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Thanksgiving Traditions: Country Stars Talk Turkey

Gregg DeGuire, FilmMagic

From turkey basting to deer hunting, saying prayers to yelling at the TV, we all have our Thanksgiving traditions, whether common or quirky. The Boot has the scoop on what some of your favorite country stars will be doing for the holiday, along with some of their countless blessings.

Lady Antebellum‘s Charles Kelley: “Thanksgiving is a really big holiday for my family. We always have about 60 of our closet family and friends up in the North Georgia mountains for a big Thanksgiving extravaganza. We have about everything under the sun to eat, and I usually have an eating contest with my brothers.”

Lady Antebellum’s Hillary Scott: “My favorite Thanksgiving food would have to be my grandmother’s sweet potato casserole. There’s just something she puts in it — probably all the love -– that makes it better than anything I’ve ever tasted.”

Lady Antebellum’s Dave Haywood: “All of us are definitely most thankful for our families. They have been a huge support of our career ever since we started, and Thanksgiving is a great time to be with them. We travel so much, and we always try to make sure we take off the Thanksgiving holiday so we can be home with them.”

Easton Corbin: “We eat deer meat at Thanksgiving. Is that odd? Not in the south, right? [laughs]“

Taylor Swift: “I have family that I spend every Thanksgiving with. They’re all on my mom’s side, and they’re all women and they’re really loud — they all have this genetic cackle. They stand in the kitchen and it’s the loudest sound. It breaks noise barriers, and it’s like out of a movie. My cousins have like 49 cats and dogs. It’s really fun to go there and have somewhere I know I’m gonna be every Thanksgiving.”

James Wesley: We eat sausage balls with Louisiana hot sauce. My wife made those one year, and they were so good. They’re so little, but you just pop them and before you know it you’ve eaten a whole loaf of bread. We sit around, eat, watch TV and tell stories on one another.”

Laura Bell Bundy: “My family doesn’t even sit down for dinner. We’re standing up and eating buffet style, snacking, drinking, yelling at the TV. It’s madness!”

Darius Rucker: “The main thing I’m thankful for is my family, there’s no doubt about that. Thanksgiving is about family for us. If we’re in Jersey, getting together with family. If we’re in Charleston, getting together with family and just cooking and eating. Sitting around and talking and remembering and being thankful for where we are.”

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Faith Hill: “I’m thankful for a lot of things; it’s almost like a domino effect. One makes the other better. My family, my children, make music better for me, make everything better. But it’s one thing to have a life and it’s another to live it, and that’s something I’ve learned, it’s not something I’ve always known. [laughs]“

Keith Urban: “[I'm] thankful that my marriage [to actress Nicole Kidman] is life-giving, not just life-changing. And from there, we created life [daughters Sunday Rose and Faith Margaret], and that’s just beautiful, absolutely beautiful. And the effect that all of that has had in my work has given life to it, too, given it a sense of purpose and really deepened the experience for me.”

Dierks Bentley: “Coming off the Miles & Music event this year, [I know] how many families are going through tough times with health of their children. That’s the No. 1 blessing when you have kids is that they’re healthy. Even when they have a mild cold, it’s like, ‘Aww, man. I feel so bad for them.’ I can’t imagine what those folks at Vanderbilt and St. Jude and all of those children’s hospitals across the country, what they’re going through on Thanksgiving. I’m sure they’re just happy to be together, and that’d be the same thing for me — just to be with my family and thankful for the blessings that I have. And the second thing we will pray for is the troops and their families, the ones that are away from their families at Thanksgiving, the ones that are out there fighting on Thanksgiving Day so we can be back here and have that quality time — that is something we’re so appreciative of.”

Alan Jackson: “My favorite Thanksgiving dish would be the homemade, cornbread-based kind of dressin’ that we always have with turkey. That recipe is a combination of my mama’s and [my wife] Denise has taken it and perfected it over the years, so that me and my children really enjoy it.”

James Otto: “Thanksgiving is certainly one of my favorite holidays. I love to eat, sadly, and all the best foods come out of Thanksgiving, like stuffing and all the things that are bad for you …Thanksgiving is all about the family gathering … It’s a pretty special occasion when everybody gets together.”

Justin Moore: “Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, because you don’t have to fool with presents! It’s just everybody gets together, drink beer and fry turkeys. I’m looking forward to Thanksgiving.”

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