Talk turkey to me: Real estate agents share their favorite Thanksgiving traditions

Agents dish on their most memorable, hilarious and downright ingenious Turkey Day rituals

Happy Thanksgiving week!

We decided to tap into our sphere and see how top agents across the country celebrate Turkey Day. Their answers may surprise you and inspire a new tradition of your own.

Ryan Serhant, Nest Seekers International, The Serhant Team, New York: “Each year on Thanksgiving, I go to my parents’ home on Dublin Lake in New Hampshire. We celebrate with food and football and my annual video game day!”

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Meagan Griesel, Windermere Real Estate, Fort Collins, Colorado: “We always put a tin foil bathing suit on the turkey so that it has tan lines.”

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Seth O’Byrne, Pacific Sotheby’s International Realty, O’Byrne Team Real Estate, San Diego, California: “Growing up in the Pacific Northwest, the ocean was cold and unforgiving, especially around the holidays. So, when I moved to San Diego in 1999 and took up surfing, I created my own Thanksgiving tradition.

“Partially to thumb my nose at my brothers in Washington state and partially because it was just pure fun; I decided to surf at sunrise every Thanksgiving morning. The water was cold, but I always insisted on paddling out without a wetsuit.

“Whether the waves were perfect and big or wind-swept and gloomy, I would spend my mornings catching waves and talking to other local surfers. It was my way of spending time with my new family, which had quickly become made up of other surfers.

“No turkey, no gravy and no wetsuits; but just as much hooting and hollering as you’d find at any Thanksgiving dinner table. Nineteen years later, I’m still surfing at sunrise on Thanksgiving, but now I’m doing it with a family of my own. Because now California is home and my roots are here, in the ocean.”

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Tammie Bennett, Kuper Sotheby’s International Realty, San Antonio, Texas: “My biggest Thanksgiving tradition is to take the day off and not answer my phone. I am surprised each year someone actually calls to see a property on Thanksgiving Day. I guess that is a great way for visiting buyers to get out of the house when family gets to be too much, but I like my family and eating, so that is one day I just have to let the phone ring!”

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Maria Vitale, LIV Sotheby’s International Realty, Denver, Colorado: “My family and I have a gratitude power hour, where right before we eat our turkey, we go around the room and everyone states three things we are grateful for, even the children participate.

“We then have a special ravioli, as we are Italian and want to incorporate pasta. We play games, usually charades.

“I always gather my clients a few weeks before Thanksgiving. Yesterday, we all got together and watched the movie Bad Moms Christmas. I reserved a private theatre and included 200 women.

“I also always try to give back to the community. We are gathering dinners for homeless families at a local high school. This year, I brought 20 of my favorite clients a jar with blank note cards and asked them to write something they are grateful for every day until New Years.”

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Dominic Labriola, Mercer Vine, Los Angeles, California: “One of my favorite newer traditions began last year, and we’re continuing it this year.

“Mercer Vine is a newer firm — Adam Rosenfeld, Kyle Giese and I founded the brokerage in 2015, but we didn’t move into our office until construction completed in 2016.

“Last year, we held our first annual ‘Friendsgiving’ celebration at our beautiful new office. We did it potluck-style providing the turkey and main courses while agents and staff were invited to bring their favorite side dish or dessert. Everyone was also invited to bring their significant others, family and friends.

“We designed our office to be a home away from home — especially since we spend so much time there; we wanted it to be really comfortable so that people would feel like they’re at home when they’re at MV.

“Last year, the mannequin challenge was in full force so we had a little fun and created our own. We’re really excited to continue our Friendsgiving celebration this year, and it’s going to be a beautiful event; not only have we grown in size as a company, but there are quite a few new ‘Kids of Mercer Vine’ who will add to the joy and the celebration.”

Katie Enterline, Broker Associate at Hōm Co in Denver, Colorado, and DeBianchi Real Estate, Miami, Florida: “Staying in our pajamas all day sipping coffee and smelling the turkey in the oven, while watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and my favorite — the Westminster Dog Show! Being able to relax with family all day and getting in the holiday spirit is the best.”

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Kim Bedwell, Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty, Dallas, Texas: “One of our family’s favorite Thanksgiving traditions is the annual football game. We come dressed to impress! Jerseys, eye black, crazy socks and bright colors. Winner takes the ‘cup’ for the year. This annual event takes place before our Thanksgiving meal. Our afternoons are reserved for the Cowboys game at 3 p.m.”

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Wanda Ford, LIV Sotheby’s International Realty, Castle Rock, Colorado: “Before we eat, we go around the table, and everyone tells their best ‘thankful’ story from the past year. The best is when the grandchildren get to share, and sometimes they are very detailed and very long. Now we have learned to tell our stories prior to the food coming to the table and right before grace, that way the food is still hot.”

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Jennifer Stolarski, Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty, Dallas, Texas: “Thanksgiving is the intersection of three of my favorite things: family, friends and food. Last year, we hosted Thanksgiving at our new home near downtown Dallas and the Trinity Trail Parks. As you can imagine, one of the key selling points was the view. Because it was unusually clear and mild that day, we hauled all the tables and food outside and enjoyed our special guest: The city of Dallas.”

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Patti Maurer Williams, LIV Sotheby’s International Realty, Denver, Colorado: “Thanksgiving is about being with people you love, good food and thankfulness! We started the tradition with my late husband and two children when we went to Hawaii every year for Thanksgiving. We always had Thanksgiving dinner at Sarento’s on the Beach, and each of us, prior to dinner, had to go around the table and say what we were thankful for.”

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Becky Frey, Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty, Dallas, Texas: “Thanksgiving is a special holiday for giving thanks for all our blessings! Homes filled with family, friends and yummy smells that often trigger good memories. Baking pies has always been fun for me, and this year we are dropping pies to our new homeowners wishing them a ‘Happy Thanksgiving!’”

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Irene Mochulsky, Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty, Southlake, Texas: “We are originally from Canada, and since U.S. Thanksgiving is on a different day, we really started out in the U.S. with no set Thanksgiving traditions.

“In the early years, the majority of our holiday time involved traveling to our sons’ hockey tournaments. Our good hockey friends became our extended family, and our traditions evolved from there.

“It has been over 15 years, and we still get together at someone’s home to enjoy a turkey feast. We all share in preparing a dish. My family favorite, which was passed down from my mother’s recipe, is red cabbage with green apples. My girlfriend’s mom bakes all the pies from scratch. We start off with the Turkey Trot in the morning, eat early afternoon, and then graze the rest of the day watching sports or reminiscing about all the good hockey times.”

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Shelle Carrig, Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty, Dallas, Texas: “My family Thanksgiving traditions include dressing up like pilgrims! It started as something that was fun for the younger kids to make hats out of construction paper, and now all of the adults do it too. We are sure to take a family photo in our costumes, and we usually have a few Indian headdresses too. It’s fun and silly.”

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What are your Thanksgiving traditions? Please share in the comments section below.

Amy Puchaty is the owner and principal writer at Amy Puchaty Communications in Boulder, Colorado. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter