For many, Thanksgiving is a favorite time of year. It is an earmark of the holiday season without the stress and financial strain often accompanying Christmas Day. And family is the focal point of the festivities.

Community residents embraced the opportunity to share their own Thanksgiving traditions and plans recently with the E-T. While there were a few unorthodox customs connected to the day, including skeet shooting and riding four wheelers, everyone was in accordance with the importance of family, friends and that highly anticipated sumptuous spread.

We plan to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday with family at home. My mother will be here from Andrews, our son Tyler will be home from college and my wife's sister and her husband will be here from East Texas. On Thanksgiving Day our annual tradition is to enjoy a great Thanksgiving meal, give thanks for all of our blessings and watch some football. Then that afternoon and the next day, I begin decorating the outside of the house with Christmas decorations while Cheryl and Brittany begin decorating the inside of the house. And hopefully we'll be watching some good Yellow Jacket playoff football the day after Thanksgiving, too! - SISD Superintendent Dr. Darrell Floyd

We are going to have a nice quiet Thanksgiving at home with just our immediate family. Then we are all packing up and heading to Ardmore, Oklahoma for the World Junior Team Roping Championships. Fun! - Chamberlin Elementary School Counselor Vanessa Halford

My family will celebrate the day together, including our son and daughter in law, who will travel in from College Station. Thanksgiving is a special time for us because our twins, Kyle and Kayla, celebrate their birthday. We'll have a "traditional" meal with Turkey, cornbread dressing, sweet potatoes, and pumpkin pie. For many years, we've read Lincoln's 1863 Thanksgiving Proclamation as a powerful reminder of the purpose of the day for our Nation. We’ll also take time to remember those who can’t be with family on this day because they are serving in our military at locations worldwide. Before we eat, we always read Psalms 100, pray together, and share thoughts of how we are thankful for the Lord's many blessings. - Stephenville Mayor Kenny Weldon

The Cole family is breaking tradition this year, and I'm trying to do this without guilt! We are going to the Gaylord for the Madagascar Ice Exhibit, spending the night and Thanksgiving Day. The whole family is meeting at Olenjack's Restaurant in Arlington for lunch. My grandson, Carter, asked me if I could make dressing and take it to the restaurant. Since I can't do that, as a surprise I'm making dressing to hand out for leftovers. - Marion Cole

Margaret, the kids, and I will begin our Thanksgiving holiday on Wednesday evening. We'll celebrate the Holy Eucharist (a Greek word that means 'thanksgiving') with our St. Luke's family. The parish's annual Thanksgiving dinner follows the service. On Thursday morning, the kids will wake up to watch the Thanksgiving Day parades on TV. After that, the day will include games of football and soccer outside, watching football on TV, making a mess in the kitchen, and sharing a family meal around our dinner table. And watching more football. - Rev. Curt Norman with St. Luke's Episcopal Church

My Perfect Thanksgiving would be sharing a great meal and several hours with what I consider my whole family including my Mom, my children and their families and all my sibling's families. What would make it perfect is if my Dad could be back with us for that time. Since that isn't possible, I plan to spend as much time as I can with the family that is close including my Mom, my children and their families. I will give thanks for every minute of that time because each minute is a blessing from God. - - Assistant Superintendent of Business and Finance Deborah Hummel

Before moving to Morgan Mill, I cooked the whole dinner. Now, Gary and I will be traveling to Stephenville to share Thanksgiving with church friends. Donna Johnson has made it a tradition to invite the “orphans," friends in Morgan Mill who do not have families that live close, to her home for the holidays. Last year, Dean and Barb Minix brought the turkey and I made the dressing. I have a cornbread and bread recipe that I got from a homemaking teacher friend in Arlington that I have used for probably 30 years. My turkey recipe, when I cook it, comes from my sister. Simply place an orange, grapefruit, and a lemon in the turkey and cook as recommended. It has worked perfect for me. This year, I also have a Carol Ann Baker peach pie frozen in my freezer from the firefighters auction that I plan on bringing. Everybody who comes brings a dish. We have had this tradition for several years. - Bettye Key

The Browns spend their Thanksgiving in Stephenville with Darrell’s family, his mom, sister and his two nephews and usually one of them brings their girlfriend. The menu will consist of turkey and dressing, fried catfish, mashed potatoes, cabbage (sister's favorite), corn, macaroni and cheese (my kids' favorite), rolls and pecan and buttermilk pie. Our guests arrive around 10, and we give thanks and begin eating at noon. This allows the family to be back on the road to their homes before it’s too dark. That’s at least what I tell them. One of the favorite things about Thanksgiving is when Angie and I cook, we cook enough food to deliver to senior adults we know who won’t have family visiting them during this time of year.  It is such a treat to see their faces. Another tradition is once the kitchen is cleaned and my sister uses all of my plastic containers to take home the leftovers because she can’t cook, the kids help me with decorating the outside of the house for Christmas and then they have their annual front yard football game. All I can say is that Thanksgiving is my favorite time of the year.  Family, food, fellowship and football, the four most important ingredients at the Brown’s during Thanksgiving. - Darrell Brown

