Thanksgiving – Plenty to be Grateful for!

Thanksgiving MealWhat ever challenges we may have faced this year, we are fortunate to have one day every year to focus on thankfulness for what we do have – which for most of us is still plenty.

It’s easy to get caught up in the negativity of the down economy, and other concerns, but browse through the International News section of the paper or check out Local Charities (Contra Cost Food Bank, Bay Area Crisis Nursery) websites and you’ll be reminded how blessed we are.

So, let’s put all that aside and think about what makes this such a quintessentially American Holiday; what we are blessed by and traditions!

Here are my Top 10 blessings of 2009, ala David Letterman.

10.  My business was considerably stronger this year – especially compared to 2007. 2008 was much better and 2009 was on the rise. We are going to rock in 2010!!

9. My clients and their transactions were fantastic this year, I loved them all.

8. I learned how to write a quick and wicked “Cancellation of Contract”. I did many more of those this year (short sales) than I’d done in my entire career!

7. There were no major earthquakes, hurricanes or floods. Ok, the Bay Bridge thing challenged us all – but it could have been much worse.

6. I sent two children off to college. Both taking entry level general education. One at a community college, one at a four year, out of state university. They are both in school and doing well – now that’s a blessing!

5. I didn’t have to put my house on the market. Instead, I was able to negotiate a kick @$$ loan modification with Wachovia – Woo Hoo!!

4. The average sales price in my office dropped from $1.4MM to $443,000 in the past three years – but I managed to keep my average sales price well over $1MM by focusing on what I do and know best. Thank you!!

3. I was able to keep my office (if I lost it I’d have to say “I’m in the Danville ‘Cubicle’ of J. Rockcliff Realtors”) – and in fact I got an office with a window! Looking onto the senior parking lot at San Ramon High, where I get to wave at my son everyday at 3:10 as he leaves school. All good!!

2. I finally launched by e-newsletter (thank you Steve, my tech guy) and that has given me a much closer connection to all of you!! I love hearing from you every two weeks. Thank you! And I believe this is why my business has stabilized and continues to grow (see #10).

~and my number 1 blessing for the year~

1. Number one blessing of the year is—of course, all of you!
My children, family, friends, clients, colleagues and acquaintances. I pinch myself often as to how blessed I am with the people who have chosen to spend some of their life with me. Thank you!!

And just for fun, I found this Thanksgiving ‘prayer':

Happy Thanksgiving“May your stuffing be tasty
May your turkey plump,
May your potatoes and gravy
Have nary a lump.
May your yams be delicious
And your pies take the prize,
And may your Thanksgiving dinner
Stay off your thighs!” – Anonymous

Thanksgiving is steeped in tradition, from gathering for a turkey dinner at Mom’s house to football games on TV. Here are a few of my family traditions.

Because we lost our parents when we were young, my sisters and I don’t have that connective tissue (parents) that most families have. It seems every year we don’t make plans until about the week before so no one knows where they are going until mid November! So last week I found out I have 15 coming for dinner on Thursday!! Thirteen of whom are staying at my house (maybe it’s good I kept that monster house)!

I was NOT there!Our recipes are as old as Grandma Flo – but this year we’ve decided to bag the candied yams. They have yanked one too many fillings at the Thanksgiving table. I still set the Thanksgiving centerpiece with the bowling pin pilgrims my kids made in Third Grade at Alamo School.

And though I’ve been tempted, we have avoided taking advantage of the flocks of wild turkeys that have decided to make our neighborhood their home. Would that be legal? I think not – something about a shot gun in the neighborhood just feels wrong. Finally – we take advantage of the many hands gathered and whip together a few fleece blankets for babies and children at the Bay Area Crisis Nursery.

If you don’t have any traditions of your own, here are some traditions you can start this year. In my family, if we do it two years in a row, it’s a tradition – so know it’s never too late to start a tradition!

  • Cook a family favorite for the feast – even if it’s something very
  • Make a gratitude list to display and save.
  • Call faraway relatives who won’t recognize your voice.
  • Have each guest state what they are thankful for.
  • Play a family touch football game – so Kennedy-esque!
  • Start decorating for Christmas the day after Thanksgiving
    – this is always my goal. Not always realized.
  • Finally, my special Thank You gift is a playlist of songs for Thanksgiving built around the theme of ‘Thanks’. Click on the link or copy and paste the URL into your browser. Enjoy your Holiday!

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