I was on a chat board where I sometimes pick up clients and I will tell you what the chat is about around the holidays: nobody knows how to cook, and everybody hates their mother-in-law.

So first, I am very thankful that we are alive to see this holiday. It was only a half-a-dozen years ago that buildings were tumbling down and that was in question.

Second, I am grateful that I know how to cook. I never took a formal cooking class, but I bought cookbooks and watched friends who were good in the kitchen, and collected recipes. It’s not unlike brokerage, where expertise accumulates over time. You meet someone who is good at it, and you can model your behavior on theirs, just a little bit. Watching what an expert can do with a bad layout is not unlike watching what a country cook can do with extra zucchini – there’s always one more trick that you can pick up.

Third, I am so grateful for my mother-in-law! I love her. For one thing, I have made a Thanksgiving meal or two in my day, and I truly appreciate not having to do it.

For another, she is always cheerful about tasks that seem boring or routine to me.

I feel that the world is full of people like that, and I don’t thank them enough.

The receptionist in my office who patiently shows me which contract is filed where; my fellow agent who knows how to jiggle the printer so that it works; my friend who will call me with information about the next hot listing before I even have to ask him.

Also thank you, every single person who touches my coffee before it gets to me, since I can’t possibly be in a good mood when I talk to you.

Thanks to my husband for being the greatest person in the world, I don’t know how he does it without any effort.

Thanks readers for perusing the column, and sending nice notes when you enjoy it, and buying the book when you really enjoy it. Thanks also for notes that call me out when I am wrong – which isn’t too often, because, thanks to my editor Jessica for saving me from myself.

And thanks, clients. I guess the ones who didn’t buy taught me something, if only to be grateful for the ones that did.

The ones that did, of course, I wish them a turkey in every pot and the greatest pumpkin pie ever. This is a very tough profession because dry spells can last for months, but it’s so great to have some control over who you work with – it’s a great escape from the frying pan of crazy bosses, even when it occasionally lands you in the fire of wacky customers.

Also, we’re supposed to get THEM thank-you gifts – but it’s nice to have customers who are grateful enough to send flowers and gift cards! The months when I feel like I am doing something wrong, it’s nice to look back at the compliments and realize that I may be doing something right.

The customers, that refer, of course, are the best. When I started in this business, experienced Realtors told me that my referrals would grow if I just hung in there. That is finally starting to happen, and I wish those referring customers all the best — good health, all the cooking knowledge in the world, and the greatest of mothers-in-law.

Alison Rogers is a licensed salesperson and author of “Diary of a Real Estate Rookie.”

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