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For this we give thanks...

I hope Thanksgiving doesn’t fade into obscurity... a brief pit-stop for turkey and pie on the long march towards the December holidays. More and more, I feel like we are jumping the gun. We still had trick-or-treaters ringing the bell when I saw the first Christmas ads. Many retailers had their Christmas decorations out concurrently with their Halloween stuff – all trying to capitalize on a mass-hysteria of shopping for the Holidays. Compounding the frenzy is the Pinterest & Facebook-induced pressure to pull off a holiday season that would make Martha Stewart proud. From the stress of curating post-card (and Instagram) -perfect table settings, decorations, family pictures, it’s hard to agree that it’s “the most wonderful time of the year.” The irony is not lost on me that hours after giving thanks for all we are blessed; millions of Americans will battle it out at the malls for discounted stuff they don’t already have.

Thanksgiving is an opportunity to take a deliberate, contemplative pause. I am trying to spend more than a cursory minute taking stock what I am thankful for. In no particular order, here are some of the things for which I give thanks:

  1. Being born an American, and all the opportunities that presents

  2. Dogs, especially Finn, our Chief of Security.

  3. Food security

  4. All the men and women serving in the military, standing the watch, and keeping the darkness at bay

  5. First responders & healthcare workers. They are standing the watch too.

  6. Books

  7. Friends and family

  8. Finding the courage to start The Rivet Group, and having a wife who would support me taking such a risk

  9. People willing to give their time, talent, and treasure to making their community and world a better place

  10. My mentors

  11. Coffee

  12. Having no shortage of new things to learn

  13. My health and the health of my family

  14. Farmers

  15. The ability to make a living doing a job I love, that makes an impact in people’s lives

I’m sure I could list hundreds of things, but these are just a few. For my readers, I appreciate you and I hope you have a long list of things you are thankful for.

If you’d like to share your list, I’d love to read it! Leave it in the comments, email to me at or tweet to us @therivetgroup & @edvoelsing. Have a safe and warm Thanksgiving and thanks for reading!

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