Think Thanksgiving is just about turkey and football?

Not to these seven women, whose favorite holiday customs may inspire you to celebrate in a whole new way. I
BY LESLIE PEPPER

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a Sunday-AfterThanksgiving Pie Party," she says. "It's given us a way to create a nearby extended family for

holiday, I'd have

ourboys. We relax, laugh and eat a ridiculous amount of pie." Her only rule: Nobody can bring any. And no one needs to-Terry makes enough for everyone (and then some). "Each adult ends up eating half a pie! So I bake accordingly." For months leadingup to the
big day, Terrythumbs through magazines and cookbooks in search of newrecipes. As guests

their calves on Thanksgiving morning.
"Ready, set, go!" shouts the announcer minutes later, and Austin's 5-mile

Turkey Trot begins.
For years Anne had wanted to run the race, but she never did. "I felt too guilty," she says. "There were always so many other things to do on that day." Heather knew her friend would never give herself permission to do it, so she decidedto speakup. "Heather sat me down andreminded me that Thanksgivingwasn't just for my family," says Anne. "It was for me, too." And if that meant finishing up holiday preparations early, so be it. Something clicked, andAnne agreed to run the race-if Heather ran itwith her.
So in 20O6, and everyotheryear since, the two have crossed the finish line together. The best part forAnne? Spending quality time with her friend.

E the pies have
Terry Golson, 53

it

'i.:'l':' TI:^'::::ll'
Terry Golson always enjoyed the intimate Thanksgivings she typically
spent with her husband and their two sons, now 14 and 18. But deep down, she wanted to cook a big spread for a houseful of people. The problem?

arrive, the smells of sweet and savory pies fill the air: Butternut Squash and Pomegranate Galette, Orange Crdme Brfrlee Pie, Onion andolive Gruydre Tart, and Brown Sugar Pear, to name a few. And the crowd favorite: Deep Dark Chocolate Pie. "I always have to make two of those!" she says. (For Terry's easylemon pie reciPe, go to womansday.com/lemonpie.)

n

turkey trot
rFXAS

Anne Tiedt. 36
AUsl

None ofher relatives lived nearby, and her friends were with their families. "Eight years ago it hit me: Since pies are my favorite part of the

f:
Every other year you'll find Anne Tiedt and her friend Heather Bendes, 34, taking sips of water and stretching

"We don't see each other all the time, so spending that morning together is special. We always seem to have deeply personal conversations during that

run," she says.

PLEASE TURN TO 44

42 *otunraay,com I NovemberlZ2oll

eelebrate

Nancy Butler and her mom, Bunny' are all smiles now, but once bingo begins, look out

Dara LYnn LasKl (center) Preps her volunteers to feed 2,300 people.

E

r

tlrcmorethe merrier
Dara LYnn Laski, 43
WEST H]LLS, CAL FORN A

decluttering for a cause
Julie Blunck, 34
HYATTSVILLEJ MARYLAND

n
i
ii

Ietthe gatnesbegin
Nancy Butler,
61
WATERFORD: CONNECT:CUT

"Bingo!" shouts S-year-old Chase' as he runs up to collect his prize' Nana
Bunny, 87, slaps her leg in frustration' "Darn it! Just one more and I would have won." Nana BunnY takes the

family's annual Thanksgiving Bingo Tournament verY seriouslY' It all started a few Years ago' when 45' BunnY's granddaughter, Tammie' Butler' that the told her mom, NancY family had fallen into a Thanksgiving rut. "We'd fill up on turkey and call it a day," says Tanrmie' She suggested alively game of bingo and her mom

for Thanksgiving is a than 2,OOO! That's how lot? TrY more manypeoPle DaraLYnn Laski feeds eachyear. She gotthe idea more than 20 years ago when she volunteered to serve Thanksgiving dinner to the Dara needY. As she dished uP food' nice it would be to give thought how people a real sit-down dining experien"e, co-pl"te with tablecloths and a centerpieces. "I wanted to give them

Think

2O guests

While others can't wait to brin$
home deals on BlackFridaY, Julie Blunck is the opposite: She can't wait to clear stuff out. 'About four years ago I looked around and realized that we weren't usin$ a lot of things in our house," she saYs' Since it was Thanksgiving' Julie decided it was the

perfect time to share the wealth'

"I

didn't need and lathered whatever we gave itto charity." Now decluttering
on Thanksgiving daY is an annual ritual. "It feels good to get rid of all that clutter, but it feels even better

tittle dignitY for the
So

daY," she saYs'
a

in 1988, Dara asked

commu-

nity center to donate space and local businesses to donate food and table linens. Two hundredPeoPle showed up for the feast and Dara's Parents' ,itrtittg. and their families helped her
serve. Word sPread-more PeoPIe

knowing that it's helping other people
who need it

more'"

PLEASE TURN To 48

year' agreed. Now, after the meal every and everYone boards are handed out takes part. "sometimes Uncle Alan tries to slip into the living room to watch TV, but we alwaYs coax him back," saYs NancYwith a laugh' Instead of calling numbers and

showed uP the nextYear, and even so more the next. "Today, the crowd is to set up tables inside big that we have year the and outside," says Dara' Every in to make sure communitY Pitches there's plenty of food, and Dara's family, local businesses and grants cover

Julie Blunck uses her stockpile oI stuff to help others

letters, the grandkids reach into a basket and pull out pictures: "Turkey!" "Pumpkin!" The prizes? Scratch-off lottery tickets. "It would be great if that someone won a million bucks' but
hasn'thaPPened," saYs NancY' "Not yet, anYwaY."

all other exPenses-$1O,OOO in aII' "Doin$ this as a familY makes each us even more grateful to have saYs. And none of them other," she miss spending Thanksgiving at home' On that sPecial daY, this rs home'

#'

44

*o*untoay.com I NovemberlT'2o11

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