Holidays are meant to bring families and friends together to enjoy the comfort of traditions, old and new.

This week, we asked some of the UDG team to reflect on what Thanksgiving means to them. While we share what we’re thankful for, the things we do to show our gratitude, and our fun, quirky or traditional ways of celebrating, we ask that you take some time during the holiday to do the same with your loved ones.

Read about our team, and let us know if you share any of our traditions!

“I am thankful for the opportunity to build an amazing business with my very talented business partner and a lineup of equally talented women.

Before I get out of bed in the morning, I lay there and list off 10 things I am grateful for. This ensures I start the day off right full of positive energy.

Thanksgiving changed when we moved to Seattle. My sister had been here many years already and had started a tradition with friends she had met their first few years living in the area. When we moved here, they welcomed us in and now we have an amazing Thanksgiving with friends and family, but more importantly, it has become a place for people who are new to the area and may not have anywhere to spend it yet!”

— Dana, Partner

“I’m thankful for my amazing kids and hubby, fabulous friends, talented work colleagues, and clients.

I show my gratitude by writing in a gratitude journal.

Our tradition is watching Planes, Trains and Automobiles every Thanksgiving. How I miss John Candy <3.”

— Cari, Partner

“I’m grateful for my family, friends, coworkers, and all of life’s simple privileges (safety, warmth, clean air, food, etc.).

I practice gratitude proactively by saying thank you for 3 things every morning and evening. ESPECIALLY when I’m having a terrible day. 

We go to the family farm we buy our heritage turkey from in the summer and pick out the bird we’re gonna gather over.”

— Claire, Marketing Consultant

“I’m thankful for my family and friends, my body (in the sense that it takes me where I want to go), and to be working in a career that I love.

I practice gratitude by telling my family and friends my love for them every chance I get, regularly exercising (as well as regularly indulging!) and remembering how fortunate I am when it comes to a bad day in the office.

My family, including aunts, uncles, cousins, parents and siblings, all eat to our hearts’ content including not just turkey, but all kinds of seafood and traditional Filipino dishes. Then we intersperse it with drinking games.”

— Jerine, Marketing Operations

“I’m thankful for the opportunity to be a mom to my beautiful, smart and kind daughter; my supportive and encouraging circle of friends; and the many amazing life experiences I’ve been fortunate enough to have.

I actively practice gratitude by reaching out to family and friends and letting them know I’m grateful for them… just a simple message: I am grateful you are in my life.

For Thanksgiving dinner, we make Jello Salad, even though no one really eats it, so that my Grandma Mundt always has a place at the table. We also do a family movie on Friday, have a corn hole tournament, and when gathering in Bend, we do the I Like Pie 5k on Thanksgiving morning!”

— Merrilee, Marketing Programs

“I’m thankful for my family and friends most of all, and for having a chance every day to learn new things. I’m also grateful to live somewhere with a lot of natural beauty around me, which I find inspiring and restorative. 

I try to express my gratitude directly to the people in my life. I also try to remind myself just how blessed I am to have the things I sometimes take for granted, starting with basics like food and shelter. 

My family has the most wonderfully ordinary Thanksgiving every year. We just eat and hang out, and sometimes — if we’re feeling especially ambitious — we do a short driving tour of the neighborhood to check out the holiday lights.”

— Maggie, Senior Director of Client Services

“I’m thankful for my hubby and our two huskies, our big families, and being fortunate to travel the world whenever life takes us on a journey to new surroundings.

I show my gratitude through food. I love cooking and baking, so if I know your favorite meal, I will learn how to make it. I also remind myself of who and what I’m surrounded by, so, in the grand scheme of things, bad days seem like mere milliseconds.

I get my love of cooking and baking from my family. We always have a set menu of Filipino dishes plus traditional Thanksgiving food that we make. A few days before Thanksgiving, everyone gets together to help prep lumpia — we hand-cut the veggies, cook the filling, and roll a few hundred lumpia.”

— Jeanne, Marketing Associate

We hope you feel inspired by the fun things that our team has shared, and we wish you a fun and relaxing Thanksgiving that is full of food, love, and laughter.