Apple has a lot on their plate right now with the iPhone 5 launch, iOS 6 Maps difficulties, and possible launch of the iPad Mini. However, Tim Cook still values his employees enough to realize the importance of holiday time, according to 9to5Mac.

Cook has announced in an email to employees that this year’s Thanksgiving vacation will be extended with pay. Apple retail customers will have to use their time after the holiday season, but that is to be expected.

He states:

Team,

Apple is having another incredibly successful year, thanks to all of the hard work by you and your teams. Your focus and dedication to making the best products on earth is what makes Apple such an incredible place.

In a little over six months we’ve launched outstanding new products in each of our major categories, starting with the new iPad this spring. The response was incredible, and continued to show Apple’s unrivaled leadership in this post-PC era. Over the summer we introduced the radically thin and light 15″ MacBook Pro with Retina display, and shipped  Mountain Lion, the fastest-selling update to OS X ever. Today, iPhone 5 is taking the world by storm. And in the next few weeks we’ll ship the new iPod touch and completely redesigned iPod nano with innovative designs that our customers are going to love this holiday season.

To recognize the efforts that made this amazing year possible, I’m happy to announce that we’re extending the Thanksgiving holiday once again this year. We will shut down with pay on November 19, 20 and 21 so our teams can spend the whole week with their loved ones.

Retail and some other teams will need to work that week so we can continue to serve our customers, but please check with your manager about taking time off at a later date. Our international teams will also get an extra three days off during this quarter, scheduled at a time that’s best for them. Details will be available on AppleWeb.

Thank you for everything you do for Apple and please enjoy this much deserved break.

This is very nice news, and a great way for Cook to show his commitment to his thousands of employees worldwide.