khj-thanksgiving-memories.jpgWhat does this season of ‘gratitude’ and ‘thanks’ really mean today? If you leave it to marketers, we can be pushed to be giving thanks that Toyota is not doing a traditional Black Friday sale but are extending the sale for the month. Or that Kmart is opening at 6am on Thanksgiving Day to give shoppers even more time to shop the deals.

While we were chatting about the ‘grateful thanks’ and its often watered down messaging we as marketers sometimes capitalize on, we began sharing our own memories and traditions for Thanksgiving. What makes us long for this holiday and what brings a smile to our face? We thought we would share some of our memories and traditions with you. Will you share your traditions with us?

Cara KingSenior Designer: My grandfather always makes his signature blueberry pie for all the big holidays. On the top of the pie he carves a family member’s name. Maybe it’s close to their birthday, or new a baby, or celebrating a new job. It’s fun to see who “makes the pie” every year, and a way to celebrate the big milestones when we are together.

Breda O’ConnorAssociate: Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I love it so much that my family celebrates twice a year both in May (6 months out) & in November. Try finding a full size turkey and all the fixings in May…

Amy HughesExecutive Assistant: Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, proven by this photo circa 1980.khj-amy-thanksgiving-memory.jpg

Cindy HaleCMO: After we have all eaten our first plate of dinner, we do what we call the “shakedown dance” shaking our mid-section to work the food down. Then we all get up and run around the house outside to get hungry again before going in for seconds and dessert.

Todd Baird SVP, Strategy and Planning: I do a mean turkey call somewhere during the middle of the meal (this is a new and emerging tradition that does not inspire my in-laws but my folks laugh).

Rob KinslowSr. Director, Medical Device/Diagnostics– I love to cook and bake, and every Thanksgiving I like to try something new in the kitchen alongside the holiday standards as a way of opening my head and heart to possible new traditions. (This doesn’t mean, however, that I will ever, ever discard jellied cranberry sauce—that’s a keeper, some sweetness and tartness to balance with all the salty stuff.)

This year, because we’re expecting a smaller crowd, the something new is really an adjustment, to scale back from a whole turkey to just a turkey breast. Since it’ll be more manageable, I’m going to try brining it as well. I’m sure this sounds exciting to nobody but me (including my vegan fiancée), but my kitchen is my lab and I love to experiment.

Kate FloydSocial Marketing & Business Development Manager: I don’t remember when it started but when we were little, my dad taught my brothers and I to hang a spoon on our noses. It is a party trick that never fails and every year it becomes a competition to see whose can hang on the longest.


Mike PanagakoVP, Senior Strategist: There’s no Thanksgiving in Greece, so my family has improvised over the years mashing Greek cooking together with traditional New England dishes. So for example, we get turkey stuffing, but it’s made with lamb, fresh oregano, walnuts and raisins.

Judy CarterSenior UX Designer: We always watch the Macy’s Day parade and my mom loved the Westminster dog show.

Tricia MarraffaVP, Finance and Administration: Since 1995, when I started attending Thanksgiving with my current in-laws, I brought a sweet potato casserole dish, now they won’t let me arrive without it! We’ll be celebrating 20 years of this yumminess this week!

Jenn MazzonnaSr. Associate: Every thanksgiving night growing up we would go home and put our Christmas tree up with the family.

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