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Happy Thanksgiving!

No generic “happy holidays” here–we’re into the real deal.  Thank God for Pilgrims, America, the Founding Fathers, and Deng Xiaoping.

I’m thankful for Deng’s Opening Up plan that gave me the opportunity to meet my wife.  I’m grateful for those in governments around the world that honestly sacrifice their own interests for the benefits of others–though few and far between, I’m please to know some in China, Thailand and the US.  Thanks, Mom.

I’m thankful for good advice–stay out of dept, be prepared for a rainy day and be prepared to help others.

I’m thankful for my Danish and Irish heritage.  For a great grandmother that immigrated from Denmark in 1913 as a child, who left family and a comfortable life for a new life and a new religion in the US.  I’m grateful she taught me to make kleiner and panika and taught me Danish nursery rhymes that I can still remember (and which I shared with a Danish guy I met on the way to work just this morning!).

I’m grateful for my wife’s Chinese heritage.  For the incredible lessons in hard work, humility, thrift and love that she teaches me.  I’m grateful for her family for welcoming in a big fat loud slightly odd foreigner.  They are incredible people and for no other reason than so that my children can speak to their amazing grandparents, we will always speak Chinese in our home.

I’m grateful for my family’s willingness to serve in the military.  My grandfather, uncles, my father and currently 6 cousins.  I’m grateful that we have a tradition of service.  Despite the problems in the US and atrocities of war, I’m eternally grateful for those who put there lives on the line so I can be safe and raise a family and vote and have so many wonderful freedoms an opportunities (and have the freedom to complain about it all too).

I’m grateful for being raised in a home of faith.  For being taught of God, forgiveness, repentance, charity and principles that do not change with the political or social winds.  I’m grateful that I was taught to work, to practice, to love to learn and to love to read.  I’m grateful that I had the opportunity for as much higher education as I wanted.

I’m grateful for a successful business, many opportunities, wonderful partners and employees.  I am grateful for clients and suppliers that I can trust and that trust me.  How grateful I am to have work in this time of extreme economic crisis.

I’m grateful for friends that are great examples of good lives, successful families, professionalism and who honestly care about others.  Truly, good friends are worth more than gold.

I’m grateful for my parents, brothers, sisters, cousins, aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews, one remaining grandma and all those that have passed on.  I’m grateful for 5 smart, handsome, healthy boys.  What’s the point of life without family?!

I’m grateful for tradition–whether it’s football on Thanksgiving, or Old Beatles movies on Christmas or yellow cake on my father’s birthday or heartily waving the red-white-and-blue on the 4th of July.  I’m writing this post today as a continuation of our family’s tradition of sharing what we’re thankful for before we gorge ourselves on our annual Norman Rockwellesque Thanksgiving dinner.

And finally, I’m grateful for those who write about China on many blogs and in books that I love to read.  I’m grateful for those of you who read and comment here.  May you have a wonderful Thanksgiving and, with or without turkey, may you take a moment to remember all that you have.

Happy Thanksgiving

David Dayton