Heritage Faculty & Staff’s Thanksgiving Thoughts

The Journalism staff interviewed several faculty and staff members about a variety of Thanksgiving topics.

What are your Thanksgiving plans? What are you making for this Thanksgiving?

“We’re going to the Dominican Republic to an inclusive Nickelodeon resort, so that my kids can have fun and play and food’s already made so I don’t have to cook anything.” – Kemp 

“We are out of town for Thanksgiving; we spend the week in Orlando at Disney World with my family.” – Wells 

“On the day before Thanksgiving, part of the family is coming over here from New Orleans and getting together for a big meal. Then, on the actual day of Thanksgiving, my family and I are going over to my brother’s house to eat a big old Thanksgiving meal.” – Schexnaildre

We will be celebrating Thanksgiving at my house with my family. We will be cooking a lot, ham, mashed potatoes, macaroni, green bean casserole, corn casserole, and more.” – Shoelen

“My family is gonna have Thanksgiving with my parents and then we’re gonna have Thanksgiving at my wife’s mom’s house. I don’t know what’s on the menu right now. We’ve had different stuff in the past. If my mom cooks, we’ll have the basics, but I’ve had Mexican food on Thanksgiving. We’re not stuck on specific foods” – Eaves 

“My Thanksgiving plans are the same as always, which is to go to my grandma’s house on Thanksgiving Day and enjoy a meal of turkey, mac and cheese, and green beans. Traditionally, I have not made anything for Thanksgiving in the past; I just show up and eat. This time, though, I might make a dessert.”  – Peace 

“Oh, man. Both of our families are close and live in Dalton. So we’ll have two Thanksgiving meals on Thanksgiving day, one at my parents and one at my wife’s parents. It’ll be a total day of fatness, turkey, dressing, and all the fixins’. Thanksgiving meal two times a day, so it’s awesome.” – Gibson 

“I’m going to spend it with my family and my daughter in law’s family.” – Teem 

“My Thanksgiving plans are to stay home this Thanksgiving. My extended family are all going to different places. So it allows us to stay home. My kids will be home for Thanksgiving. So I’m excited about that. We’ll have our traditional turkey; we’ll have ham. But then we always like to make special things like corn casserole and specialty dessert and everything. Thanksgiving is a big eating day for us, and then we’ll go see a movie that day.” – Douglass

“Coach little league basketball and hang out with my family.” – Shipley, Kendal

“I wake up and I watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. And then we go to my grandmother’s house and just spend the day there. We usually make these roasted potatoes and my grandmother makes everything else.” – Parker

“On Thanksgiving, I have a very big family, but this year is a little different because I will be hosting Thanksgiving at my house” – Cook

“Thanksgiving, for me, has always been a lot of basketball, slaving away in the salt mines for Heritage High School. But we’re going to my in-laws house [this year]. We’re going to my mom’s house, and we’re going to eat a bunch. I think one night we are having spaghetti.” – Terry

“We’re having Thanksgiving with my family and I’m in charge of making mashed potatoes. My parents are making most of it. And we’re also going to Macon, Georgia, because we have a new niece arriving any minute.” – Fennell

“I got plenty. I’m going to be watching a couple of Alabama football games. I’m going to be doing some more painting at my daughter’s house. I’m going to the lake. I’m having two Thanksgivings: one at my Mom’s house and one with my wife’s side of the family. Finally, I’m going to do some yard work.” – Beagles

“On Monday, we leave for Nicaragua. so we’re going to go visit some communities and prepare a traditional American Thanksgiving, even though they don’t celebrate this American holiday.” -Taylor, Susi

“My Thanksgiving plans . . . Basically, I think my family’s coming over for dinner Thanksgiving evening and then we go eat with my wife’s family for lunch. And that’s probably it. Eating. Cooking and eating.” – Bradford

“I do plan on doing some knitting. Some square dancing. I’m big into square dancing right now. Also, I like to skip: you know, like skipping frolic. Oh and making flower headbands. Also fighting, lots of fighting. Random people look at me, *Whapam* right hook. They don’t even have to look at me, I’ll just throat punch them.” – Whited

“My Thanksgiving plans include going to my mother’s house, who lives way across Ringgold. And we usually do an outdoor kind of thing. Just like the pilgrims. So we line up the table, and they have a whole thing. And even last year, this is kind of weird, but it was like COVID and we were just, like, we need to get the house and do something crazy. We dressed up, like literally just like pilgrims, because we have a lot of kids in the family. It was a lot of fun. Traditionally, after we eat, we just go shoot guns. We haven’t done that in a while, but that’s that’s the way we grew up. We would just go back and shoot guns. Other than that, it’s just a lot of eating and maybe some football in the yard. It’s gonna be raining this year. So, I’m kind of bummed out about it.” – Wynne


What’s the one food you most look forward to at Thanksgiving? What’s the one food you’d obliterate from Thanksgiving festivities?

