Happy Thanksgiving to all near and far. Let’s celebrate the annual holiday that is about family and friends rather than stuff! Let’s gather in kitchens and cook together; let’s gather around the table and enjoy this day.

Let’s linger at the table and be grateful for the food, our warm houses and people with whom to share those things. Let’s remember loved ones who are not with us and loved ones we have lost. Let’s remember those who are deployed and can’t make it home.

Let’s give thanks for the beautiful Valley that we call home and give thanks for the community that calls it home. We are lucky to live amid physical beauty and we are lucky to live in a state with such agricultural bounty.

We are lucky to live where the water and air are clean and the November landscape is stark so that we can see the beautiful naked trunks and branches of the trees.

We are blessed in a way that much of the world is not. As we gather to celebrate family, friends and the bounty with which we are blessed, we cannot forget the refugee crisis that is happening right now.

We are a nation of immigrants whose parents and grandparents and great grandparents came here from the British Isles, Eastern and Western Europe, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Iran, Korea, China, Mexico, Spain and beyond. The list is long.

Our shores and our doors have long been open to those in need and that diversity has done much to strengthen our country and our communities. Xenophobia has no place in our national dialogue and no place in our lives.

On Thanksgiving, the day of giving thanks, let our thanks not be given with conditions. We are thankful for our blessings and blessings can’t be hoarded nor counted with conditions.

Blessings and bounty are meant to be shared – every day, by all of us, in every state in our country and to anyone who needs them.

Happy Thanksgiving.