We are now entering the holiday season, which brings with it such a busy calendar that often we cannot even appreciate or enjoy each day as it comes. That is why our most recent Thanksgiving event was so personal for me as Jackie’s Founder. I am like you and find myself becoming so distracted with events for the kids and travel that I don’t pause to remember how I got here and who has contributed to my being where I am today.

On November 14th, we had the pleasure of hosting The Art of Giving Thanks at the Jackie headquarters. I am still thinking about what a moving and powerful evening we had last week. This is the time of year when life gets hectic, when it becomes challenging to take a step back and truly express gratitude. This event was designed to create a space for women to truly be present and to express gratitude for all that we have been blessed with.

We were honored to hear from Liz Palmieri, Tania Vallejo and our very own Devon White as they shared how they practice gratitude during this holiday season. We enjoyed delicious butternut squash soup from Michael John’s and the cutest sugar cookies from Gigi’s Cupcakes South Tampa. Rina from Rina Kay Photography brought her new Modern Photo Booth, which was a huge hit. It was the perfect evening for all who attended.

We concluded the night with an exercise of gratitude. I shared my story and why I am thankful for the people in my life who helped me achieve success and independence. We handed out beautifully designed thank you cards from Shannon Kirsten and together, we wrote letters of gratitude to someone in our life who has helped us tremendously. It was a very emotional experience as each of us thought back to someone who has given us an opportunity and helped us in our journey as individuals. This exercise what exactly what we all needed to kick off the Thanksgiving holiday.

At Jackie, our favorite part was handing the stack of handwritten thank you notes to the postman the following day. We anticipate the excitement and gratitude from those on the receiving end as they hear of the impact they have made in the lives of these women that gathered here at 816 Manatee Ave E. That is what it is all about, passing on the gift of gratitude in this festive season.