Thanksgiving Traditions

We asked some of the folks at Miles Mediation to share some favorite Thanksgiving memories and traditions. No surprise most of the things mentioned included family, laughter and the shining star of the day: food.

Joe Murphey – Team Captain
Twenty-seven years ago, my then-future mother-in-law Marcia and I collaborated on cooking a turkey. We somehow survived the ordeal, and the turkey was spot-on. This year, we will make it 27 perfectly roasted, mouth-watering turkeys in a row.

Many folks travel to be with family on Thanksgiving. Susan and I have been blessed to have be Thanksgiving Day home-base for both of our families — now for nearly three decades. This year my parents, her parents, our kids, some friends and a Swedish exchange student will all pull up a chair to the table to dig in to Turkey #27. For that we are truly thankful.

Keyonna Calloway – Receptionist
My favorite Thanksgiving tradition is every year my family and I put on a talent show. After we’ve eaten, we all gather in the living room area with hot cocoa or adults have their beverage of choice. From the babies to the elders, everyone portrays a different talent. We all laugh and enjoy the show. The best offering I’ve seen so far was a spoken word skit that my younger cousins did about how family is really important.

I’m thankful that there is a time of the year to reflect, although we should daily but due to busy schedules we tend to forget. Those are laughs and memories that will stay with me forever. I will keep the tradition going when I start my own family. Those talents — each and every one of them — reside in my mind and play back. It warms my heart to see everyone not worrying about all the daily problems and enjoying family at that moment. Priceless.

Greg Parent – Team Captain
I love Thanksgiving. Over the years, it’s gone from spending the day with very close friends, to hosting it for my family, to traveling back home to North Carolina to spend it with my folks. I’ve always spent that day with my folks. And we also have turkey, stuffing, rolls, and cookies.

For more than a decade, my family has had nothing but fried turkeys, injected with Creole seasonings. Before that, we had the traditionally-baked turkeys. Frying the turkeys is quicker, if not a little more dangerous.

The friends have changed faces over the years. We’ve added spouses, grand kids, and new traditions, but it’s still a thankful time to be with family, eat good food, and watch football. And nap. Tryptophan can have that affect on a body.

The newest tradition, that I’ve participated in with my wife over the past five years, is standing in line for Black Friday sales. It was a tradition that my wife and her sister had when they were younger. As time passes and they split time with their respective in-laws, they are not always in the same town. So I became the Black Friday shopping partner. Most times I’d rather get a root canal than battle all of humanity for a few discounted items. But then again, the competition of trying to battle for a 600-piece box of Legos can be a little addictive.

David Nutter – Team Captain
My favorite Thanksgiving memory is Thanksgiving 1973 when my family went to New York to see the Thanksgiving Day Parade. The parade itself, of course, was awesome. Watching the mighty parade balloons coming down the street was a dream come true for a kid from South Florida.

After a long exciting day, we wearily went in search of a good Thanksgiving dinner. My mom decided, “Hey I’m in New York, I’m not having Turkey.” By this point of the day her bratty kids (my middle sister and me) were driving her crazy and she was ready to sit down with a cocktail and her non-Turkey Thanksgiving dinner. Well, at the particular eatery we wandered into, the dear table server made it her mission to convince my mom that she just had to have turkey for dinner, because it was Thanksgiving, after all. My mom firmly insisted again that she did not want turkey. The table server, a New York original if there ever was one, insisted equally firmly that the very honor of the Pilgrims was at stake–that she had to have Turkey. “Awe honey, now come on, it’s Thanksgiving, you just gotta have turkey.” My mom, at this point beyond all frustration, pleadingly said, “I don’t want turkey.” A whole new round began. Finally, my mom gave up, retreated to her drink, and with resignation said, “Fine, I’ll have turkey.”

The server, thinking she had done a great good for my mom, triumphantly marched off to the kitchen. My dad, my sister and I sat in stony silence as my mother glowered at all of us, no doubt thinking that the server was somehow secretly in league with us to drive her completely insane. Five minutes later, the server returned with a very glum look and said to my mom, “Honey, I’ve got bad news for yus, we ain’t got no turkey.”

With that my mom and dad burst out laughing, with one of those cathartic laughs that can’t be stopped even if you want to. For minutes they laughed and laughed and laughed until tears rolled from their eyes. In fact, in all of their lives I never knew them to laugh as hard or as long as they did that night. The server seemed relieved and a bit confused that mom and dad were not angry that they could not get turkey on Thanksgiving. And she could not quite understand what exactly was so funny, but she decided to join in on the laugh any way. Laughter seems to work that way. We have all long forgotten what we actually ate that Thanksgiving night 41 years ago, but we have often remembered the humor of that moment. And just as was the case that night, with every retelling we have laughed afresh, and our spirits have been renewed.


Sydney Thaxton – Office Manager

Growing up we’d go to Bainbridge, Georgia, my maternal grandparents’ home for Thanksgiving. Every morning from Wednesday morning until Saturday we had coffee, grits, fresh cured bacon, deer sausage, farm raised eggs and when my grandmother was living, we had her homemade biscuits and mayhaw jelly.

Wednesday night was always “Chili Night” because my aunt would bring a large pot of her famous savory chili and rolls. Thursday was the big garden-grown, home raised feast: Fried turkey, smoked turkey, ham, variety of game (depending on what my uncles caught ie . . . quail, squirrel, deer, alligator, duck, frog legs, etc.), candied yams, dressing and gravy, collard greens, turnip greens both of which were from my uncle’s garden, baked mac-n-cheese, rice, lima beans or succotash, cranberry sauce, green beans, sweet potato pie, pecan pie and when grandmother was living, four-layer chocolate cake. Friday night was fish fry and bon fire. The menfolk would stand around the fire in the cold and fry the fish and homemade potato fries. The women would be in the house making the cold slaw and battering/seasoning the fish and potatoes to be sent outside to fry.

There was always plenty of fresh sugar cane to peel and chew on while having political debates, solving one another’s problems and sharing many, many laughs.

The entire Miles Mediation family is grateful for all our clients and customers. We wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving Day 2014 full of laughter, love and good food.