Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

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


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
Alannah says ...
It's been a year since I moved out on my own, and the past two years have been the toughest of my life. I am unbelievably grateful that I'm still here, still doing well, still moving forward and am stronger than I ever thought possible. I am grateful every day for little gifts... the sunrise, the rain, the cold air, a good meal, just every day things.
11/20/2011 11:24:09 PM CST
ellen says ...
The thanksgiving I remember most was the one right after my daughter was born with a congenital heart defect--Thanksgiving Day was 24 hrs after her first open heart surgery and we knew then that she'd be okay
11/20/2011 11:58:39 PM CST
Jenn says ...
I'm most thankful for finding love this year and being able to share my Thanksgiving with the man of my dreams. We took our first trip to Whole Foods together this weekend and I feel like the most fortunate woman that he is interested in eating healthy and conscious of the food he puts in his body! I am so grateful that we can share my passion for fueling my body with Whole Foods.
11/19/2011 7:45:07 PM CST
Carrie lynn says ...
About eight years ago my husband got sent to prison. The shock took months to wear off. I had four kids and no money. The social worker told me that I would have to live in the projects. I refused to believe that and decided it was time to sink or swim and I chose swim. We never ended up in the projects and I thank God every day that we live in a nice house in a nice area. I am so thankful.
11/21/2011 12:01:26 AM CST
Kim says ...
Every day I am thankful, blessed for my 2 little boys that without any conditions love their mom as much as I love them. My kindergartner came home with a handcrafted Pilgrim hat and my preschooler came home with a hand crafted turkey on his head yesterday - someday they will truly understand what thanksgiving is about and how lucky and thankful we are.
11/23/2011 6:00:48 AM CST
Elizabeth Wellman says ...
When you feel down and out, you remember the good times. One Thanksgiving that was wonderful was in 1976. I had a good friend from Mexico who I met while attending Purdue U in Indiana. She really could not go home, so I invited her to my family's house for dinner. My boyfriend at the time was there also. It was really fun. Laura had never been to a Thanksgiving celebration. I am grateful she was there as well as my maternal grandmother and my Mom. I think family and friends are the most important thing about a holiday.
11/23/2011 8:48:33 AM CST
Melanie says ...
The Thanksgiving I'm most thankful for is coming up in 8 days! 3 months ago I met the love of my life and I could not be happier. Every year at Thanksgiving I say a prayer to thank God for my blessings but would also ask him to find someone special for me. I have finally met my "one" and I look forward to spending this Thanksgiving - and every Thanksgiving for the rest of our lives - together!
11/16/2011 7:59:05 AM CST
Amanda says ...
I agree that every thanksgiving has it's own charm. Right now I am most thankful for last thanksgiving when we were unexpectedly able to fly home to Kansas City and members of my family that I haven't seen since we moved to Florida were able to come.
11/23/2011 5:24:52 AM CST
Julie Rudnick says ...
I am most thankful for my family's health. I have 3 children, and I can't stand it when they're sick but I think about people who have children who are VERY sick all the time and I wonder where they get their strength. I am so thankful that my children have good health and I try my very best to keep them healthy. My heart goes out to parents of sick children and I keep them all in my prayers.
11/15/2011 8:26:08 AM CST
Suzy says ...
I am thankful for this year's Thanksgiving because my Michigan friends, where I am also from, who recently moved to California are spending the Thanksgiving holiday with us. After moving to California, leaving all of our family and friends for employment, we quickly learned the holidays can be lonely. Being so far from our family causes us to have a quiet but lovely holiday (my husband, daughter and I) unlike years past. When I see the television advertisements or talk with coworkers who have grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews all at one table I miss the days gone by where I lived in Michigan and had all of my family at my Thanksgiving table. Since moving to California two years ago for economic reasons, this year will be the first year we will have friends, who are like family, at our Thanksgiving table.
11/16/2011 10:26:38 PM CST
Jessie Sue says ...
I am most thankful for the Thanksgiving of 2001, because that's when I learned the truth behind the "holiday". It represents the murdering of an indigenous people, but it also allowed be to embrace the "no thanksgiving" holiday instead. I still am grateful for my family, friends, and life, but I choose not to forget the true meaning behind the holiday. Thanks!
11/16/2011 8:08:39 AM CST
Sammi says ...
I am thankful that I have such a close family. They are all such strong wonderful individuals and I am lucky and so thankful for them!
11/16/2011 11:02:37 PM CST
Sally says ...
It was three hours before the WHOLE family was to arrive for dinner, and grease from the turkey spilled over and the oven caught on fire. In seconds, we went from, "Omigosh the turkey may be ruined." to "Omigosh, the flames are getting bigger and the house may catch on fire." My husband grabbed the fire extingusiher but couldn't get it to work; I finally was able to use it to douse the flames. The kitchen was covered in yellow extinguisher dust, and I didn't know where to begin to try and salvage the meal. I took a few deep breaths (and sniffled a little) and began to assess the damage. The turkey was double wrapped in heavy duty foil so was actually okay. There was lots of wiping and mopping, but we managed to get it all done. Everything looked fairly normal by the time guests began to arrive (except some flame damage on the outside of the oven), and my brother still swears that was the best turkey we ever had.
11/17/2011 10:45:13 PM CST
Amanda Casteel says ...
