As Thanksgiving approaches, First Lady of Georgia, Marty Kemp, graciously shares insights into the elements that make this holiday season meaningful for her and her family. It is the traditions from her childhood and her life with Governor Brian Kemp that make Thanksgiving meaningful.
Traditions Rooted in Love
For the Kemps, Thanksgiving is a time to gather in the kitchen, just as Marty did with her own mother. “We all crowd in the kitchen making pies – pumpkin, chocolate, cherry – with homemade crusts. Just like my Mama did. They don’t always turn out perfectly, but they are always loved,” the First Lady said with a chuckle. The aroma that fills the house is one of her favorite parts.
Family means everything to the Kemps. Their three daughters, Jarrett (24), Lucy (23), and Porter (21) have grown up differently from most girls with their father in politics, but Kemp says it is the ingredient that has pulled them all together. In the highs and lows of political life, they’ve learned to laugh and cry together, forming an unbreakable bond.
“Many people say when Brian Kemp became Governor of Georgia, the whole family was elected. And that isn’t far from the truth,” Kemp explained. “I think of it as the glue that holds us together.”
Thanksgiving at Home in Athens
The Kemps will celebrate Thanksgiving in their house in Athens, Georgia, encircled by the love and warmth of familiar surroundings. Marty shares the anticipation of Christmas trees arriving at the mansion a few days before Thanksgiving. Once the trees are in place and decorated, the family will head home.
“Everybody loves to be home. Wednesday night we make a breakfast casserole. We’ve been doing it forever to have it on Thursday morning. And then, my Mom taught me to make a traditional country ham. it is truly a labor of love,” Kemp laughed about the process of soaking the ham for 8 hours and garnishing it with all the flavors just like her Mom did.
Marty explained that one of her favorite parts of Thursday morning’s sausage, egg, and cheese casserole is the Kemp family serves the Georgia state troopers and police officers working in the Athens area breakfast. It is their way of showing appreciation for those who protect and serve Georgia. They come in the morning to enjoy coffee, ham biscuits, and the traditional casserole.
Passion for Georgia
Marty Kemp’s love for Georgia is palpable. She speaks proudly of traveling around the state with Governor Brian Kemp, expressing gratitude for living in what she considers the greatest state in the country.
“Undeniably, we live in the greatest state in the country. Georgia is thriving. There is so much opportunity here,” Kemp continued. “I love learning about people and what is happening all over Georgia.”
Her passion for the people of Georgia is more than evident. “I want to see more young people involved in politics. We could use their input and help.”
Bees and Gratitude
When asked what she enjoys, Marty talked about the Bee Hives at the Governor’s Mansion. “We have 7 hives right now. And I just love watching them. We can learn so much from bees. Every bee has a job and it does its job with all that it has to offer.” The Kemps make candles from the beeswax as well as gather honey which can be purchased at the mansion.
In the Kemp household, Thanksgiving is not merely a day but a tapestry woven with threads of love, tradition, and a shared commitment to making a difference in the lives of Georgians. Marty is grateful for her family and time together; for living in this beautiful state; and for the opportunity to help grow Georgia and make peoples’ lives better.