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    Recently, I asked the Louisville.com writers to answer the following questions for a Thankfulness feature for this Thanksgiving week. Read about it, and think about it for yourself. Happy Thanksgiving, Louisville!

    1.       What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving?

    2.       What's your favorite food/side dish for Thanksgiving/or if you go out as a family, at which local spot do you splurge?

    3.       What do you love most about Louisville this time of year?

    4.       What is your favorite holiday event to do in and around Louisville/or what is your/your family's favorite tradition to do around Kentuckiana?

    5.       Where is one local place you recommend for shopping for holiday gifts in Louisville?

    Elizabeth Myers (25), Editor-in-Chief at Louisville.com

    Instagram: @louisvillenoms

    Twitter: @louisvillenoms

    Blog: epicuriouslouisville.tumblr.com

    1. This Thanksgiving I'm most thankful for my husband. He's actually the nicest human being on the planet. If he were in charge, there would be world peace. I consider myself very fortunate to have tricked him into marrying me. 

    2. I'm obsessed with seven-layer salad, it's the super-Southern "salad" that involves mayonnaise, bacon bits and shredded cheese BUT ALSO LETTUCE SO IT COUNTS AS A SALAD. 

    3.  I like that the bars are filled with college kids back for Thanksgiving break and incredibly happy to be back in town. I love the peace on earth and goodwill to men that radiates from the rampant over-indulgence in bourbon. I love the exhilaration of actually finding a bottle of Pappy and snatching it up for yourself. It truly is the most wonderful time of the year, except for Derby. 

    4.  If we're talking Thanksgiving; my family travels a few hours into the hills of Kentucky to visit my granny's cabin in the woods, where we have Thanksgiving dinner and hike for a couple days sans cell service or the internet. It's an awesome time to connect without distractions. 

    5. I can't say enough nice things about Butchertown Market. They have something for everyone, it's usually pretty affordable, and you can stuff yourself with chocolate while you shop. Win, win, win. 

    Meghan Blackburn

    Twitter: @megmblackburn

    1. I'm thankful to have moved back to Kentucky and to be close to my family this holiday season without having to travel so far to get here.

    2. Dressing. My grandmother's recipe - I can't get enough of it!

    3. I like the holiday feel downtown, decorations and such, since I work downtown, it feels cheery every day.

    4. Bardstown Road Aglow

    5. Revelry Boutique Gallery

    Taylor Ichinose (21)

    I write a little bit all over the board but I do a bit more with Louisville Beer.

    Twitter: @taybaybay_27

    1. I am thankful for a lot this year: I am thankful for my family, my sorority sisters and friends, and above all, I am thankful that I am graduating this spring and will not be pulling any more all nighters for papers and finals!

    2. My favorite food on Thanksgiving is hands down my mom's stuffing. I could like off of that for weeks...which I do when she makes a lot.

    3. I love Louisville during this time because of how scenic and beautiful it looks. When the leaves change colors and are falling (or even if it just takes a drastic turn and decides to start snowing), all of the city looks so pretty and makes me want to walk around and explore.

    4. I actually am not from around Louisville and I don't get to stay around the city during the holidays. As much as I love this city, I have very limited experience with holiday events here :( While this doesn't count toward Thanksgiving, I loveeee the Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular in the fall, though!

    5. While I don't go to events for the holidays, I definitely shop for the holidays around Louisville. I recommend Why Louisville for your Kentucky lovin' family and friends. I always seem to find unique little gifts every time I go in there. I also recommend Block Part Homemade Boutique on 4th street. It's one of my favorite places to go and it constantly has new stuff to look at.

    Aimee Jewell (24)

    The Leading Ladies of Louisville Blog Series Writer

    Twitter: @WorkAndWhatnot, @AimeeJewell13

    Blog: http://workandwhatnot.wordpress.com

    1. As cliche as it sounds, there really is so much to be thankful for this year. As always, I'm thankful for my wonderful family and friends, my uber-supportive boyfriend, my health, education, the roof over my head, etc., but I'm also so thankful for the countless opportunities I've received since last Thanksgiving. I consider myself so blessed to be as involved in the city as I am and to have met so many amazing Louisvillians over the past year. Here's to another year filled with wonderful people, great possibilities, and unforgettable memories! 

    2.  My favorite Thanksgiving dish has been and always will be my Grandma Baird's pretzel salad. Although she passed away three years ago, someone in the family always brings it to our family celebration, and if I don't get any, it's like it's not a Jewell holiday. Then again, with so much yummy food on both sides of the family, it's hard to pick just one dish! My other grandmother's stuffing is ridiculously yummy. As far as actual food goes, no one can top my Grandma Dowd's stuffing. 

