Thanksgiving is right around the corner, reminding us all that this year is almost over. Thanksgiving is the perfect time to reflect back on the year, thinking about what we have accomplished and how we can improve. It is a time to contemplate what we are thankful for, as we spend time with friends, family and loved ones. Our team at Wellington Group Marketing and PR has decided to share our favorite Thanksgiving traditions and why it is such a special holiday to us.

Dawn – We love the holidays at our house! Thanksgiving is one of our favorites – good food, running the Turkey Trot together, time with friends and family, late afternoon naps with football playing in the background, and most importantly time to give thanks and reflect on all that we have. While I don’t get to do this every year, one of my favorite Thanksgiving traditions (I’ve been doing this since I was in high school) is to enjoy a Thanksgiving feast at several homes. It’s basically Thanksgiving dinner hopping and I love it. You really can’t beat a traditional Thanksgiving feast, and I like to be able to enjoy one as many times as possible in one day. I also love being sent home with leftovers!

Rachel – My favorite Thanksgiving tradition involves walking to the neighborhood park with my family after we are stuffed and full of wine. My cousins and I always fight over the swings and relive our glory days as kids sliding down the playground slide. It’s a great chance to catch up with family and reflect on all that we are thankful for!

Julia – For the past two years, I’ve participated in the ThunderCloud Turkey Trot and have loved it. It’s a great way to burn calories before the big meal and come together as a community. This year though, I’ve signed up to help the Austin homeless shelters with their Thanksgiving meal, which I hope will become my new tradition. I also love spending time with my family and watching the UT football game.

Nicole – Almost every Thanksgiving, my whole family is able to come together from across the U.S. to spend the holiday together. The tradition of my whole family meeting in my hometown of Chicago is my favorite part about Thanksgiving because it so rarely happens. With both of my brothers living in California, my aunt and uncle living in Texas, and other family spread out throughout Illinois, it’s one of the only times every year we can all spend together. We watch football games, cook and bake a variety of foods, share what we are thankful for, play games with the little ones, and overall just have a great time.

Michael – The Wellington’s have traditionally been big “decorators” at holiday time. The Halloween pumpkins that didn’t morph into jack-o-lanterns are repurposed into the Thanksgiving displays, joining the turkeys and hay bales that foretell the coming feast day, when big families and bigger appetites converge for a few hours of thanks, gluttony and football. Thanksgiving Day is spent at the Wellington home in Abilene—while the turkey is roasting, all the Christmas decorations make their way out from storage. As the ladies head out early for the Black Friday sales, I begin transforming the house and yard into a glowing winter wonderland. It’s a labor of love, whether the temperature is a sweat-producing 90 degrees or a finger-numbing 28 degrees with spitting snow. Each passing year makes this Thanksgiving weekend tradition a little harder to maintain, but for now, the tradition continues.

What are some of your favorite parts about Thanksgiving and what traditions does your family partake in? Let us know in the comments below!

Texas football season is underway (finally!), which means thousands of people will be shuffling into Darrel K. Royal stadium over the next few months to watch Charlie Strong and the Longhorns take on their 2014 opponents. But before you put on your burnt orange and sing ‘Texas Fight,’ check out Wellington Group Marketing and PR’s tips for an enjoyable game experience:

Wear Sunscreen.
Seriously, we can’t emphasize this enough. Though fall is upon us, it’s still incredibly hot – especially when attending an outdoor sporting event for nearly four hours underneath the Texas sun. To prevent those gnarly stadium sunburns, lather up before heading to the 40 acres. We’re not kidding about the “before” part of that sentence either, as liquids are prohibited upon entering DKR. So, do yourself a favor and embrace the SPF. You’ll thank us later.

Plan Ahead.
Anyone who’s familiar with Austin parking on game days (or Austin parking on anyday, for that matter) knows that it can be a bit of a zoo. To avoid the stress of struggling to find a space in the minutes before kickoff, it’s important to plan ahead. Research available spots (many garages around the UT campus are available during football games) and plan on leaving the house at least an hour and a half to two hours before kickoff to account for any unexpected traffic or filled-up lots. At the end of the day, it pays to be prepared.

Get Loud.
Last, but certainly not least, UT football games are a heck of a lot of fun. From awesome halftime shows to Bevo to Smokey the Cannon firing off every time the Horns score, it’s not hard to get caught up in the camaraderie of game day. And there’s no need to fight it! Don’t be afraid to cheer your brains out when you’re taking in a game – believe us, you won’t be the only one doing it. You know what they say – come early, be loud, stay late and, most importantly, wear burnt orange.

Hook ‘Em!