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The Thanksgiving I'm Most Thankful For Contest

CONGRATULATION TO OUR WINNER YESSENIA FROM CLERMONT, FL. THANK YOU FOR ALL YOUR GREAT COMMENTS!

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.

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1389 comments

Comments

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.

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.

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.

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! :)

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.

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.

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.

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.

Gracie says …

This Thanksgiving I'm thankful that my NYC apartment is within walking distance of Whole Foods :)

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!

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.

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.

Monique says …

I'm most thankful for my friends and family. The last 5 years have been very hard on all of us, but by opening up and sharing our thoughts and feelings, we have provided each other with the support and love necessary to get through the hard times and really enjoy the good times :-)

Carol says …

I am most thankful for every Thanksgiving... because I have the blessing of spending time with my loving family. I cannot wait to spend another one with them this year! <3 What a lovely post by the way- you're right- concentrating on gratitude is a great way to change your attitude! :)

Alexandra Ucal says …

I am thankful for not only to have friends and family but being able to wake up and do something for someone else. I started an environmental club on campus and we go out around my school and do clean ups and personally that is the way I know how to give back to the community and help education people about environmental issues. I am happy to give back the best way I can for the holiday season for the greater community

Shyla Stokes says …

I'm so thankful for my son, the growing baby in my tummy, and a husband who serves and loves me daily. The Lord has blessed me incredibly.

Dana says …

I'm most thankful for the holidays celebrated throughout my childhood. Of the seven people I shared them with, only two remain alive. As I sit here and reflect on the life I'm bringing into the world at the beginning of next year, I know that the memories from the past will help fuel future holiday celebrations with my growing family.

Eliott Levine says …

I'm thankful to live within walking distance to Whole Foods in Boston, MA. They have they most helpful and friendly staff. I look forward to purchasing my family's entire grocery list next week for our family gathering.

Nick Meyer says …

I am most thankful for re-discovering the way nature intended us to eat through Whole Foods. My energy is way up and my outlook on life has changed. I can confidently say that I enjoy eating now more than ever before, even though I'm also eating healthier than ever before!

Charlotte says …

I'm most thankful for my friends. I live far away from my family and my friends have become like a second family, so even when I'm away during holidays, I'm never alone.

Monique says …

The thanksgiving I'm most thankful for is the one we're about to have. The last 5 years have been very hard on my friends, family, and myself, but by opening up and sharing our thoughts and feelings, we have provided each other with the support and love necessary to get through the hard times and really enjoy the good times. Our luck is turning, things are looking up, and this thanksgiving will be the start of a new chapter in life.

Lynn Leslie says …

I am so grateful for my 2 year old niece. I never knew how much love could fill my heart and then I hear her shouting "Auntie! Auntie! Auntie!" as I come up the walkway. This will be the first Thanksgiving in years that my whole family will be under one roof...as a Respiratory Therapist, I usually work holidays. Now I'll get to relax with my family all day!

LisaC says …

I am truly thankful for having the opportunity to just awake each and every morning, to see my kids, my mother, my pets and just correct any mistakes I may have made in the past. I'm thankful to wake up and take advantage of the small things in life so many others take for granted or just don't appreciate.

Tiffany says …

I am most thankful for my husband. He has spent the last two years lifting me up so that I may live up to the potential he sees in me. I am so appreciative of the support he provides (both emotional and financial while I pursue a new career in fitness), as well as touched by the thankfulness he expresses to me each day in a note as I unpack the containers from his lunch bag.

Erin says …

I'm most thankful for being able to spend this Thanksgiving with my cousin and his new wife. While he has been battling cancer, he has been amazingly optimistic and positive. I take courage from his strength, and am grateful for having such a role model in my life.

Malena says …

I am most thankful for the Thanksgiving of 2008 when both sets of grandparents were able to attend. It was great to have the whole family together and we had the most delicious pumpkin pies.

greenbean says …

my amazing neighbors. good times and always there to count on

Ashley Lemoine says …

I am thank for my 3 wonderful kids, my husband, and my mom. My husband and I both being college students she supports us on giving us a warm home to live in, helps keep food in our bellies and helps watch our kids one were in class or work. I love my family, they are the best.

