As a family owned business, we believe that it is important for our hardworking, dedicated staff to be able to spend time with their families during the holiday season. For this reason, we shorten working hours during the winter, and keep our stores closed on Thanksgiving (and Christmas, too). This year, we asked some of the members of our great team to weigh in on what they’ll be looking forward to most on Thanksgiving! Check out a few of their responses below.
Spending Time With Family
“I come from a big family. My mother is one of 6 and my father is one of 4, and almost every one of those aunts and uncles of mine had several children…and now their children are having children. Almost all of us also live in the city of Buffalo or the surrounding areas. So needless to say, our holidays can get pretty crazy. Thanksgiving has always been a major holiday in my family and we have held the same traditions as long as I can remember. One of the things that we do every year is the YMCA Turkey Trot 8k race. Back when everyone was younger and in great shape, this was the center of our Thanksgiving Day. We still uphold the tradition today, but bad knees and backs have gotten the better of most of my family members.
So every year now, almost everyone in my family runs the turkey trot, and has since I was a child. My late uncle proposed to his wife in line for the start of the race, my entire immediate family of 6 runs the race like a competition amongst ourselves, and my grandfather at age 89 still comes to cheer us on and waits for us at the finish line in the convention center like he has every year. The Turkey trot is the perfect start to our Thanksgiving Day festivities and as long as we can we’ll continue to run the race and uphold the tradition. ”
-Ryan Meissner, Print Advertising Coordinator at Valu Home Centers Corporate Office
“After the hustle and feasting on Thanksgiving Day, my family sits down and watches A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving. That in itself is probably done by many, but while watching Charlie Brown we have the dinner that Charlie Brown made for his friends, toast and popcorn. It is just a small thing that we all look forward to every year. “
-David Collins, Store Manager in Cortland, NY
“With fall exiting and winter entering the Butterfield family looks forward to spending quality time together enjoying the holiday season. Our Thanksgiving Day usually starts out with my daughter Morgyn waking me up before the alarm goes off asking me to get up and cuddle and watch television with her. My wife Jessica gets up and starts dinner. Morgyn picks some movies that she wants to watch and then she wakes up her brother Nick. As dinner is cooking we all settle into the living room and start enjoying the movies. Morgyn plays musical laps going to each of us. After dinner we clean up the kitchen and play some cards. My daughter is pretty good at trash. This is only made possible because I do not have to work. From the Butterfield family to Valu we thank you for this time!! We would also like to wish our Valu family a very Happy Thanksgiving!!”
-Eric Butterfield, Store Manager in Owego, NY
“For as long as I can remember, every Thanksgiving we have hosted “Amateur Hour”, where all of the children in our family get up and perform a talent show for the others. Some play the piano, some dance, some sing, but all are very entertaining. After they perform, the family matriarch (usually one of the Grandmothers) decides if they have earned an award: a silver dollar. Over the more awkward years, these performances were so funny! Sometimes one of the kids was just starting with a new instrument, or got up and danced with two left feet, and we all got a kick out of it. I decided early on that I would just have a go-to song prepared so I didn’t have to stress about my performance, and so every year I started singing “I’m Henry VIII I Am” by Herman’s Hermits. Eventually, the other kids would cheer me on, chanting “Henry! Henry! Henry!” I think it was a pretty great strategy. Lately there has been a smaller crowd as our family becomes more spread out across the country, but it works out well since silver dollars are much harder to come by these days! I have friends searching for them all year long, and I occasionally get phone calls saying “you won’t believe this, but I just found ten of them!” This tradition means so much to my family, and I really look forward to it each year.”
-Anonymous Valu Home Centers Senior Leadership Team Member
“The Valu of New Traditions: Having worked for a big box retailer for 8 years, our family had developed some Thanksgiving day traditions like getting home at 2AM on Wednesday night after setting up for Black Friday. We put the turkey in the oven at 4 AM so we could eat dinner by 11 AM, because Dad has to get some sleep before he returns to the store to ready it for the 5 AM opening, or worse now, opening up on Thanksgiving night at 6 PM. Yes, the tradition of spending time without Dad has been firmly set for years. It’s the only one my 9 year-old daughter knows. My 14 year-old son just figures it’s a fact of life, part of growing up and having a job. My wife deals with it by doing all the things with the kids (maybe without watching the football game).
This year, we’re a member of a new family, the Valu Family, and we’re starting a new tradition: family time with the whole family. We’ll eat at a normal time, we’ll sit around and talk, and maybe even watch some football (or not…but at least now we have a choice). We’ll make out our Christmas lists. We’ll spend quality time together. We’ll call other family members and be able to speak with them as a complete family!
We are extremely grateful to be part of a company that places family values ahead of monetary ones. You just don’t see that these days. Yes, we’re starting some new tradtions this year – some that WE really Valu.”
-Jay Taclof, Assistant Manager in Syracuse, NY
Sharing Laughs With Friends
“Every year my family has an “open door” policy for Thanksgiving dinner. Everyone is welcome, so anyone who may not have family or is simply too far from them to get together, are all welcome. The thing I ask of them before they eat, is everyone must share something they are thankful for. I believe, no matter how bad things seem at times, there is always something to be grateful about, and saying it out loud simply reminds us about it. The other Thanksgiving tradition we do is more anonymous, but we do it as a family. We create a basket full of everything required to make a Thanksgiving feast, including treats and goodies. We give it to a local church that has the names of families that are in need for the holidays, and have them deliver it the night before to one of those families.”
-Heather Beard, Floor Manager in Olean, NY
“For several years I have hosted what I call the ‘orphans Thanksgiving.’ It’s for people who have nowhere else to go, or no family. Sometimes I have just a few, but this year I will have at least 11 people. I do a traditional dinner, and if someone asks what they can bring, I tell them anything they would like, besides a good appetite and containers for leftovers of course. We have a lot of laughs and a good meal.”
-Linda Padilla, Associate since 2009 in Olean, NY
“On behalf of Team 48 (Owego) every associate and manager are extremely thankful for Valu Home Centers closing their doors on Thanksgiving Day so we can spend time our Families, Eat wonderful food, and of course football. Not many companies do this anymore. Valu Home Centers understands the meaning of FAMILY. THANK YOU!!!!!”
-Store Team in Owego, NY
“Thanksgiving 2014 marks the 34th Thanksgiving Holiday I have enjoyed having off to be with family. Our tradition was to have dinner at my Mothers with the entire family. My Brothers and I would play football and watch football and eat and eat and eat. My Mother passed in 2003 and my kids have grown up and moved away so the last few years Sharon and I just stay home and have turkey dinner. I now have three grandchildren and hopefully we will be starting a new tradition where I get to watch them play some football.”
-Steve Carlson, Store Manager in Bradford, PA
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