“My mom does this dressing stuff that’s always good: it’s like a chicken dressing. I’m a pie person. I always look forward to any type of pie: coconut, pecan, chocolate. Any turkey or ham that’s not’s dry. It has to be moist. Regular old dry turkey is nasty.” – Eaves

“I love dressing, like turkey dressing. The turkey’s okay, but I mainly just love the dressing part of the turkey dressing. I’m not a fan of pumpkin pie: everybody loves pumpkin pie, but it’s just not my thing.” – Kemp 

“Pecan pie is one of my favorites. My aunt makes a really good pecan pie. I’m also a big mashed potatoes fan. I am not a casserole fan, so I’m not into the broccoli casserole or the green bean casserole, so the casseroles can go for me.” – Wells 

“Turkey gravy and biscuit.” – Shipley

“I’m a big fan of the mac and cheese, especially with the little shells. If I could get rid of one food, I’d definitely rid of cranberry sauce.”- Peace 

“I’m a big turkey guy, but I’d have to say I’m looking forward to the casseroles. I’m usually not super into sweets, but I can’t wait to eat some pumpkin pecan pie. Besides the pumpkin pecan pie, I’d probably just throw out the rest of the sweets” – Schexnaildre

“I look forward to pecan pie the most, and the only thing I can think of eliminating would be cranberry sauce.”- Shoelen

“[I like] Deviled eggs. [I’d get rid of] sweet potatoes.” – Parker

‘Aww man, some good sweet potato casserole. It’s delicious. So good, crumble the pecans or whatever on top. The best.” – Gibson 

I would definitely get rid of sweet potatoes, and I’m most looking forward to the sweets.” – Teem

“My favorite food on Thanksgiving isn’t even homemade. And if you haven’t tried it, you have to try it. Cracker Barrel makes the best chocolate pecan pie. Get there early, get a couple. It’s fantastic.” – Douglass 

“Turkey. I love turkey.” – Bradford

“Mashed potatoes. I would get rid of green beans” – Cook

“Not looking forward to the spaghetti, to be honest. Shrimp, we’ve got shrimp. The cold ones, like the cocktail. We got those at my mom’s house, so I’m looking forward to that. I would get rid of anything with cashews.” – Terry

“Oh, salad–that’s the other thing I’m making. I’m looking forward to that salad. It’s a special once a year kind of salad.” – Fennell

“I’d probably say the ham, I guess. I don’t know. I’d get rid of the cranberry stuff–whatever it is.” – Beagles

“I love turkey and cranberry sauce, so weird right?” – Taylor

“All things pie. My sister makes a chocolate pecan pie I think is absolutely delicious. There’s chocolate pie. There’s apple pie with a little bit of vanilla ice cream. And that’s my favorite.” – Wynne

“Well I’m hoping just to eat. Teachers barely make a dollar, so I’ll be at Walmart, enjoying some scraps from the dumpster.” – Whited


What’s your favorite float in the Macy’s Day Parade?

“I don’t really have a favorite float, but I’m a big musical fan so I like seeing all the Broadway performers perform.” – Kemp 

“When I was a kid, the Peanuts, Charlie Brown, stuff like that, Snoopy. Big fan of Snoopy.”- Eaves

“Favorite Macy’s Thanksgiving parade float would probably be Snoopy, like from the Great Pumpkin.” – Peace 

“I love the floats, but I really watch it for the musical numbers at the beginning.” – Parker

“Anything with a big football on it. Or a helmet. That’s pretty cool.” – Gibson 

“Anything Spongebob; it’s just too much fun.” – Douglass

“The Peanuts float!” – Cook

“I like the upside-down elephants that they paint, black and white stripes.” – Shipley

 “I like any of the Disney floats. Last year, my favorite float was Snoopy as an astronaut.” – Shoelen

“Spiderman: it’s kind of a classic.” – Terry

“Snoopy.” – Fennell

“I don’t even watch the whole thing.” – Beagles

“I’d say snoopy!” – Taylor

“Are they the same every year? My favorite float . . . Wow. I’m trying to think of a float that really impacted my life enough to recognize it is that float. The Spider Man balloon is pretty cool. Can I say that?” – Bradford

“Okay, who is Macy? I have no idea WHAT you are talking about.” – Whited

“I have to go with Santa. But I love all the classic ones too. Like Snoopy and things that I grew up watching. It’s not as much about Thanksgiving; for me it kicks off Christmas, which I get super excited about . I’m sure you’ve seen ‘Elf.’ That’s kind of how I am.” – Wynne

Where will you (or would you) go shopping on Black Friday?

“I probably won’t go shopping on Black Friday because we will not be around, but if I was I would probably shop online on Amazon.” – Kemp 

“The mall’s a nightmare, probably somewhere like BestBuy. One store that has a bunch of stuff.” – Eaves

“I will probably hit up DJ’s Corner Market and see what snack and drink deals they’ve got going for Black Friday.” – Peace

“Negative, Ghost Rider. I avoid that like it’s the plague.” – Gibson 

“Probably American Eagle or Target.” – Parker

“The only shopping I’ll do for black Friday is online shopping.” – Shoelen

“I haven’t gotten to in the last couple of years, but I usually go online shopping.” – Teem 

“Black Friday is at home. As I get older, the more I don’t want to fight the crowds in the stores. So I get it online.” – Douglass

“No, never.” – Cook

“Target, maybe? I haven’t been since my kids were little.” – Taylor

“I would not.” – Terry

“I’ve done that once to buy a Nintendo Switch last year, but it’s been a long time. I probably won’t go this year.” – Shipley

“I don’t do Black Friday shopping. I shop from the couch.” – Fennell

“Bass Pro Shop.” – Beagles

“Never ever ever, ever, ever, ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever  go Black Friday shopping.” – Bradford

“I do not nor will I ever go shopping on Black Friday. I do a lot of shopping online. It’s not me. I don’t want to be out there fighting the crowds and all that, and it’s too capitalist, man. You know what I mean? Like, I’m a man of the people. I don’t want deals.” – Wynne

“Fred’s.” – Whited


When do you put up your Christmas tree?

“I usually put it up kind of right after Thanksgiving, so usually on that Friday.” – Kemp 

“The day after Thanksgiving. I am very strict about it. You have to wait because November is your month for Thanksgiving. When we do put it up, we listen to the ‘Charlie Brown Christmas’ soundtrack while we decorate.” – Peace 

“My Christmas tree is already up.” – Shoelen

“Whenever my wife makes me.” – Shipley

“Oh, like the day of Thanksgiving.” – Parker

“ I usually put it up as soon as I get home, so it’s usually on December 1st but sometimes it’s into November. I do put up a live tree, so usually the weekend after we get from Disney.” – Wells 

“My wife insists that it goes up on Black Friday. So it shall go up on Black Friday.” – Gibson 

“Well, up until last year, we would put it up like the weekend after Thanksgiving, like the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Last year, I think we put it up before Thanksgiving. There’s a constant tug of war in our house between me, who wants to wait until after Thanksgiving because that’s my favorite holiday, and my kids who want to put it up the day after Halloween, you know? So I’m hoping we can wait till after Thanksgiving and put it up then.” – Bradford

Right after Thanksgiving.” – Teem 

“The Christmas tree is already up. At home. Pre-Thanksgiving. We bought a big 12-foot tree this year. And actually I just bought one for the media center and we’re putting it up today.” – Douglass

“After Thanksgiving.”- Cook

“It varies. One year we kept it up all year, so we didn’t have to take it down.” – Terry

