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Dan Mahony, Fractional Sales Executive at Transcendent Sales Solutions, Shares His Thanksgiving Memories
Thanksgiving - When North Meets South!
Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays since departing my adolescent years. Why do I love Thanksgiving so much? Very simple: the ingredients of family, friends, football, and being thankful. I love this holiday so much because it’s all about being together. No presents or gift exchange, little decorations or music playing, just togetherness.
I am a Thanksgiving traditionalist. I moved to the South in 2006 and learned quickly that traditions are different. My wife Michele and I have the debate every year right after Halloween and she starts the conversation by saying, “let’s put the Christmas decorations up early this year.” Every year I have been able to squash off the resistance except for 2020; we put them up early because our US Marine son was only home for Thanksgiving that year not planning to be home for Christmas. Thankfully, we were blessed to have him home for Christmas that year also. My wife won the decorations battle that year.
We love to watch football on Thanksgiving. I used to play in a Turkey Bowl living up north on Thanksgiving morning in my youthful days. I am afraid my turkey leg bones would break if I tried that now. I grew up, like many, watching the Detroit Lions and Dallas Cowboys play like Super Bowl champs onThanksgiving Day no matter how bad they are playing that season.
Traditions and Tin Pans
Our traditional Thanksgiving menu living as a Northern Yankee consisted of Turkey, bread stuffing, gravy, two kinds of potatoes, green bean casserole, carrots, cranberries, and lots of dinner rolls. After moving South and marrying a Southern bell in 2010, we began incorporating both Southern and Northern dishes into our menu. I have learned after living 16 years in the South: macaroni and cheese is a vegetable; cold potato salad is a staple for many Thanksgiving tables in the South (sorry, still think it belongs at a summer picnic), and ham is always on our table at Thanksgiving. This was always something we did for Easter up north; it is a staple here in the south, especially when your wife does not like turkey.
The ongoing political divide at our table each year is the bread stuffing vs cornbread dressing debate. I usually start out with a shot across the table like “cornbread belongs with Chili” and the spirited debate begins. Every year, my mother-in-law brings her cornbread dressing to our house. Two years ago, I placed a hot Pyrex pan that was coming right out of the oven on the cold granite countertop. There was broken glass and cornbread dressing everywhere within seconds. Everyone was more thankful for my bread stuffing that year after that kitchen nightmare. My mother-in-law only brings her cornbread dressing in tin pans since then and won’t let me touch it anymore.
Desserts- there are always too many, and by the time we get to it very little of it is eaten. As much as I love pumpkin pie, I prefer sweet potato pie. The South is starting to rub off on me. The sweetest thing for me at Thanksgiving is the moment we all come together as the time for reflection and to be thankful. The gift of Thanksgiving is everyone’s company at our table and being thankful for our blessings. Life seems to move much faster every year as I get older. I love to take this day to pause and reflect on how lucky I am to be surrounded by a wonderful family, friends, and the community around me.
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