Charles says …

I'm most thankful for being alive in these exciting transformative times. I am blessed to have a healthy body to navigate through this dimension, I am so thankful to have mental clarity to do well for others. I've always been instilled at an early age the idea of universal responsibility, I believe if what I am doing is not making others better, than I am wasting my time. I created RawYouth.org so I can help others achieve optimal health. I am thankful for my family, support, and a shelter over my head.I am thankful for conscious companies like Whole Foods that brings optimal nutrition into the tummies or billions of people! Thank you for doing what you do! Cheers, CHARLES RawYouth.org

Molly says …

Coming from a large family, 8 of us in all, it is not always easy to get everyone together. I am thankful for the excuse Thanksgiving gives us to cancel any other plans, ignore work for the day, and get together. This year we decided to do Thanksgiving on Saturday to give the married folks a chance to see the other half of their families on Thursday. So even though we won't be celebrating in the traditional way, the spirit of Thanksgiving is what brings us together, and we are all thankful for that!

Rachel says …

The year I went vegan. I was so thankful to have family willing to let me cook tofu and side dishes of my own - as well as willing to try them with me. Instead of the pies and cakes, my aunt even went to whole foods and brought everyone a vegan cupcake. So thankful to have an open minded and fun family.

Joanna Freed says …

I am thankful for Whole Foods! (Along with my health, my family's health and my new found love for juicing.) I'm also thanksful for the Curry Chicken Salad and Kombucha! Happy Thanksgiving! xo

Rose says …

I'm most thankful for the Life God has blessed me with, and all that comes with it, especially living in the USA and enjoing the bounty of this land.

Kim says …

The Thanksgiving I'm most thankful for is last year's Thanksgiving. My sister, brother-in-law and nephews moved from MD to TX and were too far away for my mom and I to visit them for the holiday, since we were also flying down for Christmas. As my mom and I decided what to do for Thanksgiving (just the two of us), I said that I would make the dinner. Now at my then 27 years of age, I was a pretty good cook, and had prepared a Thanksgiving meal before...but not for my mother. My mom came to my place, which I had decorated, and I cooked almost the complete meal myself (she made the pies and rolls), and we just had a fantastic time together...just the two of us. I love my sister and nephews dearly, and miss them EVERy holiday I'm not with them, but I felt to blessed to be able to cook for my Mom that Thanksgiving and for the time that we had together. I'll always remember it.

Paul K says …

I have just returned from Haiti and am very Thankful for clean water, food to eat, a local economy and the fact that my daughter has opportunities that so many children never will. I am also Thankful that I am in a position to help some of the children in Haiti.

Dyan says …

I'm thankful that I never have to worry about having a roof over my head or food in my belly. I may complain about having to pay for my own health insurance or having to pay for student loans, but I still consider myself lucky to never have to worry about my basic needs.

Melody says …

I'll be very thankful for this coming Thanksgiving, baby's first Thanksgiving!

Elizabeth Moore says …

This year, I am most thankful to still have my construction-field job after 6 years!

Keri says …

The year my family (parents, sister and two grandmothers) all drove to DC to spend Thanksgiving with me was a memorable one. I was in grad school and working full-time so I was really annoyed that they were invading when I was looking forward to two extra days to study and write papers. However, the joy my grandmothers took in seeing my home and the city (it was the only time they made the trip) made me regret that irritation! The food wasn't the best we'd ever had (the oven in my apartment was AWFUL) but that wasn't really the point.

Karen says …

I'm thankful for family. After losing my dad after a lengthy illness last year, it made me realize even more how lucky I am to have such a wonderful family. They are all to be cherished and you should be gratefull for each and every day spent with thim, because you never know when it may be the last.

Donna Tobia says …

Thanksgiving is my favorite time of year, full of family, friends and laughter around a table of Mom's specialty dishes that comfort the soul. This year, I'm especially thankful for my mom. Newly widowed after 56 years of marriage, she collapsed under the stress of missing my dad and suffered a heart attack on New Year's Eve 2010, she underwent open heart surgery followed by 7 additional trips to the hospital for various complications. It's been a difficult journey for her, but she is now enjoying great health and anxious to cook her signature dishes for our family feast. As a bonus to our Thanksgiving table, I crafted a tablecloth made from my dad's neck ties and presented it to mom. She's overjoyed at the thought that a small part of dad will be part of this year's dinner. I am thankful indeed!

