Another year has practically come and gone and historically we take Thanksgiving to reflect and appreciate the times in which we live. Too bad that couldn’t be a daily mantra… we’d probably have happier lives.

Absolutely Natural is no exception and we have plenty to be thankful for. 2016 will be a record year for sales as our private branding division keeps expanding. We have launched several new products to great acclaim including new candles, an entire soap line and some innovative butters.

Product wise, I am most excited about our new facials line. Completely reformulated, repackaged and more effective than ever. We are getting rave reviews, which, of course, I am very thankful.

I believe we have the best crew from top to bottom that we have ever had and I appreciate their efforts, dedication and passion for making the best products ever. We truly do have a family atmosphere and I am so lucky to be able to enjoy working with these fine people.

Of course, the cornerstone of our business is our customer base some of whom who have purchased products from us for nearly 25 years. It has been the best part of the business developing relationships with many over the years, sharing stories of our kids growing up and looking ahead to grandchildren!

I am grateful to have been born in the United States and all the opportunities that affords. I don’t take that lightly as I really believe there is not another country in the world where I could have started this business, survived for many years and through many hardships and now enjoy watching it thrive.

I could go on and on but I hope those that contribute to our efforts know I am thankful for them on a daily basis.

On a personal note, I am thankful and thrilled that my son, Danny, and his beautiful wife, Kelsey, are expecting their first child. Little girl Zoey Elizabeth Richards will join us in late February and my wife and I are going to be grandparents for the first time. Plans are underway to spoil Zoey as much as humanly possible.

Danny and Kelsey are just one of three of the Absolutely Natural family expecting babies. Our own Lindsey Barber is having her third child, a son, in mid-January while Amanda Quattro’s first child is due the first week of February.

Finally, this is a bit out of left field, but I am thankful that babies are born without prejudice and toddlers develop with no hate in their hearts. I recently passed by the play area in our local mall and the little children were interacting with each other without thought of race, ethnicity, religion, gender, economic standing or social status. They were just playing with unadulterated joy … with each other.

Sometimes my heart breaks a little when I think that some, maybe many, will be taught hate and bullying and prejudice and bigotry. But I am thankful that we all can make a positive difference everyday.

Happy Thanksgiving 2016 from all of us at Absolutely Natural.