Who and what do you remember from the Thanksgiving you are most thankful for? I remember the Thanksgivings I had with my mom. I lost her to cancer nearly 3 years ago and wish I could spend one more holiday with her. I will always cherish the ones we spent together.
11/18/2011 1:08:51 AM CST
Erin says ...
I am thankful for every Thanksgiving I've been able to celebrate as each one has been filled with different people and memories. This Thanksgiving I am thankful to celebrate with my new husband. I am thankful for this past year and to have a dream come true. I am thankful for our loving families and friends and am truly grateful to be alive and healthy.
11/21/2011 1:10:21 PM CST
Kanan says ...
This year, for the first time ever, my sister and I are celebrating Thanksgiving without our parents (they're traveling overseas). And in the past couple of years, despite the fact that we were not in the U.S. (we were living in India), we made it a point to celebrate Thanksgiving just as it's meant to be celebrated! Surrounded by family, friends and of course, incredible food! It really felt like home (NJ). I'm so excited to see my sister (I'm in NY, she's in Chicago) and be back in the U.S. but I'll miss being all together as a family this Thanksgiving. So, on that note, I'm so incredibly thankful to have such a wonderful, loving family. I absolutely love this holiday because (aside from the nonstop deliciousness) it's a reminder of just how blessed I am. Here's to great family, friends and food! Happy Thanksgiving to all!!
11/20/2011 1:55:14 AM CST
Lori says ...
Without a doubt, I am most thankful for the Thanksgiving my family decided to go out to eat. I was probably about 9 years old and my grandmother, aunts and mother decided that they didn't want to cook and this year we would experiment with something new. It felt unnatural to be seated around a table in the restaurant and the food was downright awful. So why am I thankful for that? It taught us to never, ever consider going out to eat for Thanksgiving again. The prep, cooking and clean up are worth every effort. No one has complained since. For us, Thanksgiving is about celebrating in our home with our home-cooked food.
11/20/2011 12:57:05 PM CST
carol says ...
Our family is blessed and thankful for a new addition to the family, little Quinlan, born in September. So cute!
11/21/2011 12:05:18 AM CST
Ira K says ...
of no child support for first 10 months of my sons life & winning this would be awesome & another thing I'll be thankful for!!! Happy Thanksgiving to all entrants!!!
11/21/2011 1:37:55 AM CST
Irina K says ...
of no child support for first 10 months of my sons life & winning this would be awesome & another thing I'll be thankful for!!! Happy Thanksgiving to all entrants!!!
11/21/2011 1:38:49 AM CST
Caroline says ...
When I was little, on Thanksgiving, we always watched the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. We were sitting in my moms room when my younger brother started choking. He had accidentally swallowed a quarter, and it was wedged in his throat. He was only about 6, so if the quarter landed in his throat wrong, he would have suffocated. We called the doctor immediately and then went to the hospital. After sitting for hours, and lots of X Rays, they found out that he needed to have surgery. My dad had been duck hunting, so he came home to pick me up, and my mom stayed at the hospital. Thankfully, we had ordered Thanksgiving dinner from Whole Foods so my dad just had to go pick it up and set the table. Late that night, the surgery was over and we had a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner with more to be thankful for than ever!
11/20/2011 10:39:41 PM CST
Annulla says ...
I was 18, overseas and away from home for the first time. When Thanksgiving came I was on an island where few people spoke English and feeling quite lonely. I stopped in a tiny, almost-deserted cafe, and sat down at the counter. The owner came out and -- when he heard I was American -- was delighted. His English wasn't perfect, but he managed to make me understand that long ago, he'd spent some time in the US. He told me he loved Americans, he knew that Thanksgiving was a national holiday and he wanted to prepare a special meal for me. He disappeared into the kitchen, and as I waited, I could hear him singing. Finally, he emerged and presented, with a great flourish, my special "American Thanksgiving meal" -- seasoned chopped lamb, formed into patties: Lamburgers! -- served with sliced tomatoes and fried potatoes. No, it wasn't the traditional Thanksgiving dinner, but there was no question that it was the closest thing I'd had to a taste of home in a long time. But more than the food, what mattered was that a complete stranger went to so much effort to comfort a lonely kid who was far away from home; I'll always treasure the memory the kindness that created that wonderful Thanksgiving day.
11/20/2011 11:20:45 PM CST
Ana D says ...
I am thankful for my husband of 6 years, Dennis. It has been an intense year, with ups and downs. Friends come and go, but having a partner by your side, always there, no matter what, through thick and thin, is truly amazing, and perhaps, less common than it should be. I know too many people who are separated, divorced or simply single. I feel the luckiest woman on the planet to have him in my life. I am also thankful for health- I had a rough year and like everyone else, took for granted my fully functional body. I am now well and grateful for everyday. I look forward to a peaceful and delicious Thanksgiving!
11/21/2011 4:29:17 PM CST
Karina Chapman says ...
I'm thankful for being back home in Maine, being able to afford heating oil, and having my mother-in-law living with us after the death of my father-in-law. She moved here from California--and it's a comfort to my hubby to know she's nearby where he can help her. Also, this Thanksgiving, I'm especially thankful--it's my 21st wedding anniversary. Including the 6 years we dated, that's 27 years with my best friend in the whole world. I love you, Kent.
11/22/2011 8:53:40 PM CST