For area residents, Thanksgiving plans vary

It’s turkey time in New Mexico.

Or pork time, or lasagna time, or something else, depending on who you ask.

We asked two simple questions — what is for dinner and what else are you planning — and asked follow-ups when necessary. We got some simple and not so simple answers.

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Clovis Mayor Gayla Brumfield said a dozen family members will be in Clovis for the holiday.

“We are all going over to my daughter’s. They bought a new home this year, and we are going to have a big family Thanksgiving. We do the traditional dinner: turkey, dressing, all of that. We will play games after lunch and relax.

The men, naturally, will be watching the football games, but they’ll also want to check out the daughter’s home theater room as well between games of Scrabble and Scattergories.

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There’s no turkey for Portales Mayor Sharon King.

“My mother and I are in Las Cruces,” King said. “We’re going to spend it with my niece and her husband and two daughters.”

The family normally does the traditional turkey dinner, but this time there will be a pork roast. As far as what that includes, King said, “My niece said, ‘We’re having a pork roast,’ and that’s all she told me. I’m not a picky eater, so I was all for it.”

The plans afterwards include decorating the Christmas tree and seeing a movie — most likely something for the kids.

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Eastern New Mexico University President Steven Gamble was on the road with family on I-25 Wednesday.

“My parents and I are going up to my brother’s house in Denver,” Gamble said. “Tomorrow we’ll eat an inordinately large amount of turkey, and pecan pie. Mom baked three pecan pies.”

The post-meal activities will be pretty laid-back.

“We’ll either play dominos or watch a football game,” Gamble said. “One or the other.”

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Ernie Kos, executive director of the Clovis/Curry County Chamber of Commerce, said her three kids are going to be at her home for the traditional meal and a Kos favorite.

“We’ve got to have fried won tons,” Kos said.

The rest of the day, she said, “We’re going to strategize on where to go first on Black Friday to go shopping. Last year, we were out at 4.”

There’s really no particular item they look for, Kos said. It’s just a matter of finding the best bargains that correspond with a friend or relative.

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For Eastern New Mexico University history professor Don Elder, the traditional is the nontraditional.

“Because this will probably be the last Thanksgiving my son Brian will be here since he’s going to grad school — he’s moving as far away from Portales as he possibly can while still being in the United States — we’re doing a traditional Thanksgiving for once,” Elder said.

Elder said the family has been known to have lasagna or lobster, or anything that wasn’t turkey and stuffing.

“When we lived in San Diego, we went to a French restaurant, which is kind of ironic because they lost North America,(in the war)” Elder said. “We could be having that every Thanksgiving had they won the French and Indian War.”

Whenever the meal was done, Don and sons Brian and Cam would practice some sport, depending on which son was playing what sport in school, to give the kid practice time and burn off the meal.

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Erinn Burch, director of United Way of Eastern New Mexico, said the holiday plans are primarily in the control of her in-laws.

“I think we’re having steamed vegetables and turkey and Jell-O,” Burch said.

The family is going to Albuquerque the next day, where her parents live. Her sister is also coming in from Colorado.

The main tradition Burch could think of was a “Pep Sausage,” made only around the holiday in Pep, Texas.

“It’s wonderful,” Burch said.

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Clovis Police Chief Steve Sanders isn’t going anywhere, for once.

“We’re going to stay at the house, have a turkey dinner,” said Sanders, who was sworn in as police chief Oct. 2008. “This is our first year staying here in Clovis. We’ve always made trips to Denver, as that’s where we came from.”

A few Colorado relatives are returning the favor, and making the trip down to New Mexico.

No matter where they go, the plan is always to watch every football game possible. Since the Broncos aren’t in action, Sanders is devoting his rooting to the Detroit Lions, who host the 10-0 Green Bay Packers.