    3. The lights, everyone's kind demeanor, and the snow. Although I'm not a fan of the cold temperatures, Kentucky's rolling hills covered in snow is one of my favorite wintery scenes. 

    4. I absolutely love going to see Lights Under Louisville at the Mega Cavern with my entire family. My Dad has made it a habit of planning fun activities for the entire family to do throughout the year, and we've been going to see Lights Under Louisville for about three years now. We always eat at Frisch's Big Boy, pile into my Mom and Dad's van, and bring lots of snacks to enjoy along the ride. There's never enough room for all of us and lots of chaos ensues throughout the ride, but it's always an interesting adventure that I look forward to each year. 

    5. I'm a huge fan of anything local, so I can't pick just one! My favorite spots for fun, trendy gifts are Work the Metal, the Prickly Pear, Cellar Door Chocolates, and Revelry. All are great spots with lots of unique goodies :)

    Alexis Messmer (22)

    Writer, Assistant Manager at Finishline, and Senior at UofL.

    Twitter: @lexitwotimess

    Instagram: @leximessmer

    1. I am thankful for my family, friends, and the opportunities I've been given this year.

    2.  I love baked mac n cheese!

    3. Light Up Louisville is my absolute favorite and I love all of the lights and decorations downtown.

    4.  My favorite holiday event is definitely Light Up Louisville and 40 Nights of Lights.

    5.  I love going to Please & Thank You and getting cookie/brownie mix and coffee mugs/tervis glasses for the women in my family!

    Megan McDougal (30)

    Food and Dining Writer

    Twitter: @mrsmcdougal

    Blog: www.meganmcdougal.wordpress.com

    1.  God's grace and renewal.

    2.  I always look forward to my mom's oyster stuffing and buttermilk mashed potatoes.

    3.  I love the incredible events, shows, and sights all over Louisville, but along with all the holiday extravaganza that we get to experience in this big city I mostly love the tradition and small town feel that we get here.

    4. Honestly, our favorite thing to do every year is to one evening drive all over Louisville and check out all the places and homes lit up and decorated for Christmas. Our last stop is a house in a neighborhood near ours that is decorated "to the nines". There, Santa is waiting in the yard with a bag full of treats waiting to hear what all the kids who visit want for Christmas. We take a few photos and take in all the details of Santa's yard. It's a simple tradition we started doing together. It's always so fun, and FREE! 

    5. I absolutely love Work the Metal on Story Avenue at Butchertown Market. https://workthemetal.com/

    Allison Myers (37)

    Food Blogger

    Twitter & Instagram @allisonrmyers

    1. I’m thankful for my support network. I have an amazing group of family and friends that love and support me. I’m grateful for my parents, who taught me with hard work you could do just about anything. I’m grateful for my friends, who share in my craziness like training for my first marathon. By the way, there’s still time to sign up and train for the Kentucky Derby Festival Marathon & miniMarathon. Run with me. Finally, I’m grateful for my husband, who continues to support me in all my endeavors.

    2. Thanksgiving is one day I do not go out to eat. My mother and aunt are amazing cooks. My favorite splurge for Thanksgiving is allowing myself to eat an enormous amount of mashed potatoes. I’ve had an unexplainable affection for the whipped spuds since I was a child. And forget the pumpkin pie, banana pudding is my jam when it comes to desserts on Turkey Day.

    3.  The food! As a foodie, I love all the yummy goodness the local Louisville restaurants serve up during the holidays. Since it’s colder, I can hide those few extra pounds under sweaters and jackets.

    4. Ice Skating is one of my secret passions. I love to ice skate and I get excited anytime Louisville sets up an outside rink. Whether if it’s at Fourth Street Live or down at the Belvidere, I’ll be there turning circles (cue the music from the movie The Cutting Edge) with my family and friends.

    5.  The Prickly Pear is a hidden gem of a boutique in heart of Middletown. They have a great selection of gift items that you can personalize, jewelry, fashion accessories, home décor and more.

    Selena Frye

    Music Writer

    Twitter : @ensable

    1. I'm always most thankful for my husband, family, and friends. That's really all you need.

    2.  I just like making the turkey sandwich after dinner with lettuce and lots of mayo. My Mom's homemade yeast rolls are the best.

    3. There are always lots of arts events and cozy bars and places to eat out with friends.

    4. We always have to travel at holiday time, but I like coming back to Louisville on Black Friday, when everyone else is out shopping. 

    5. I can pretty much do all my shopping on Frankfort Avenue near my house -- lots of great stores, including Carmichael's, Wine Rack, Just Creations, Guestroom Records, and more -- all local. 