“Putting the Christmas tree up on Friday.” – Fennell 

“We put it up over Thanksgiving break. Usually, like, Tuesday.” – Beagles

“Thanksgiving Day, usually.” – Taylor

“I’m not a heathen pagan. I don’t practice fosse religion.” – Whited

“Oh man, I’d like to say I put it up the day after Thanksgiving because that’s always the plan, you know, like family time. But we are so scattered and just run in so many directions. There have been years where we put it up the day before Christmas. But mostly it’s somewhere between Thanksgiving and Christmas. In that middle ground. That’s kind of like this Twilight Zone. There’s no specific date. You know, it’s just there. It just happens one day. It happens in phases. And there’s always a family dispute. Phase one is ‘let’s get the thing out’ and then my wife yells at me for not helping. And then I put up all the things, and I have to fluff the tree. My wife cannot fluff the tree. She doesn’t have the skill. I’ve tried to train her, and every time she fluffed the tree, it looks very, like, manmade, like everything’s very symmetrical. You know, there’s no artistic, natural look to it. And then, you know, she gets frustrated with me, because I’m a perfectionist. It’s a whole thing. And then we’ve got the the ornaments that come out. And there’s the ones that kids made when they were little–they’re ugly–and we try to hide them in the back of the tree without hurting their feelings. We play Christmas music and it’s supposed to get everybody in this happy, joyful mood. And so we’re screaming at each other over the Christmas music, and I have a little PTSD over it, to be honest with you. So thanks for bringing this up.” – Wynne


What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving?

“I’m thankful that we’re seeing the end of the pandemic and I’m glad that we’re actually in school, in person for five weeks instead of having to do digital and hybrid because that just stinks.” – Kemp 

“I’m thankful that everybody that I love and that are around me are healthy, and that we can have a somewhat normal Thanksgiving this year. And just my family.” – Parker

“I’m thankful for a lot of things, but this year I have a new appreciation for FCA. I’m so thankful for the opportunity to join with students and co-workers to worship and share our love for the Lord with each other.” – Gibson

“My family, the school, honestly, where we live: in Georgia, in the south, in the United States of America. I’m thankful for those three things.” – Bradford

“I’ve got a great family. God’s been good to me in so many ways, and I just have a lot of great stuff going on.” – Shipley

I’m thankful for health this Thanksgiving.” – Wells 

“I’m thankful for my Journalism staff and for chili. Also my family and friends. ”- Peace 

“It’s been a year and a half to two years of absolute craziness in our country around the world, even locally. I’m just thankful for my family members, that I get to spend time with them, and, you know, we have an awesome situation here at Heritage as a school, as a community. There was a tremendous amount of support and involvement, and I’m thankful to not only work in this community but to live and be a part of this community.” – Gibson  

“I’m thankful that we are all healthy here at school.” – Teem

“I tell you, I’m thankful for coming out of the pandemic and that my family is healthy as well and everybody still has a job and everybody’s still in school.” – Douglass 

“My family, health, Heritage, Paige & Brylei.” – Eaves

“For my family and a new year.” – Cook

“I’m thankful always for family and just health because this has been a crazy couple of years. All my family’s kind of come through unscathed. So yeah, I’m thankful for having a good job and poeple, people mostly.” – Wynne

Like the usual boring stuff: family and good health.”- Terry

“My family and my health.” – Fennell

“I’m very thankful for my family and our health.” – Beagles

“I’m grateful to be in school with all you little chickens. We’re here. I’m grateful for everything.” – Taylor

“Nothing. It’s only a matter of time before everything goes to ash.” – Whited


Imagine this: you’re eating at Thanksgiving, and the turkey rises from the dead and demands revenge for its fallen brethren. What weapon do you equip first?

“I guess I would use the knife that I used to cut the turkey. That seems like it would already be, like around–close by.” – Kemp  

“I mean, probably like a flame thrower, that’s easy. That thing would get scorched.” – Eaves

“I’ll go with the baseball bat. Probably with nails in it? [Turkeys], you know, they’re not really big. You could just see, you know, it’s really just batting practice at that point. It’s just knocking those butter balls all over the place.” – Bradford

“The meat thermometer, just like last time.” – Peace

“Uhhh, something that’s heavy, that could cause some damage. I’m going to say the mashed potato bowl. It’s a glass bowl; it’s thick; it’s heavy; it won’t break.” – Beagles

“It’s gotta be the kebab skewer. You know just stab it right in the gizzard, you know?” – Terry

“Well, I have a lot of good knives. I’ll use my silver knife on that vampire turkey.” – Taylor

“You know, I’ve got a hungry four year old. I think I may unleash her; it’s a power move.” – Shipley

“Well, I get a butter knife because I want this to be slow, you know? I don’t want to go into too much detail, but there’s a lot of carving involved. A lot of screaming, Turkey screaming, okay? Gizzards and whatnot. I think you know where we’re going with this. Yeah, gizzards and whatnot.” – Wynne

“I would take myself as a sacrifice. I’m not a turkyist.” – Whited