Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Thanksgiving Traditions All Start with the Food

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Thanksgiving Traditions All Start with the Food

Article excerpt

Byline: KEVIN TURNER

Asked about Thanksgiving traditions in their families, many Nassau County residents say the holiday is always about family, feasting and watching football.

But there are other traditions, too.

Allen Sage of Amelia Island said his family observes a tradition of hospitality he learned from his mother.

"We all get together to eat and watch football, but anyone in our neighborhood who's going to be by themselves for Thanksgiving, we have them over," he said.

For some, family tradition involves the day after Thanksgiving. Wally Messer of Yulee said his wife, Diane, observes such a tradition.

"My stepdaughter, Kim Thomas, comes up from South Carolina and she and my wife get up at 4:30 in the morning and go shopping every year," he said. "It's mostly mother-daughter time. Else, it's the usual Thanksgiving with the whole family going to my sister's house in West Jacksonville."

Some respondents said certain members of their families always host the Thanksgiving gathering. Others said they always travel. Other families have various members who take turns hosting from year to year.

"I go to my mother's house every year - same time, same place. She lives in Hilliard," said David Sutton of Fernandina Beach.

Betty Sue Bradford of Fernandina Beach and her husband, Dick, sometimes travel for the holiday.

"This year, we're going to be with our son," she said. "We do the usual eating the dinner and watching the football. But we're always with family."

Katrina McGowan of Nassauville said she doesn't have far to travel.

"We always go to my mom's house in Nassauville," she said. "We gather, eat and watch football."

Debbie Bennett has the advantage that all her relatives live in Callahan, so their family Thanksgiving gatherings can happen in several houses.

"We have a house-to-house tradition where we visit each other's homes and eat the food they have. Eat, football and sleep. That's the way it goes," Bennett said.

Fernandina Beach Police officer Marty Scott said his family's Thanksgiving celebration will be at his house this year. …

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