Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of the year. In modern days, it represents the very best of us: grateful for what we have; humble in our bounty; connecting with family and friends; sharing without expecting a gift in return; and saying "thanks" to those who have been generous with us.

This year has been a tumultuous one for me and my family: All that "sickness and health," "richer or poorer" stuff, generally speaking.

But if I sit back from the day-to-day stressors, there is so much to be thankful for this holiday season:

  • We are relatively healthy. Yes, getting older and feeling general wear-and-tear, but it could be so much worse than aches and pains. A couple of weeks ago, I broke a crown on my tooth (while eating a bowl of cereal -- obviously I was doing it wrong). If that is the biggest health worry today, then I am happy.
  • Our Thanksgiving this week will be spent with family back in Indiana. We will all be thrilled to celebrate with one family member in particular, my father-in-law. Without going into too much detail, we thought last year would be his last holiday season. We are so thankful that we will all be together again this year.
  • I am truly thankful for serendipity. At a meeting earlier this summer, I met a local person who, later on, recalled that we were looking for a place in Detroit Lakes -- and he had a condo for rent! What were the odds that we would meet, have the conversation about housing, that he would have something available and would think to call?
  • This is my 23rd year as a professional in the newspaper industry. Though times are tough for print products, I am blessed to be able to make a career in the industry that I have loved for nearly all of my life. I am working for a great company, with a lot of talented, funny, passionate co-workers. I have so many friends in the business who aren't as fortunate as I have been. I don't take this for granted.
  • I am thankful for politics. Wait, wait, hear me out: The eyes of the nation will be looking at Minnesota's 7th Congressional District next November. What a privilege to cover such an important political race for our readers.

  • Wow, am I thankful to be in this area of Minnesota! When we were living in South Dakota, we always kept our eyes on the state to the right. What a beautiful area of the world we have picked for home.
  • Finally, I am thankful for all of you. If you are reading this right now, that means you are probably a subscriber, or live or work with a subscriber, or you picked up this traditionally large Thanksgiving newspaper.

I have heard from so many readers in different communities this year as I have left one company and group of papers and joined another.

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It's an honor that we are even a small part of your busy day, an honor that you spend any of your precious time or money to invite us into your life.

Happy Thanksgiving!