November 23, 2016
Some of my most cherished memories take me back to the days when I was a young father, catching a glimpse of the wide eyes and smiling faces of my children and hearing them shout out their joy after receiving a new gift. It still grips me when my grandchildren are thrilled by something I have given them.
But the holiday I love the most – Thanksgiving – is a gathering that requires no gifts that can be manufactured or bought.
The Thanksgiving holiday is a reminder for all of us to invest in what’s truly meaningful and enduring – what cannot be manufactured. The gifts of Thanksgiving require time to develop. They must be nurtured, cherished and protected. And Thanksgiving provides a wonderful time to measure our blessings.
As a lifelong South Dakotan, I’ve witnessed many a harvest. And a critical aspect of the harvest since the beginning of time has been the measurement of the yield. Just as we weigh how much and count how many with every good grown from this earth, I believe it is imperative that we weigh, count and fully measure our blessings.
That is Thanksgiving to me. This year, I will be celebrating as I do every year with my amazing family, and I’m particularly thankful for my customers, my partners, my employees and a team that works hard. And I count my blessings each day for my relationship with the Lord.
I can’t say what Thanksgiving means to other people. I can only share what it means to me, and I hope my children and grandchildren see that reflected in my behavior.
The great food that is synonymous with the Thanksgiving holiday is often what brings together families spread far and wide. It’s often a plentiful feast, and what I love the most about the gathering is that we maintain its focus on the joys of family, friendship and faith.