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Column

Thanksgiving is upon us. What are some of your favorite Thanksgiving traditions?

If I told you one of my favorite Thanksgiving traditions was eating mashed potatoes and gravy, would you think I’m crazy?

Well, it’s true (the potatoes and gravy part, not the crazy part – I hope).

I enjoy Thanksgiving family get-togethers, whether they be at home or a restaurant. I’m all in favor of taking time out to give thanks for our blessings. Football games and Black Friday game plans are a big part of Turkey Day.

But what I look forward to, as much as anything else, is a nice helping of mashed potatoes and gravy, preferably of the turkey variety.

My interest in mashed potatoes and gravy began as a kid when I would hear family stories about how my dad’s younger brother absolutely loved them as a youth. First, he would request a large serving of mashed potatoes. Then, on his plate, he would use a spoon to artistically create a receptacle to hold the gravy.

One time the mashed potatoes might take on the appearance of a volcano with a large crater on top. The next time, they might resemble the shores of a lake into which the gravy would be ladled.

Considerable effort would be made to retain the gravy within the potato boundaries during consumption. A true connoisseur, indeed!

I’m not like that. But I do heartily appreciate the incomparable taste of mashed potatoes and turkey gravy. It might just be crazy NOT to like them.

Jim Dunn

We don't really have any Thanksgiving traditions, perhaps because my family is small. When I was a kid, I remember sitting around the table with my grandparents as we'd play cards together after dinner.

That's not much, but it's all the tradition I've got to offer. I've never gotten excited about the meal, either, although that may say more about my mom's cooking, and I doubt she'd argue much with that sentiment if she was still with us.

In a world of divorce and blended families, holidays now often change from year to year as to who will be attending which day, where and with whom.

One thing that hasn't become tradition, but I'd like it to be, was found some years ago. I had nowhere to go one year and, bored and a bit lonely, I walked to a neighborhood church's Thanksgiving meal because a friend mentioned she'd be working there.

Their table had every dish you could think of having on Thanksgiving, and it was all delicious. Although I ate alone, I lost count of the people who came by to say hello, wish me well, and thank me for joining them.

Since then, I've returned a few more times for dinner or for photos, but haven't been successful in getting my family to join me. I think these communal meals are more in line with what the holiday is supposed to represent rather than mostly being an obstacle in the way of Christmas marketing.  

Dave Cook

Despite coming from a large, close-knit family, I don't really have any Thanksgiving traditions. My husband, kids and I drive a mile to go to Thanksgiving dinner at my mom's house. My nine siblings and their families also attend dinner at my mom's house whenever possible.

We'll eat, laugh and talk for three or four hours and then head home. The nice thing is that our children look forward to this day every year because they love playing with all their cousins.

Then on Black Friday, my husband will get up well before dawn to go Christmas shopping. I avoid that fiasco whenever I can. I'm not the type of person who enjoys all-day shopping trips. I enjoy crowds even less than a whole day of shopping. To me, it's torture to have to go shopping on Black Friday.

But my daughter enjoys it, so she and my husband head to the stores, while my son and I stay home.

Shannon Serpette

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