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The Thanksgiving I'm Most Thankful For Contest

By Anna Madrona, November 14, 2011  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Anna Madrona


Wow! What an overwhelming response! We were moved (moved to tears in some cases) by your heartfelt stories. Congratulations to Yessenia T. from Florida who was randomly selected to win a $50 gift card. There certainly is so much to be thankful for and we hope that everyone had a memorable Thanksgiving. Several years ago, I set myself the November challenge of posting on my Facebook page one thing I was thankful for every single day of the month. It surprised me how simply focusing on gratitude shifted my perspective and lightened my mood. And sharing that gratitude was uplifting to my friends and family, too! In honor of thankfulness, we’re holding a contest. For a chance to win a $50 Whole Foods Market gift card, all you have to do is respond in the comments section below by November 24 (which just so happens to be Thanksgiving!) with a few sentences describing “The Thanksgiving I’m Most Thankful For.”

The winner will be chosen at random so you don’t have to be an English major, just willing to share your story of gratitude with the rest of us. To inspire your efforts, here are a couple of Thanksgiving tales from our very own Team Members:

L’aura: "Nearly two decades ago, a bunch of Team Members (most of us without local family) decided to celebrate Thanksgiving at someone's house in Palo Alto. Because of the holiday, the drive down from North Bay on a Thursday was unnaturally quiet and peaceful. I entered a house full of people and food, including eight different kinds of pie and the first turducken I had ever seen. After dinner we went for a walk around the neighborhood to enjoy the beautiful autumn weather. Back at the house, a co-worker got out his guitar and we lounged around the living room listening to music and talking till the sun went down.

I'm thankful for the memory of such a peaceful day spent with like-minded souls in a beautiful part of our country — and that I work with such friendly people who welcome all like family."

Liz: "Years ago two friends and I had just moved to Galveston, Texas, where we rented a beach house. Thanksgiving was approaching, so we each invited one new co-worker for dinner along with their partners. The plan was seven of us for dinner. Just before our guests were due to arrive I went to the phone booth across the street to call home. A dog followed me and on the way back I met a man without dinner plans, so I brought him and the dog with me. Eight for dinner. Moments later a car filled with six people stopped to ask directions. I didn't know where they were headed but asked if they wanted dinner, and if so to come on in.

They did. Fourteen. One roommate brought two more people he met on his walk on the beach, and the dog invited a cat. We had a lovely celebration with a patchwork of new faces.  Isn't that what Thanksgiving was originally about?  Communion with people who are strangers. It will live in my memory as the most unique and wonderful Thanksgiving ever." Who and what do you remember from the Thanksgiving you are most thankful for?

Tell us in a few short sentences in the comments section below by November 24 for a chance to win a $50 Whole Foods Market gift card.

If you’re still in the sharing mood, stop by our Holidays hub and share your holiday snapshots with the Whole Food Market community and show us how you celebrate. While you’re there make sure to check out our festive recipes, cooking tips and entertaining guides.

