I’m most thankful for our human connection.

I’ve always barbequed our Thanksgiving turkey. Raining? No problem. That’s what umbrellas are for. My turkey is juicy and moist. I insist on making the turkey, so it’s not overcooked and dry like many people make it. However, a couple of years ago, my kids told me they didn’t like turkey. I was shocked. We’ve always had turkey at Thanksgiving with rave reviews. 

The next year, my kids brought buttermilk fried chicken. I didn’t like it, so now I barbecue my turkey, and they bring their chicken. They all love the stuffing and special cranberry sauce I make, so I guess that’s a win. (And Judy makes stock with the bones.)

But it doesn’t really matter what we eat. What matters is that we come together as a family. Because Thanksgiving isn’t about food. It’s about human connection.

‘Tis the Season to Be Thankful

Once again, it’s Thanksgiving Day here in the U.S., and I’m taking a break from work. I’m taking the time to appreciate my amazing family (even though they don’t like my turkey) and friends, my clients who have become friends, and my remarkable team at No More Cold Calling. Because what I’m most grateful for—this year and every year—is human connection.

Thanksgiving Day is our official kickoff to the holiday season, and never in modern history has the world needed a reason to celebrate like we all do right now. It’s time to stop and give thanks for all we have. 

For you history buffs … The first American Thanksgiving was actually a celebration of the harvest. (And yes, there were turkeys—wild ones for sure.) Although the American concept of Thanksgiving developed in the colonies of New England, its roots can be traced both to Native Americans, as well as back to the other side of the Atlantic. 

As an annual celebration of the harvest and its bounty, Thanksgiving falls under a category of festivals that span cultures, continents, and millennia. In ancient times, the Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans feasted and paid tribute to their gods after the fall harvest. Thanksgiving also bears a resemblance to the ancient Jewish harvest festival of Sukkot. And historians have noted that Native Americans had a rich tradition of commemorating the fall harvest with feasting and merrymaking long before Europeans set foot on America’s shores. 

Simply put, Thanksgiving is a time to celebrate what we have and who we love.

Put a Little Love in Your Heart This Holiday Season

If there ever was a time for real, authentic conversations, it’s now. Not just business conversations, but conversations with inquiry, empathy, and understanding. Conversations without pitching—just full-on caring about the other person. 

(Image attribution: Askar Abayev)

Let’s be honest: The last few years have been frustrating (and that might be putting it mildly). But if we let it, gratitude can be an antidote to some of that frustration we often feel. 

It’s time we all remembered the value of getting personal—at work and at home. We don’t regret the texts we didn’t send. We regret the time we don’t spend with the people we love. Sure, it’s tough, because we all go a mile a minute.  

I appreciate that I have a roof over my head, which many don’t. I appreciate that I can walk out of my house, breathe the fresh air, and be safe. And I appreciate all of you.

If you’re not in the U.S., I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving anyway. We can never say thanks enough. Thanks for your friendship, thanks for your business, thanks for your support, thanks for always being there, thanks for all you do. If you are in the U.S., stop checking email. We all need to get off the hamster wheel sometimes, and what better excuse to take a break than the holidays?

(Featured image attribution: cottonbro studio)

(This post was originally published on November 26, 2020 and updated November 23, 2023.)