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Turkey Talk: BSM Staff Share Their Thanksgiving Traditions

Wednesday, November 21, 2018 9:00 AM

Meet Your Team

Written by: BSM staff

Thanksgiving is a holiday centered around delicious food, family, friends, and gratitude. While these themes generally remain the same throughout different households, our BSM team wanted to share how they incorporate them into their own Thanksgiving traditions. Read how our staff likes to celebrate the holiday below.

Nolan Umana, Senior Financial Analyst

In our family, Thanksgiving equals food — and lots of it. One of my favorite items that my wife makes is her candied yams. She puts pecans, marshmallows, and lots of love into every batch of that dangerously addicting recipe (I can eat the whole thing by myself). We also make a paleo pumpkin pie from scratch, using dates instead of brown sugar — it’s amazing! Besides stuffing our faces, we always do some sort of practice of gratitude as a family. This year, we are writing down 100 things we are thankful for during the month of November.

Shaylin Jordan, Client Support Services Specialist

On Thanksgiving, after stuffing ourselves with all of the delicious food and watching some football, we end the evening watching “It’s a Wonderful Life.” It’s a great movie to watch while enjoying some family time and remembering what’s really important!

Debra Stinchcomb, Senior Consultant

My favorite Thanksgiving tradition is asking everyone at the table what they are thankful for. It’s always fun to hear the kids’ responses, which were cute and funny when they were younger, and are getting more serious as they age (they are 16 and 13 years old). Last year was a great Thanksgiving, as I was moving past a major health issue that clearly affected my family. My husband answered that he was thankful that our family is resilient. It was the best “thankful” item I could hope for, for many reasons!

Rob Blamire, Financial Services and APC Operations Analyst

One of my favorite Thanksgiving traditions is the “Turkey Bowl,” which consists of 20 of my hometown friends playing a messy game of flag football. The most memorable Turkey Bowl included 3-4 inches of fresh snow on the ground and a lot of slipping and sliding. Each year, we walk away with a few pulled muscles, muddy clothes, and plenty of laughs about how bad we are at football.

Lenoir De Monte, APC Operations Specialist

My favorite Thanksgiving tradition is making my mom's stuffing, which consists of sourdough bread and spinach — it’s awesome! Every year for as long as I can remember, really forever, she made her wonderful stuffing. My mom, Jeanne, passed away more than 10 years ago, so now I especially look forward to making it myself. Every year, I go through the whole process of buying the best sourdough bread, letting it sit for several days, crumbing it in the blender, and then sautéing fresh spinach with fresh herbs, onions, and celery. It’s a labor of love that brings back so many memories and keeps my mom close in my heart. Lenoir was kind enough to share her mother's recipe below.

Carla Werner, Customer Relations Specialist

For several years, I have celebrated with my friends on Thanksgiving, as I have no family close by and would rather chew on tinfoil than travel over the holidays! Over the years, we have had as few as four and as many as 20 friends come together. Beforehand, everyone shares their favorite Thanksgiving dish, and we try to have it on the table for them. It is a great opportunity to get out the “good dishes,” tell stories, and give thanks for all that we have — and, on occasion, we sing karaoke!

John Wampler, Financial Services Analyst

Every year, I spend Thanksgiving with all of my family, including my parents, sister, grandparents, cousins, aunts, and uncles. We have a tradition of watching “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation,” and each family member dresses up as one of the characters. My entire family always bonds over our love for this movie. We practically have every line memorized, so when we watch it on Thanksgiving, everyone is speaking each line before the character in the movie says it!

Anne Blamire, Financial Services Manager

From childhood until present, I have always celebrated Thanksgiving surrounded by a lot of family and friends. My favorite part of this holiday is everyone being together, followed closely by the cooking of all the delicious food. Usually, the food prep involves many busy hands, with a huge contribution from my kids, which is so much fun! The funniest part of the whole process is when we all try to decide if the turkey is ready to come out of the oven. Is it done? Is it too done? After inserting the thermometer into the turkey multiple times, and after inserting every thermometer I own just to be sure we have an accurate temperature, the turkey looks like it has been hit with a buckshot!

Vera Varlamov, APC Operations Manager

My favorite tradition is spending the whole morning in the kitchen with my mom, helping her cook all the Thanksgiving dishes. Now, my parents live in Hong Kong and I don’t get to celebrate the holiday with them, so I am looking forward to starting my own tradition of being head chef in my kitchen and cooking all morning.

Kristen Erickson, Senior Customer Relations Specialist

The food, of course, is at the top of my list (especially my grandma’s onion rolls). But honestly, as corny as it may sound, giving thanks is my favorite Thanksgiving tradition. Thanksgiving is my annual que to slow down and take time to reflect on the appreciation I have for the people I cherish, love, and am thankful for. This year, I am attending a “friendsgiving” celebration. It will be an opportunity to gather and appreciate those important to me that I may not acknowledge as often as I should.


A note from BSM President, Judy Williams

"While I may come from the UK, I have adopted and cherished the wonderful Thanksgiving holiday — and its traditions — over the last 11 years. Reading the team’s account of their own special household traditions prompted me to reflect on the impact of the devasting wildfires in California, which have left thousands of families homeless over this holiday period. Our BSM family felt compelled to take action last week and wanted to provide support to Paradise residents over the Thanksgiving period. Collectively, BSM raised over $12,000, which was used to deliver much-needed practical items to families affected by the fires. Here at BSM, our company tradition is to remain humble, charitable, and grateful that we are in a position to help others this holiday season."

Click here to contribute to the North Valley Community Foundation.


COMING SOON: In next week’s post, Anne Blamire and Christina Blamire-Harter will share about their first-hand experience handing out BSM's donations to fire victims.

YOUR TURN: What’s your favorite Thanksgiving tradition and why? Share your traditions in the comment section below.

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