How the AVP Athletes are Spending Thanksgiving

This is my favorite week of the year. The holidays lie ahead, close enough to smell the pumpkin spice and peppermint mochas. The anticipation fills me up like a stocking – not a paltry one with some melted chocolate bars, but the kind that falls off the mantel in the middle of the night, taking the stocking holder with it, crashing onto the ground and startling the whole house awake. That kind of full. 

But before we get to Christmas (which I am apt to do), it’s time to give thanks by making ourselves sick with delicious, soft foodstuffs. I have a theory that all Thanksgiving food is casserole-style mush because it’s already half-digested. But I digress… 

Everyone has their own Thanksgiving traditions. Some stick to the same beloved ritual for decades. Others play each year by ear. We normally stay in town, hosting a Friendsgiving around our big, scratched-up wooden table. I’m always looking for fun ideas to add to our repertoire. Plus, I wanted to pester some athletes once again with questions for my articles. Alas – Thanksgiving traditions of some of your favorite AVP players. 

Alix Klineman

My family takes Thanksgiving really seriously. My mom, sister, and I all love food and cooking so we’ve actually already planned our menu. We’ll start the food prep 3-4 days before actual Thanksgiving since we are cooking for around 15 people this year! 

Casey Patterson

Our family drives to Utah near Salt Lake City. Monday-Thursday the week of Thanksgiving, we have a huge family activity with all 10 of Lexi’s siblings and their families. Monday we have a big bonfire and s’mores. Tuesday we go to a trampoline place like Sky High. Wednesday we go classic skating and roller skating. Then on Thursday, we reserve a big church building with a gym. Everyone brings food and we play Knockout, volleyball, and foam frisbee dodgeball (my favorite game of them all). We finish with a movie that night a the theatre. My kids always cry the whole drive home and offer up their most prized possessions if we could just live by cousins. As if every day would be like Thanksgiving!

Tri Bourne

For the holidays we do Thanksgiving in California and Christmas in Hawaii. For Thanksgiving, we usually have a ton of family and friends come together and eat around the biggest table that we can make. There are usually a few fold-out tables on the ends under a nice tablecloth. At some point during the meal, everyone goes around saying what they’re grateful for. Meanwhile, the kids get distracted and can only sit in the chair for one minute at a time.

April Ross

For the last few years, I’ve gone to Montana with my sister and brother-in-law’s family to their cabin on a river across from a nature preserve. We drink plenty of coffee, take nature walks, and spend time next to the fire at night. Thanksgiving Day, we all pitch in to make a full-fledged Turkey dinner followed by some board games and hot chocolate. I look forward to this trip all year!

Chaim Schalk & Lane Carico

Over the holidays we always make a trip back to Red Deer, Canada to see family. One main tradition is to make sure to play at the ODR (Outdoor hockey rink) in the -20 weather.  Getting out there and playing hockey with the boys is one of my favorite things to do.

Emily Day

Perhaps one of my Thanksgiving traditions isn’t actually Thanksgiving. It’s the night after when we go back over to our family friend’s house for turkey chili. Lots of friends and family friends come by on Friday to have a bowl of the turkey chili that has been simmering all day.

Crissy Jones

I spend Thanksgiving having a big meal with family, normally eating in front of the TV and watching sports! 

Billy and Janelle Allen

We usually spend Thanksgiving with Billy’s family and extended family in Oceanside. Thanksgiving morning we always play a friendly/competitive game of softball. There are some big hitters in the Allen family! Luckily only a couple of injuries so far. Then we all meet up for an early dinner and board games. 

Taryn Kloth

I love going home for the holiday. My entire giant family gets together and makes delicious food. Before we eat anything, we all make a big circle and every single person has to say what they are thankful for and you can not repeat. After dinner, we play family game after game and laugh the night away! 

John Hyden

It seems my new tradition is to be in Clearwater coaching at the ECC every year now. I do, however, love to lay on the couch all day and watch football. 

Falyn F0noimoana

The Holidays are full of long hours of cooking with love. Every year my family and I do a Thanksgiving workout to earn our meal. If you’re not ending the night with your face hurting from all the laughs, you didn’t do it right. 

Andy Benesh

Every year for the last 15 years I’ve been going up to my best friend, Benison Waung’s, house for Thanksgiving. My mom and I are usually the only “non-Waung’s” in attendance, but they always make us feel a part of their family. After a traditional Thanksgiving meal with turkey, stuffing, and mashed potatoes, Benison and I will sneak off to Best Buy and get whatever new video game is on sale for Black Friday.

Emily Stockman

I typically go to Arizona where I spend time with my dad’s side of the family. We eat your typical Thanksgiving dinner (turkey, ham, sweet potatoes, a cranberry dish, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes and gravy, salad, and rolls) and drink wine. Then my favorite part is when my aunt makes pumpkin pie shakes and my cousin plays the piano. 

Chase Budinger

 I don’t really have any traditions. It’s been three years since I haven’t been playing basketball or traveling over the holidays, so it’s been nice seeing and hanging with the family. 

Kristen Nuss

Thanksgiving in the Nuss household has family, food, football and definitely some sort of competition. This year will feature a horseshoe tournament. We always gather with my aunts, uncles, and cousins where we share many memories and laughs. My favorite food at our Thanksgiving is my aunt and uncle’s ham… you just can’t beat it.

Eric Beranek

Traditionally my Argentine family has very big gatherings for the holidays. We love our empanadas, meat, bread, and wine almost as much as our own family. It’s always a good time.