Paper turkey

Thanks and Giving

In Blog, Feature, Holidays, Inspiration, Winter by Jessie Jacobson2 Comments

Thanksgiving is this week, but what does that mean? Let’s distill it down. Thanks and Giving.


Is thanks the same as thankfulness? Thanks is an expression of gratitude. You express it outwardly to those around you because you want them to know they matter, they count they did a good thing. Thankfulness is more of an inward feeling about the things you have (family, friends, abundance etc.) and the things you don’t have (chronic illness, bankruptcy, pain and suffering). Is one better than the other? Probably not, but take a moment to think about? This week, think about giving thanks instead of collecting it. I’ll start!

Thank you to our hard working employees who show up at Tonkadale everyday with ridiculous passion and obsession for success – mine, yours and theirs! Last week I was working side by side my co-worker. She said the funniest thing. Can’t be repeated here, but I laughed so hard I cried. Another of our employees is on the recovery side of her journey with cancer. She is back to working a full-time schedule. Now and then I see her in the store connecting with others on their cancer journey.

Thank you to my husband for thanklessly (until now) supports my dreams. He is so GD steadfast that it makes me mad. He is the behind the scenes voice who makes sure I eat, sleep and get to where I am going on time.

Thank you to my children who delight and inspire the world around them each day. I can be thankful on this one too. The other night Margaret was getting ready for bed when she told me, “I will love you forever, until the day you die and until the day I die and forever and ever after that.  My love keeps adding up. I’ts doing it right now! See, bing, bing, bing, bing bing bing.” It’s like she was a love slot machine and I won the jackpot.


You can give objects – gifts, money presents. That’s easy and it usually makes the giver feel really good, but that feeling only last so long. More importantly you can give yourself – your time, your knowledge your presence. You can also be a person who does not give. You don’t give up. You are resilient. You are courageous.

Just one example here. I was lucky enough to recently participate in 1 of 8 focus groups that were working on a strategic vision for a large, public organization in our community. I went into the process thinking that I was giving my time – 6 Mondays, two hours each session, my expertise in the subject matter and my courageous willingness to stand up and present our groups information to an audience of 200 people, give or take a few. Wrong, wrong and wrong! I felt fulfilled about how I was spending my time and had the opportunity to meet some amazing people. I gleaned more information and inspiration then I gave and had the opportunity to practice a skill that puts dread in my soul – public speaking (dun-dun-dunnn).

Please tell us your stories of giving in the comments below.

Have the most wonderful mandatory day-off spent with those you are thankful for.

See you at Tonkadale!






  1. I am a master gardener through the University of Minnesota. For the last 4 years, I have been on a team with other master gardeners for “Habitat for Humanity.” We meet with the new homeowners, to advise them and they choose plants for their new yard. We create a design for the gardens so each plant will thrive. On the morning of installing the gardens the team goes to work adding compost to the existing soil, digging holes for each plant, adding mulch and watering. The homeowner is given detailed instructions for maintaining their new gardens. Each homeowner is different but each of them expresses thanks to us for our time, expertise and labor. In October, our home was in South Minneapolis. The family had seven children with another on the way.
    We were told that RoDe, the mother would be making lunch for us. All of us expected a simple meal. We were invited in, muddy shoes and all. Each of us were overwhelmed by the feast that was placed before us. Goat and vegetables over noodles, a huge salad, hard boiled eggs, deep fried chicken and more. Her twelve year old son had made us a cake for dessert. As we sat in their living room and ate the delicious food, I couldn’t help but think that this family had given us way more than we gave them. The kindness we were shown made me feel so appreciated and I will never forget how this meal was much more than filling our bellies. It also filled my heart with love. Happy Thanksgiving!

  2. Beautifully said Jessie. Tonkadale is inspirational in many ways. Thanks for all you do for your community and happy holidays to you and your family.

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