    Brent Owen

    http://brentowen.webs.com
    http://www.twitter.com/TheBrentOwen

    1.  I am thankful to have a healthy family that makes me laugh.  I am also incredibly thankful for friends that are so different and challenging and complex, that they never fail to make me smile bigger, think harder, and drink more.

    2.  My mother makes this cranberry jello mold with citrus fruits, cranberries, and other stuff in it; that's probably my favorite.

    3.  Are you kidding?  The leaves changing on the trees makes every drive to the grocery look like a Cezanne painting.

    4.  I think my favorite tradition as an adult, is the fact that my friends and I have, over the years, developed a tradition for pretty much all holidays; we go do all of our due diligence to our families, but once that's over we all meet up at the nearest open bar and celebrate with each other.     

    5.   If you have a woman in your life (which there undoubtedly is:  mother, sister, grandmother, aunt, friend, girlfriend, wife, etc.) - Moss Hill always makes pretty good gifts, with girly scented soaps, lotions, and stuff.  In addition, you get those "he's a modern/enlightened man" points without having to go into Victoria's Secret, Yankee Candle, or Bath & Body Works.

    Krista Walker (23)

     "What to Do Around Louisville" Writer

    1. I'm most thankful for my friends and family and the opportunities they have both given me. 

    2. My favorite Thanksgiving side is carbs- mashed potatoes, mac n cheese, rolls, all the good unhealthy stuff. 

    3. I love driving around and looking at Christmas lights

    4. Every year during Thanksgiving week, we go to the mega tavern and look at the Christmas decorations. My little cousins love it. 

    5. I have always loved shopping at Dandelion in the Vogue Theater. They always have the cutest gifts and I can find something for everyone. 

    Kachina Shaw

    Food and Dining and Family Writer

    1.  I am thankful that my husband will be home for Thanksgiving this year. He is a pilot and usually is working on Thanksgiving, getting everyone else home to their families. This year, I get to have him here and we will have a big family dinner at our home.

    2. My favorite side dish is stuffing, though if you look at the proportions on my plate, you'll see that it's actually pretty much the entree.

    3. The trees changing color, the smell in the air, cool sweater/boots weather, and lots of food-oriented get-togethers.

    4. We love to drive around after dark to see all the holiday lights, then go out for dessert at Sweet Surrender.

    5.   I love Work the Metal for gifts for everyone, and a little something for myself. If you're ever looking for fleur de lis motifs, this is the place to go.

    Julie Lamb (25)

    I write about all things foodie (particularly of the sweet tooth variety), culture, and the arts.

    Twitter: @JulieMLamb

    1. Thanksgiving has always been such a favorite. I have a very tight-knit family. We don't do anything particularly extravagant for Thanksgiving, but I treasure the time we spend together! And of course, all the delicious feasting that ensues.

    2.  Can you really beat Thanksgiving stuffing (drizzled with gravy) or hot apple pie? Also, my mom one year made pumpkin pie with nutella and chocolate chips, and it was unforgettably great. This year, I really want to get an entire delicious Dutch Caramel Apple Pie from Homemade Ice Cream & Pie Kitchen for everyone to enjoy.

    3.  Louisville is already filled with such Southern charm and hospitality. You feel that all the more around this time of year. Everyone seems appreciative and ready to devour some holiday turkey!

    4. Light Up Louisville always brings back lovely nostalgia of singing with my high school show choir (Louisville Male High School pride!), with my parents beaming in the background. Louisville lit up could warm even the Grinch's heart.

    5. For me, chocolate is one of the most joyful and decadent gifts. Cellar Door Chocolates and Ghyslain all the way! Their treats are not only the best indulgences, but also exquisitely beautiful.

    Erin Nevitt

    Books, Family and Parenting Writer

    Twitter: @LouStoryGal

    Blog: storytimeparty.blogspot.com

    1. I’m thankful for so many things, cliché perhaps, but mostly my lil’ family of four. I’m thankful for my two spirited strong-willed children who teach me new things about myself every day. I’m thankful for my husband-spending every day with the one who is your best friend is priceless.

    2. I am a sucker for homemade pumpkin pie-it’s made from pumpkin-it’s totally a side dish.

    3. I love Louisville all year, but especially this time of year (mostly autumn), I love the colors of the season and the leaves falling and turning into crunchy fun. I still stomp in them every chance I get.

    4. My favorite holiday event in Louisville is going to the neighborhood Light Ups, especially in my little hood: Jeffersontown. We have many traditions in our family, but two that come to mind are putting up the Christmas village under my parent’s tree and loading up in the car with homemade cocoa and taking a drive out to Toyland Christmas to see the lights at this wonderful house in south Louisville. You should see this recent Winter Hit List for some ideas!

    5. One local shop I recommend for holiday shopping is The Parent Teacher Store and Toys Too! Because I have so many little people to shop for around Christmas, this is my go-to for unique and educational gifts.

