change their holiday plans. Instead of spending the holidays with family, many millennials are celebrating with friends instead.
According to the 1,000 millennials polled, 70 percent of Americans 21 years of age and older feel like the holidays are more stressful than they were only five years ago. Sixty-three percent of those surveyed said that talking about politics during holiday dinners “causes more family drama than discussing their dating life.”
On top of this, 71 percent of millennials don’t care as much about holiday traditions as their parents’ generation and 64 percent would rather spend time with their family during other times of the year instead of the holidays. A staggering 40 percent said they plan to “ditch their families for friends this year.”
After seeing the results of the study, Heineken decided to find a way to ease everyone’s holiday-based anxieties. That’s why they started a social experiment and created a very non-traditional Thanksgiving dinner for complete strangers on Nov. 22.
The brand’s “Worlds Apart” campaign is designed to give strangers of varying backgrounds and political ideologies a chance to celebrate the holiday and “leave tradition behind and embrace the unexpected.” To get selected, you need to tweet and post on social media about why you would rather spend your holiday with strangers in New York City. Based on these responses, Heineken will select 10 strangers to dine together.
If you’re like the millennials in the study, you’ll be grateful for an excuse not to show up at this year’s family Thanksgiving.