Jodi Manning says …

Seriously thankful for the health of my family and laughter of my friends. Thankful this year that we can see both sets of grandparents. I don't care if we eat Chinese take-out as long as we can sit at the table together. (And I'm a serious foodie.) And since I have your attention, thank you Whole Foods for 365. Love that I can afford to feed my kids great tasting, nutritional food that is also good for mother earth. Please don't enter me into the contest or if you do because you have to and I win, donate it to a food bank. (I did that last year with a turkey I won from the San Rafael store :-) I just wanted to shout out loud how lucky I am.

Melissa Reohr says …

I am thankful for my Alpha Phi sorority sisters. :)

katie says …

Every year, after the meal has been eaten but before the tryptophan kicks in and people answer the siren's call of the couch, my family goes around and says what they are thankful for. It's usually the same "I'm thankful for my wonderful family" or "I'm grateful for my job." But one year my cousin decided to take it upon himself to use that precious time to make an important announcement. As the thanksgivings continued around the circle he drank more and more wine until eventually it was his turn. "I'm really thankful that I'm not in jail," he said. Confused we looked around at one another. My cousin continued, "Cause, well, I was. But I'm not anymore." And with that I realized what I was most thankful for that Thanksgiving: that I wasn't my cousin.

Laura says …

The Thanksgiving that I'm most thankful for is last year's because that's when my wonderful fiance proposed to me. I couldn't have been more surprised and I was glad I could share that moment with my friends and family.

serena thomas says …

jan. 5th 2010 my daughter had a procedure to put a filter in to catch blood clots...the gave her a shot of heprin which gave her a brain bleed....she had surgery for 6 hours....3 days later she had a crainectomy...which removes half of her skull.as a life saving technique..she was in a coma for 2 months..they put her skull back on...she had to relearn everything...how to swallow how to chew how to sit stand walk.she was in the hospital for a total of 4 months..she is still learning how to speak...we walk 2 miles a day work out at the gym at los angeles valley college adaptive pe program....she takes a painting class there also...she has a tremendous support of her friends.....so you see i am so very grateful and live in gratitude every day...to see her smile to laugh....to walk....to be here with us for this thanksgiving....she is an amazing women and a true inspiration

Stacy says …

I am most thankful for my family, we were reminded last year how fragile life can truly be and we now deeply cherish the time that we get to spend together.

Lauren says …

The thanksgiving I'm most thankful for is this year. My boys are healthy, our youngest was finally diagnosed with asthma so that we can control his health better and are looking forward to a less sick winter. And my husband couldn't be with us last year, but we will all be together this year.

Alicia says …

I am most thankful for having the most healthy Thanksgiving yet. I have learned about healthy, natural ways of cooking over the past year. From starting a job with a vitamin, supplements and natural food supplier to meeting a personal trainer and having the budget for cooking more at home. I've learned how to naturally flavor foods without butter or fake flavor packets. I have learned how to substitute ingredients for healthier, leaner or more nutritious ones. I started by using coconut oil in Asian foods I cooked. But it expanded to using it in banana walnut bread, omelets, and so much more. Growing up I never learned how to use vinegar in my diet. Now I use it in salads, rice, and so much more. I am thankful to be 23 years old, live in Seattle on my own and be eating the healthiest I've ever known how to. And that's thanks in large part to Whole Foods for always having the best options available. For having sales that allow me to try new foods and inspire me to prepare new dishes. And thank you to Whole Foods for teaching me what a real salad bar should look like. It is important to have lots of options for salads to keep us interested. You inspired me to start preparing my own salad bars for the week so I can choose healthy options everyday. I am thankful for places like Whole Foods for keeping me and my family healthy and conscious of the foods we eat.

Renee J. says …

The Thanksgiving I’m Most Thankful For was the one in 2007. I was going through a really difficult time (lost two of my grandparents) and was the first Thanksgiving with my boyfriend at the time, Eric and his entire family. I'm very thankful to have Eric in my life and wonderful soon to be in-laws ;)!

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