Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. The simple focus on gratitude and family is reassuring and grounding.*

Thankfulness and gratitude are part of my everyday outlook, but Thanksgiving is a special time to pause and reflect.

My Thanksgiving lists tend to repeat themselves year after year, but that’s to be expected. Some things are timeless that way.

Health is at the top of the list. It’s hard to do good when you don’t feel good. Being healthy is the top thing I’m thankful for.

In the same league is family. As someone who ‘married up,’ I am thankful I hit the spousal jackpot. Together we made a daughter who has been a source of great joy and pride. Pile into the mix parents, siblings and their spouses and nieces and nephews and it buries the thankfulness meter.

I’ll speak for myself and our entire staff at the Chamber when I say how thankful we are of our members and our active volunteers. We get to be around the community’s best people.

I am thankful for the mountains and the plains. Colorado’s Front Range is the best. The majesty of the Rocky Mountains and the more temperate plains make this a great area.

Colorado State University Head Women’s Volleyball Coach Tom Hilbert is someone I’m thankful for. His record over many years indicates he’s a winner. Maybe more important is what he does for the players. He recruits good people who are also wonderful athletes. Then he proceeds to teach them about teamwork, self-respect, self-discipline, self-care, responsibility, goals, determination, resilience, trust, and self-improvement. That’s his legacy.

The men and women in our armed services are a blessing for which I am thankful. They stand between us and the international bad actors who would wish us harm. Yes, their duty is voluntary, but it does come with sacrifice.

In that same vein, thank you to the veterans who served us in the past. After just watching the new movie Midway, I’m even more thankful to our vets and for the reminder that there really are things more important than the petty arguments we now seem embroiled in.

A big thank you to businesspeople and our free enterprise system. The determination, dedication, and innovation of businesspeople amazes and inspires. The services and goods you provide our community are essential and add enormously to the quality of our lives. And the free enterprise system is the gift that keeps on giving, a miracle of miracles.

With our fierce weather this week I’m thankful for a warm home and good food. For those who don’t have those things, I’m thankful to the people and organizations who help provide them.

Finally, I’m thankful to all of you and your contributions to our community, our business community, and our chamber of commerce. I’m thankful to know you.

* Those traveling over Thanksgiving have reason to disagree with this syrupy sentiment! For some, ‘grinding’ might sound more realistic than ‘grounding.’