Amelia Cornwald

Bangsgiving: The Official Start to Holiday Hook-Up Season

Yes, of course, there’s Thanksgiving, we’re well familiar … turkeys and tacky sweaters and staged family pics painting idyllic scenes of domestic bliss. Now meet Bangsgiving, the “opening day” of the Holiday Hook-Up Season.


Thanksgiving. The day in November that the majority of American humans regard as a reason to get together with friends and family and eat obscene amounts of flesh and carbs.

They are not wrong, but for perpetually single people, however, the night before Thanksgiving is not about meal prep or picking out the sweatpants that look most like actual pants, but the beginning of a greater feasting tradition known as the Holiday Hook-Up Season.

While couples are busy privately quibbling over who forgot to buy the heavy cream and publicly taking pictures dressed in matching pilgrim hats and turkey sweaters [Fact Check—I don’t know anyone who does this, but I’m painting this picture using oils from a palette called “exaggerations and bitchery,” so indulge me], single people are feeling the restlessness and malcontent that comes this time of year too, but without a sidekick to share it with and/or take it out on.

You don’t need me to explain why—everyone knows that the holidays, with the increased time spent with family, the old nemeses you inevitably run into, and the irrational jealousy you feel at the idyllic Facebook posts from your elementary school friends that you would have mocked a week earlier, bring out insecurities and resentments more than any other time of year.

This whole shared experience of low spirits and hope that “next holiday will be different” ends up creating a beautiful cornucopia (or cockucopia, if you are a single female or gay male) of people all longing for a little human comfort and are much more willing than usual to act on the impulse to grab it when and where they can, no matter how false and fleeting it might be.

This phenomenon starts the minute people clock off work the night before Thanksgiving and runs the seven weeks through Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, ending on a day where nothing you do can be judged thanks to #equality and any self-serving way you want to spin that. [Fact Check—quibblers are going to argue that Holiday Hook-Up Season runs through Valentine’s Day; but, folks, V-day is a one-off event, a unique day full of its own pitfalls and payoffs, much like the Fourth of July or National Doughnut Day.]

My favorite Holiday Hook-Up Season to witness and add to my non-scientific anthropological studies was probably the year Tabitha went home with a guy to a familiar-looking apartment; later, she realized she had slept with his roommate the year before.

Also around that time, Marina had two conquests in such close occurrence that her recounting of the systematic destroying of the sex evidence (sexidence?) between the departure of one and the arrival of the other inspired another friend to call her the “Dexter of Fucking.”

Some of the best stories that season came from what we affectionately called “The Twelve Days of Slutmas,” when Alyson returned to the field after a very long, debilitating bout of celibacy and she came back with a vengeance; clear-eyed, full-hearted, and could not lose when it came to throwing down game.

So, here we are, on the cusp of another season of Whatever You Need to Do in Order to Deal.

As delightful and hilarious as all of this can be, for me personally, I’m sitting these games out. I’m too fresh out of something that involved actual feelings, and I need to ride the bench while my injury heals. But I look forward to cheering the rookies on from the sidelines, being there with orange slices and pep talks to help them achieve their holiday comfort goals, whatever they may be.

Besides—there’s always Saint Patrick’s Day.


Amelia Cornwald

Amelia Cornwald is a scientist specializing in genetic research, but her true passion is studying human social behavior and does her most important and informative research via conversations with strangers over glasses of whiskey.

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