Lisette and I will be heading to The Woodlands area for Thanksgiving to spend time with our son and daughter-in-law (first grandchild on the way!), daughter, and sisters.  We will have time for both a quiet dinner with the immediate family and a raucous and wild dinner with my sister’s extended and extensive Texas family on Thanksgiving Day.  The dinner will include all the traditional fare as well as a bottomless pan of a special cousin’s macaroni and cheese.  In between, my son and I will work on a few home improvement projects and preparations will be made for the Christmas season.  With a few Aggie’s in the family, we’ll skip the Texas-TCU game on Thanksgiving Day but will be cheering for the Ohio State Buckeyes on Saturday when they play their arch rival from the state on their northern border (true fans can’t speak the name). - Tarleton President Dr. Dominic Dottavio

After watching the Macy's Day parade while cooking together in the kitchen, my family and I feast on traditional food and desserts. After the meal, the boys usually shoot skeet and watch football while the girls have an afternoon of Christmas crafting. That evening, we get out the food again, put on the hot cider and coffee and have a marathon night of board and card games! - Crissa Nugen

I will be celebrating Thanksgiving with my wife, our children and their families, and my brothers and their families. We’ll all gather at our family place in Wise County and we’ll spend the day eating good food, watching good football (hopefully) and riding 4 wheelers. We eat the traditional Thanksgiving dinner to include turkey, ham, dressing, mashed potatoes, rolls, and a variety of salads and then we’ll finish off with a variety of tasty, homemade pies.

I am most thankful that the Lord has blessed me with a loving family, great friends and co-workers and good health. - Stephenville Police Chief Pat Bridges

My Thanksgiving plans are to spend the day with family and friends -- eating, talking, watching football and thanking the Lord for all the good things he has done for the Chilton family in the past year. - Stuart Chilton, Ye OLD Columnist

Thanksgiving is the best holiday. It has not yet been commercialized by retailers, card companies or florists. It is about reflection on one's blessings. We are so grateful for this nation's warriors who pick up their weapons every day, stand a post, and each of them states: "At the cost of my life, nothing bad happens to you on my watch".....and they have been standing up among us for over 300 years.

Having experienced bad health, we are so thankful to have had good health restored. 

I am so thankful to be loved by family, most of whom do so in spite of knowing me so well. That is especially true of my wife. And she is so beautiful that anyone who sees her with me thinks more of me.

We spend our Thanksgiving holiday with family.  This year we'll be in Richmond at the new home of our son and his family. We have traditional Thanksgiving fare, and it is so good that it is better to make yourself sick than to take the slightest risk that you won't get your share. - Bill Hodges

Our oldest son is coming home from College Station and I will cook a traditional Thanksgiving meal for my mom and family at home. Then we will head to my sister and brother-in-law's house to see our nieces who will also be in from college, and we will play games and have dessert. I am looking forward to having all of our kids at home and celebrating the holiday feeling thankful for the love, friendship, laughter and good health we enjoy. - E-T Editor Sara Vanden Berge

This will be an extremely hard Thanksgiving for me because my Dad won’t be sitting with us at the table on Thursday.  However, over the course of the last few months, I can say with absolute certainty there are many things to be thankful for, and those are which I will celebrate.  I’m extremely thankful for my wonderful family and friends.  Without them I wouldn’t be the person I am today. As the principal of a campus who has rallied around each other for a variety of reasons, I’m thankful for this amazing staff. I’m also thankful for this incredible community who has shown so much support to people who need it. I will spend my time giving thanks and eating of course! We will have a traditional Thanksgiving meal at my grandmother’s on Thursday. Thursday evening we will have more of a steak and potatoes type meal with my in-laws. I am one of those CRAZY black Friday shoppers, so I will leave my family around 8:00 that evening and head to the Metroplex to get all the early bird deals and enjoy some people watching. It really can be quite entertaining! - Kelly Magin

Well, being an only child, I have been blessed to marry into a BIG FAMILY, which is very close and loves to get together! They are always glad to include others during the holiday's, such as my parents and many friends over the years!  Each year we all gather at one of our homes in town; we bring plenty of food and give thanks for our many blessings. We'll enjoy visiting, eating and, of course, watching football! Then Friday we will all be traveling to watch the JACKETS play, and Saturday will be spent decorating for Christmas! - Mindy Wooley     

Usually we share our time with family by gathering for Thanksgiving in Granbury and Glen Rose. However, this year we plan to spend the holiday in Stephenville. This will be a first! We are going to host some friends on Thursday. We will enjoy the traditional Thanksgiving feast of turkey and dressing and gather around the television set(s) to watch a football game or two. On Friday or Saturday, (day to still be confirmed) we will host family. This will involve aunts, uncles, cousins and the like. A football, golf game or some other type of sporting event is likely to breakout. Not sure what the menu will be but have discussed getting out the deep fryer and preparing some good ole'  fried catfish that Deslys recently caught on a guided fishing expedition. Again, we will enjoy spending time with family and friends being thankful for the blessings we have been able to enjoy. One  side note, we will also be celebrating our anniversary on Thursday, November 22. Eleven years ago, we were united with both families and selected Thanksgiving Day as the day to be married. This year, our anniversary is Thanksgiving Day! - Tarleton Vice President of Student Life Rusty Jergins