In this whirlpool of a world we live in, Thanksgiving has a tendency to get lost. We go from Halloween directly to Christmas to the New Year, almost without taking a breath in between.

I think that’s a terrible shame. I have always loved Thanksgiving—so homey, so loving and so appropriate.

Growing up, I remember my mother wrestling the biggest turkey she could find. She would wash that thing and go over every centimeter of it with a darning needle (looking for non-existent pin feathers). Even after an hour of acupuncture, the bird would be in the oven by 8 o’clock in the morning, filling the house with wonderful smells. The dozens of relatives who walked in the door would be handed a drink, something to nibble on before the feast, and usually, a baby—it was heaven on earth.

A tradition we had in our family was that after the meal, we would have to stand up and tell all that we were grateful for. Mother always said all fine men and women had to have grateful hearts. (She did not terrorize that turkey for us not to be fine men and women.)

I’m not sure how fine I am, but I do have a grateful heart. Having a business—and keeping it successful—is all about relationships. Through our shop and this column, I have made hundreds, maybe thousands, of wonderful relationships.

Being able to help a bride achieve her dream wedding, or to calm a nervous mother, who is afraid she might spend too much—or even to have the honor of telling a beautiful young lady right before she walks down the aisle that I wish her a lifetime of happiness—these and a million other ‘special’ moments are what I’m grateful for this Thanksgiving and always.

If I, through this column, helped a nervous father know the right things to say when giving the wedding toast—that, my friends, is a priceless gift.

Walking through the grocery store and being stopped by someone who tells me that I was spot-on about some detail of a wedding—or just that they enjoy reading this column—is about the most perfect thing that could happen any day. I work for the salary, but I love the applause.

I’m very grateful to live in a very nice world, filled with very nice people—people I have developed a relationship with. This is my soul food, and I want to thank you for that.

I hope that through my work at Ladue News or in our shop that I’ve enlightened a few people about the importance of etiquette, courtesy and manners, all of which make our world a nicer place to live.

I want to thank you for your loyal support of ‘our’ paper, your kind support of Ken Miesner’s, but mostly, for the gift of your treasured friendship. Thank you so very much. I hope you have a terrific Thanksgiving—and please, mind your manners!

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