Category: Contests, Holidays 2011


1 Comment


Sarah says ...
I'm most thankful for Thanksgiving last year. It was the last Thanksgiving we had with my mom. Had I known it would be the last I would have hugged a little more, stressed a little less, breathed a little deeper and soaked in each moment. As my family gathers this year with my mom's spirit watching over I plan to do all those things.
11/14/2011 5:24:58 AM CST
Becca says ...
Most memorable for me was the time it snowed at my aunt's house for Thanksgiving. It was already lovely sharing the day at my dear auntie's house, and the snow made it even more special.
11/14/2011 7:50:19 AM CST
Katherine says ...
The Thanksgiving I'm most thankful for was my first married Thanksgiving, spent in the mountains of rural Uganda. My husband and I had been living on the hospital grounds for nearly two months, and invited all our friends, both expats and Ugandans, to attend. An eccentric, elderly American woman helped us prepare our first turkey and unearthed an ancient can of cranberry sauce; a Ugandan family brought goat soup; an Irish doctor made his "famous" tuna fish casserole. It may not have been the most sophisticated culinary experience of our lives, but I'm certain it will always be one of our most memorable for the warmth of a diverse community coming together to share a meal and give thanks.
11/14/2011 9:28:55 AM CST
Lisa says ...
Every Thanksgiving as a child we would give back to others before giving to ourselves. My favorite holidays are when we were visiting our great aunts in New York City. Early in the morning we would get dressed in our fanciest dresses and head to the local church. There we would meet with all community members who could not afford to make a meal for themselves. They were the homeless, the elderly, the single parents struggling with their children, and they were all kind and grateful. My sisters and I would sit and hear their stories, play music, sing songs and celebrate life. I hold that with me on Thanksgiving and every other day.
11/14/2011 10:08:02 AM CST
Linda says ...
Thanksgiving 2010 - I had recently completed 9 months of chemotherapy after a radical hysterectomy due to uterine cancer. Thanksgiving had always been "my" holiday - the one held at my home, but I was still too easily fatigued to manage the housework and preparation entailed in a big meal for 15+ people. My son and his family had just moved into their first home, and they graciously offered to host the holiday for me. I was able to do some of the cooking, got in a nap before everyone arrived, and gave great thanks that I was alive to enjoy it all, surrounded by those I love and who love me. And, a new tradition has begun as my son and his wife have taken Thanksgiving as "their" holiday from now on!
11/14/2011 10:37:45 AM CST
Kristin says ...
I was going to school in Houston and flew home to Kansas to spend Thanksgiving with my family. My boyfriend lived in Arkansas so I wasn't going to get to see him for the holiday that year. My parents and sister picked me up at the airport and we all went to a movie before heading home. When we got out of the movie, we walked towards our car and my sister whipped out her camera and a guy got out of the truck parked next to our car. It was my boyfriend! He decided to join my family for Thanksgiving that year so we could spend some time together since we didn't see each other very much while I went to school in Houston. It was the most special Thanksgiving - and now I enjoy each Thanksgiving holiday together - as man and wife!
11/14/2011 10:40:01 AM CST
vanessa k says ...
I will never forget Thanksgiving 1989. I was on six months house arrest for a dui. Being only 6 months sober, and, restricted to my apartment; I was unable to go anywhere except aa meetings, grocery shopping, and, work. When I finially surrendered to my very serious drinking problem; I was given lots of support, new real friends, (people who truly cared for me), and, a life beyond my wildest dreams. I was able to grocery shop once a week, for one hour, and I bought, and, cooked the turkey. My loving God, and his angels brought the family, with kids, and all the trimmings. In writing this; I have tears of gratitude, and, a heart filled with joy. I haven't had a drink since. The Thanksgiving of 1978 will forever be embeded in my soul; and, each Thanksgiving since; I remember the family, and thank God for my soberity! Blessings to you all.
11/14/2011 10:57:41 AM CST
Claire says ...
My brother announced that he wouldn't be with us for Thanksgiving this year, as he was going to spend it with friends and his girlfriend out of town. My mother is devastated, but trying not to be too upset about it. The Thanksgiving I would be most thankful for is if he surprised her by being home for Thanksgiving with his girlfriend.
11/14/2011 11:16:07 AM CST
Kelly says ...
The Thanksgiving I'm most thankful for is the one that happens after the parties. After a full day of seeing relatives and eating delicious food (which I love, don't get me wrong), I head back to my parents' house to spend the night. I love that time alone with them talking about the holiday and all the family news. That time that's "just us" is so rare now, and it reminds me of all the nights I took it for granted when I was a child.
11/14/2011 11:38:59 AM CST
Amanda O says ...
Last Thanksgiving was one I will always be thankful for. It was my last one with my mother-in-law. She fought a vicious cancer for almost a year and passed away in July. Her spirit of thankfulness and cheer will be missed on the 24th this year, but she will still be there with us.
11/14/2011 11:42:36 AM CST
Kayla says ...
I'm most thankful for the Thanksgiving we had a couple of years ago. I had just moved back home, mom had suffered a stroke, and dad had just been laid off from his job. It wasn't the most fancy or anything, but we were all thankful, blessed, and loved each other. It was a wonderful time, even though we didn't have much!
11/14/2011 12:10:04 PM CST
Erin says ...
I anticipate that this Thanksgiving will actually be the one for which I am most thankful. It will be my first Thanksgiving with my boyfriend and I feel that is something special.
11/14/2011 12:33:56 PM CST
Jason D says ...
I am originally from Minnesota, but moved to Texas for the past 7 years. I always would have to work on Thanksgiving and never got to travel home and spend the day with my family and friends. I got fed up last year with missing that special day, so I took off work, loaded up my van, and drove 1300 miles to finally spent a Thanksgiving together with my family and close family friends. It was awesome! That day impacted me so much that I decided to move home and not miss out on anymore Thanksgivings or other special days. I realized that life should revolve around your loved ones and I'm super happy that I made the decision to come home.
