The holidays aren't easy or fun for everyone--and not everyone has family local or even at all.

That's why I felt it was important to host a company Thanksgiving dinner for our employees, which we call Thanksliving. The term was coined by my grandfather, because when he got older, he always said, "When you cross 80, you're thankful to be alive, so it should be called Thanksliving!"

We host Thanksliving the week before the actual holiday in an effort to ensure our employees can celebrate if they don't have others to celebrate with, and it's a nice way to head into the holiday season.

It's completely voluntary, and a lot of fun!  We eat together, reflect, and give thanks not only for our health and being alive, but for working with one another. Enjoying co-workers is something that's too often taken for granted. Sometimes it's the little things that make the office and the company have a sense of community. Simply sharing a meal with people we care about.

We should all be thankful for our lives, friends, families and careers. The ability to have a holiday meal with a group of people you work with and ride the highs and lows of success with is something we don't take for granted. Enjoying your coworkers is a gift for sure.

Is it free or cheap? It's not. It's an investment in our people and more importantly, our culture. It's not a celebration like a holiday's a meal about gratitude. For your people who don't get a "traditional Thanksgiving," it means a lot, and for those who do, it means a lot. :) 

The smallest gesture can have the biggest influence. Don't underestimate what will impact your employees not only this holiday season, but year-round.

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