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Giving Thanks - Grub, Gratitude and Guests

As Thanksgiving week approaches, it is time to reflect on our many blessings both personally and professionally. Over the years I've mentioned that Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, I've reflected on the gauntlet of travelling during the busiest day for air travel, and polled our team on their favorite Thanksgiving foods. I recently asked the team what they're doing for the holiday, and what they are thankful for this year.

And with that I will step back and let my colleagues speak.

Jane Howze

I got married Thanksgiving weekend 36 years ago. We honeymooned in Hawaii. We are returning this year and will celebrate on the beach with friends.

I'm grateful for the gift of health and am aware of how fast time passes. Seize the day and make memories!

Pam Kutner

Pam's family - including her sister the "Thanksgiving hater"

I'm going to my sister's house in New Jersey who says she "hates Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving food and especially turkey." So that should be fun...

I am more than thankful - I am grateful for just about everything. In two years I've gone from caterpillar to butterfly with tremendous support and love, and the best is yet to come.

Beth Ehrgott

This Thanksgiving is an active one. Our family will be cheering on my youngest at an 8K charity run, while my oldest will be on a bike as a mobile EMT for the race. I'm thankful for my amazing boys, wonderful friends and family, and extended work family.

Sarah Mitchell

This year, I am thankful that wedding planning is behind me and I can now simply enjoy being the Mrs. to my Mr.! I am thankful to my wonderful, warm, and funny friends and family who made our wedding weekend a joy and a delight. Best wedding I've ever been to, though I might be biased.

Jordan and I are spending Thanksgiving in San Francisco with family. We will spend the rest of the weekend resting and relaxing in Berkeley, with a 12-mile hike on the California coast thrown in there somewhere for good measure.

Bill Lepiesza

I'm spending Thanksgiving in San Diego this year. I'm thankful for family and that my three year old daughter Katie finally sleeps through the night.

Lindsey Honari

This year we are doing something different - usually my family gets together, rotating cities so that once every four years someone does not have to travel (but does have to host!) This year, because we recently were all together for a family event, we are all staying home. It will be weird because it has literally been decades without someone travelling. I'm looking forward to having full four days off to do exactly as we wish. Not to sound clichd or maudlin, but I'm thankful for being born in a time and place where my family has opportunity and agency over our lives.

Tony Hazen

We are cooking at home and inviting some family to dinner...which is nothing compared to my brother, who throws a Thanksgiving party for over 200 people. It's just not how I remember the holiday as a kid, so I respectfully bow out of that each year. I'm grateful that my children are healthy and thriving. They are the most important thing to me.

Jamie Irvine

We are staying in Houston with everyone on my mom's side, coming for dinner at my parents' house -- there will be 22 people and two dogs. I'm thankful that everyone is healthy enough to travel here (from California and Austin) and happy enough to actually stick around for several days. Patience will be tested...

Gayette Eicher

I am going home to Midland, TX for Thanksgiving, that's where I grew up. Also, my daughter and one of my sons and his wife will be joining us. I am thankful for family; I have three incredible kids, two unbelievable daughters-in-law and four amazing grandkids. I am thankful for my friendships, my job at The Alexander Group and I am thankful that I live in America.

Lori Weeks

This Thanksgiving, my daughters and I will be going to my parents' house, along with some of my extended family. They are local, so we won't have to travel far. My grandmother is no longer with us, so I am honored to be cooking and bringing a couple of her signature dishes, which were always very creative. I know she will be there, in spirit (she never misses a party). I am thankful for my family and friends. I am also thankful for wine and chocolate.

Alison Finlay

I have NO idea where I'll be for Thanksgiving (laughing). It could be Nashville, St. Louis or Houston. I am very grateful that my sister generously offered to take my cousins and me on a pre-Thanksgiving trip to San Juan, Puerto Rico (where I was born) to celebrate my birthday!

Kyle Robinson

I am having Thanksgiving with the family at the in-law's this year. I'm thankful for my healthy daughter, my wife, who successfully completed her PhD, and two parents who both survived cancer scares this year, and a mother-in-law who survived a heart attack. I will definitely be glad to see 2016 go, with hopes for a more healthy 2017.

Brooke Kinert

We're spending Thanksgiving with my family here in Houston, followed up on Friday with a Friendsgiving feast. So. Much. Food. Saturday you can find me in a double-Thanksgiving induced food coma, and Sunday I'll likely go for a long run. I'm thankful for my husband Nathan and our dog Sully, our wonderful and supportive extended families, and for our friends, who are like family to us.

Bob Freeman

We will travel to Kansas City to spend Thanksgiving with some good friends who have a lake house just across the cove from us. I'm reminded of the Home for the Holidays movie, as it seems the day promises to have similar dynamics. One of our friend's 90-year-old mother is a raging Republican who happens to have Alzheimer's. Good times! I'm thankful for my health, my job, and my friends.

Monique Jordan

This year, I'm cooking a feast with my mom and my sister, a Thanksgiving tradition in honor of my grandmother who passed on and my dad who passed on not too long after that. I'm thankful for my family and the bond we have been able to share through cooking together. I currently live in my grandmother's house that is filled with great memories of my family all together cooking, laughing, eating, and I am thankful for that warm cozy feeling that I don't get anywhere else in the world.

Sarah Williams

We're heading to Natchitoches, Louisiana for lots of family and good food. My favorite dish is garlic cheese grits, which my mother and her grandmother made every Thanksgiving. I'm thankful for my beautiful daughter, husband and family but also how lucky I was to land a position with The Alexander Group this year.

We are in the fortunate position of spending our Turkey Day in the Napa Valley. And, while real turkeys do roam our property, we opt for a store bought bird with all the trimmings, BBQed outside with friends and family. The highlight is always sitting by the outdoor fireplace after dinner, staring at our big bellies and drinking under the stars.

There are so many things to be thankful for even in chaotic times. It's a time to move in closer to family and friends. A time to be grateful for the support systems and human infrastructures we have around us. A time for a few extra hugs. I am so grateful for the many people I love that stretch through my extended family to my friends and colleagues across the country and truly around the world. And, I'm very thankful that my dear friend, John Mann, is healthy and well.

As a firm, The Alexander Group is blessed with many long-time clients and friends, along with a team that is both dedicated to their work and to their colleagues. We wish all of our clients and friends a Happy Thanksgiving.

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John C. Lamar

Managing Director