11/14/2011 1:05:32 PM CST
Kristi S says ...
My kids' school is off for the entire week of Thanksgiving every year. In 2009 our family of four (myself, my husband, our then-5-year-old and 3-year-old) spent the week in a timeshare in Destin. We packed a mini-kitchen to take with us (complete with small convection oven, a sampling of my spice drawer, and a few assorted tools that I was sure the hotel would not provide). The room had a kitchenette with fridge and cooktop and the most basic of cooking supplies. It was cold. The town was deserted. We knew no one but each other. We had the best time of our lives. Our kids built sandcastles on the beach in the mornings, we napped at the hotel in the afternoons, and swam in the indoor pool in the evenings. We cooked a full Thanksgiving dinner with the room's kitchen plus our little oven, and feasted on leftovers for two days before we left town to drive home. My husband and I both have busy full-time careers and taking the time to just be with our kids with no one else around, no deadlines, no chores, and no schedule was heavenly.
11/14/2011 1:06:19 PM CST
Leon says ...
I'm most thankful for each and every Thanksgiving where I am able to be surrounded by my family and friends. Life is unpredictable and one must cherish and savour every moment spent with the ones you love.
11/14/2011 1:34:51 PM CST
Carrie Ann Torzsa says ...
The Thanksgiving I’m most thankful for will be this upcoming Thanksgiving. I am blessed to be able to spend it with my loving husband and wonderful 4 year old daughter. I am also pregnant with my second baby so it will be so special this year. My family has decided to have dinner the Sunday after Thanksgiving as they live out of state. This makes it possible to spend dinner at my in-laws on Thursday and still see my family on Sunday. So, I am having 2 Thanksgiving dinners! I consider myself lucky! :)
11/14/2011 1:35:41 PM CST
Eileen C says ...
I am most thankful for the last holiday spent with my parents before they both passed away. I arrived at their house on thanksgiving day 2008 to discover that nothing was prepared,I'd always taken for granted that food magically appeared on the table. I quickly threw together a small dinner for the 3 of us to enjoy. Before that day I had never cooked a turkey , or even mashed potatoes but I learned quick & butter makes everything taste better ! I also realized how ill my folks were and vowed never to just wait for a holiday to see them again. I am thankful everyday that I had that time with them.
11/14/2011 1:40:27 PM CST
Adrienne Underwood says ...
The Thanksgiving I am most thankful for is Thanksgiving 2009. I had a deep anxiety about my two children getting along because of the gender differences and the strained relationship between my brother and myself. Anyway, my husband, daughter(6years old), son(2 years old) and myself were sitting at the table about to eat and I asked for everyone to say what they were most grateful for. My two year year old went first and his response was, "my sister". He was grateful for his sister. It made me melt and very grateful that my kids love one another.
11/14/2011 2:31:05 PM CST
Brittany says ...
Most of my family lives in New Jersey, but I spend the larger portion of my childhood years in Ontario, Canada. It was strange to not have school off for American Thanksgiving - but we always took it anyway. Canadian Thanksgiving happens in October over a weekend, but it is not as big of a holiday as it is in the states. My dad worked for an American company, so we would often have his co-workers and their families over, or visit theirs. Eventually, American Thanksgiving grew to a ton of close friends and neighbours. My friends, my brother's friends, my parents' friends and co-workers - up to 50 people at times. The culture in the area we lived was very diverse - Indian, Italian,Irish, Polish, Czech, German, and everyone would bring one of their favourite dishes from 'home'. We taught them about an American tradition, while all being thankful for more than our country. Today, I don't often get to have Thanksgiving with my family, and so have started the tradition with my own friends and co-workers. We gather as many people as want to come and cook ridiculous new (if not sometimes terrible!) recipes. Those Thanksgivings as a kid will always be my favourite though - I loved getting my friends out of class, too!
11/14/2011 2:55:54 PM CST
Kim says ...
The Thanksgiving I'm most thankful for was the one where I first understood the blessings God has given me instead of taking my life for granted. God gave me a changed heart that knows and loves Him, a relationship with Jesus Christ and eternal life even though I don't deserve it, my family and friends here, community, my job, opportunities to serve and live for His kingdom. Realizing all this now, makes every Thanksgiving that much more special and grateful for what I do have.
11/14/2011 3:19:16 PM CST
Phoebe P says ...
Born & Raised on the Upper East Coast, I moved to Miami last summer. Not only was the move a huge adjustment, Thanksgiving isn't perceived the same here as it is in Boston. I wasn't able to travel home, so I was miserable in my apartment 1400miles from home. Fast forward 2days before thanksgiving, shopping in Target a woman walks up and asks if I need help, I turn around...IT WAS MY MOTHER! She drove 21hrs straight, with her car packed full of everything needed to cook a turkey dinner. I was never more thankful to see my mom and be able to spend that time with her. We had a wonderful day just the two of us celebrating Thanksgiving together. I will never forget that, it has made the holiday mean so much more to me now.
11/14/2011 3:30:36 PM CST
Gracie says ...
This Thanksgiving I'm thankful that my NYC apartment is within walking distance of Whole Foods :)
11/14/2011 3:35:52 PM CST
Heather Cairns says ...
I am nost thankful for my husband and kids. There is nothing more important to me than my family. There is so much love in our house and it makes me the happiest woman in the world just knowing my family is home every night for dinner and that we would have it no other way. So thankful!
11/14/2011 3:36:30 PM CST
Summer says ...
I am thankful for last years Thanksgiving because my husband and I cooked our first turkey and it was the best! Our whole family enjoyed eating it. I am so thankful for him and all he does for me.
11/14/2011 3:36:56 PM CST
Lexi says ...
I am most thankful for my amazing family. I've had to overcome a lot of adversity and hardship in my life, mainly facing my rapist in a court of law. Every single member of my family, even my stepfather, stood by me and supported me on the hardest day of my life. Reliving all that I had been through was terrifying, but I knew that my mom, stepdad, and brothers were there with me through thick and thin.
11/14/2011 3:36:57 PM CST