Three years ago, Elizabeth and Chris Machovina had the idea to put together a fun touch football game with their neighbors on the morning of the Thanksgiving Day.
The first year, about 15 people participated. It grew to about 25 the next year. Then the Machovinas moved to a different part of Oakton and made a whole new set of friends, making the invitation list even longer: about 40 people participated in Thursday's game at Nottoway Park.
Now it's a full-blown tradition they don't plan on abandoning anytime soon.
"The idea was basically to give the kids something active to do on Thanksgiving," Elizabeth Machovina said. "It just keeps getting bigger, but the more the merrier. It's just multiplied over the years and who knows what it'll turn into in a few years."
Machovina said it hasn't taken any arm-twisting to get families to participate despite the inevitable hectic schedule to prepare dinner.
"It's so much fun, so we all want to participate and do what we have to do to get it all done. That being said, a lot of the women will wake up early to get a lot prepared, head to the football game, then leave early," Machovina said.