Thanksgiving traditions from Jan Marshall

Marshall Family Thanksgiving, circa 1995

Marshall Family Thanksgiving, circa 1995

Fall is such a busy season, and one of my absolute favorite times of the year. But my most treasured time of autumn is Thanksgiving. It quietly ushers its way into the calendar–reminding us all to take pause, reflect on our blessings, and be thankful to God that we live in such a bountiful nation. For our family, Thanksgiving holds some great traditions.

Every Thanksgiving morning, I love to start the day with a light breakfast of spicy pumpkin breads, coffee and a small protein. We all gather to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade, and know that when we see Santa that the holiday season is officially beginning! I admit that I’m a purist on this matter… I don’t even think about prepping for Christmas until this moment, and until Thanksgiving Day has had its moment in full.

We eat two family meals on this day, and are blessed to do so. Most of our family lives in and around Nashville, so we get to have Thanksgiving Brunch and Thanksgiving Dinner–whew! Walking is a must!  At each gathering, we talk about what we are thankful for, and slow down to visit those we love most in this world. And of course, there is always football to watch!

For the past several years, we’ve had at least one meal at Puckett’s. This one is a new tradition for us. Our extended family loves getting together there, taking our time visiting and having a great meal. An added bonus for me is to watch other families at our place doing the same. I can’t begin to say how special that is to me. It makes all that turkey cooking worthwhile!

When Andy and I first started our version of Puckett’s years ago, the tradition was to for Andy to fry, smoke, and roast a bunch of turkeys, while our kids and I–along with our small staff–would box up literally hundreds of Thanksgiving meals. Now that we have restaurants to share with so many families, it’s special to see this day within its own new tradition.

Some Thanksgiving traditions are always the same, even as times change. When I was a girl, we would go to my grandparent’s farm every Thanksgiving Day. The guys would watch football, while I got first dibs on the Sears and Roebuck Christmas Wish Book. Grandmamma, Mom and I would go over all the deals in the paper, and let the holiday shopping begin! Though we may read now more online than on paper, it is still the same first step into the holiday shopping season.

Yes, all together, Thanksgiving Day is one holiday that is most special to me, and I hope for you as well.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Jan Crouch Marshall is the quiet, steadying force behind the Puckett’s hospitality brand that encompasses Puckett’s Gro. & Restaurant, Puckett’s Boat House, GRAY’S on Main and now Homestead Manor. Along with husband Andy, Jan worked to build A. Marshall Family Food while raising their three children, a son and two daughters. A native Middle Tennessee resident, she loves faith, family, friends and sharing a culture of hospitality and good food.