    Michelle Eigenheer , Writer

    1. I'm thankful it's okay for me to drink Bloody Mary’s on a work day.

    2. Homemade mashed potatoes.

    3. I really love how great everyone is at driving in snow.

    4. 40 Nights of Lights.

    5.  Anywhere in NuLu! See this list of local shops.

    Tim Girton

    Sports Writer

    1. Most thankful for: family and abundance

    2. Side dish: cranberry sauce and favoritelLocal splurge spot: Bluegrass Burgers

    3.  Love most: beautiful photo opportunities

    4.  Holiday event: Bardstown Road Aglow; My favorite tradition: Opening a single present on Christmas Eve.

    5.   I also recommend holiday shopping at Why Louisville.

    Lauren O'Neil

    Louisville Society Writer

    1.  I'm thankful for my family, as cliche as that sounds.  We are small in size and have had a few deaths recently.  I treasure those that are still here and the opportunity to see our family grow.

    2.  My mother’s macaroni and cheese is pretty highly coveted.  The division of this leftover taste bud treasure has sparked more than one argument between my brother and I.  I've considered tampering with his car to keep him from leaving with any of it.

    3.  Two words: bourbon eggnog.... by the case

    4.   We don't have any traditions in general.  Although if there aren't any golfers we like to set up targets in the back yard and shoot at them.... does that count?

    5.  I generally try to do all my shopping online around this time of year.  There is nothing more aggravating than sitting in traffic and dealing with large crowds.  But if I do go out I prefer to go to the smaller more locally owned shops on Bardstown Rd. or in NuLu.  Alchemy on Market St. is my favorite right now.  Two seconds inside the doors of this magical shop and you feel like you are in another world.

    Jessie Oswald

    Horse Racing Writer

    Twitter: @Jboswald68

    1.  I'm thankful for family, good health, and an exciting year of horse racing.

    2.  My favorite Thanksgiving dish is a cold slice of pumpkin pie covered in whipped cream.

    3.  Louisville offers some great scenic drives to take in the changing color of the leaves. Just driving up I-64 is beautiful. After the leaves have gone and holiday decorating has begun, Louisville offers plenty of places to take in a view of the holiday decorations--4th Street, Brown Park, Lights Under Louisville.

    4.  My family will be seeing the Louisville Ballet's Nutcracker and visiting Lights Under Louisville this season.

    5.  James' Jewel Box is a locally-owned family business located off Bardstown Road in Mount Washington (about 5 miles past the Gene Snyder). They offer an array of jewelry, collectibles and unique gifts at reasonable prices.

    Jenna Foster (26)

    Music Writer

    Twitter: @louisvillejenna

    1.  I'm thankful for so many things! Obviously, the big three are family, friends, and faith. If I were to throw in an unusual one for this year, it would have to be my trip to England over the summer. I never thought I'd actually go, but I can finally say I've been to London!

    2.   Mashed potatoes are my all-time favorite food, but my family has recently started a Cracker Barrel tradition. My favorite foods there are chicken and dumplings and hashbrown casserole.

    3.  Shopping! We have some great malls. With 3 nephews and 1 niece all under the age of 10, the Disney Store is a must.

    4.  Though we don't do it anymore, getting a real Christmas tree was always so much fun! We live in Indiana, so we usually went to Hein tree farm.

    5.  If you're shopping for me, The Nitty Gritty. I love vintage clothes!

    Maggie Kimberl, Bourbon/Food & Dining Writer

    Twitter: @LouGirl502

    ​1. This Thanksgiving, I'm thankful for all the new friends I've made in the bourbon world.  Everyone has been so friendly and welcoming that I feel like I've been a part of this community forever!

    2. My favorite side dish is Spanikopita.  It's totally not a traditional Thanksgiving dish, but my uncle made it one year and I've loved it ever since!

    3. The thing I love most about Louisville this time of year is the focus on local Holiday shopping.  We have a lot of unique specialty businesses, and you can find gifts here that you just can't get anywhere else.

    4. Our favorite Holiday tradition is glassblowing.  We've visited most of the hot shops around town and made ornaments, snowmen, and Christmas trees.  You'd think it would be dangerous for the kids but it's really not.

    5. For a unique Holiday shopping experience in Louisville, I highly recommend the Flea Off Market Holiday Bazaar, happening 12-6 and 12/7.

    Cover photo shutterstock.com/Iveta Angelova; Others provided by writers

    Erin Nevitt's picture

    About Erin Nevitt

    Longtime Louisvillian, I am a children's librarian at heart and have a passion for children's lit. I am most recently a stay-at-home mom who is always on the move, searching for family fun in Louisville. If it's free, it's preferable!

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