"Thank you" is a responsive expression so ingrained that we don't even think about what the words actually mean, we just say them, a ready reaction to generosity. The words are a charm, an abracadabra of syllables that don't need to be literally understood for the magic to begin. We feel good so we say thanks, and the saying of it creates more good feeling. Although we sometimes struggle to expand on the simple words, carefully constructing pinnacles of poetry to articulate our deep feelings of gratitude, "thank you" will as often pop out of our mouths unbidden, akin to the "mmms" and "ahs" that greet a fresh pumpkin pie as it comes to the table-either way, we feel thank you. In saying it, a verbal hug is shared, and, although I wouldn't swear to it in a court of law, I might be persuaded to bet a nickel that endorphins are generated! All the same, it's interesting to learn that, etymologically speaking, "thank you" derives variously from the words thinken, thenken, thencan, thagkjan, thankoz, thanc-all of which have the same root as the word "think." Brings a fresh light to "I think, therefore I am."

Colorado Gives Day, the statewide initiative to increase philanthropy in Colorado through online giving (held annually by the Community First Foundation and FirstBank) is Tuesday, Dec. 4. The Foundation's website will process donations to nonprofits, and FirstBank is providing a $300,000 incentive fund to leverage them. Our board and staff are all very excited about this opportunity, and want you to know we share a strong commitment to our organization. So! We've searched our hearts and pockets to create a $8,500 match fund for Colorado Humanities donations on Colorado Gives Day. Please reciprocate our special challenge and help meet our match! (Also new this year, donations can be scheduled now to be processed later on Dec. 4, helping to assure that our intentions for Colorado Gives Day don't slip through the cracks. Just visit our profile on, click DONATE NOW, and check the box that says "Schedule a donation for Colorado Gives Day 12/4/2012." Your gift will be safely waiting for the big day, retaining its eligibility for FirstBank's incentive fund.)

On Friday, Dec. 7, consider a trip to Barnes & Noble, 500 16th St., Denver, for the store's holiday shopping extravaganza on behalf of Colorado Humanities & Center for the Book. Nine of our 2012 Colorado Book Award winners and finalists will be there to sign books from 11 am to 4 pm. 10% of every in-store and online sale that day will be donated to Colorado Humanities! As you can well imagine, we're hugely honored and grateful for this support. If books are on your shopping list, join the merriment---donation coupons will be available at the store that day, or you can simply let the cashier know 10% of your purchase is to benefit Colorado Humanities. If you shop online that day, typing in our Bookfair ID# 10945434 on the payment page, once you've completed your order, will also do the job.

We're taking Motheread/Fatheread Colorado to Akron, Burlington and Pueblo this month, providing Story Exploring training institutes for several agencies and more than 60 in-home childcare providers. If you'd like to learn more, or register for our free early childhood and family literacy training, give us a call. We also appreciate individual donations in support of this important program, and even have a special membership level for those of you who want to make a large contribution to our statewide effort.

Kudos to Havey Productions for Centennial Statehouse! Since the February premiere in Denver, we've been able to complete its distribution in DVD format to every school, public and academic library in the state, and are particularly gladdened the film won the 2012 Jury Award for Best Documentary Short Film at Colorado's TriMedia Film Festival.

A couple of reminders: We're still accepting entries for the 2013 Colorado Book Awards---please be sure to enter by Dec. 31, 2012. If you'd like to be a volunteer reader and help choose this year's finalists and winners, submit our "Selection and Judging Application Form" right away.

Nearly every state in the Union participates in the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress Letters About Literature program, and, promoting reading and writing among our K-12 students, we are the contest sponsor in Colorado. If you know a youngster who would like this chance for national recognition, please pass the word. The contest is free and its entry deadline is Jan. 11, 2013. Call us for more info.

Back to thinking and thanking. I think a wonderful way to celebrate the holiday season is to take this opportunity to say, "Arigato!" and "Cám ơn, danka, efcharisto, gracias, hahou, komapsumnida, mahad sarid, merci, mese, shukran, spasibo, tokhoyak, urako, xie xie," and so much more. Thank you!

Maggie Coval

Executive Director

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