Why Are You Thankful

Write a letter to your family (or friends) explaining why you are thankful this Thanksgiving.

Post your response (500 words or fewer) in the comments below.

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18 thoughts on “Why Are You Thankful

  1. ROLOK

    I am thankful for every second of my life for I am alive and living well. I am thankful to my family because they make me want to try harder everyday in life. I am thankful for my friends because they pick me up when Im down. Lastly I am thankful to every teacher I ever had because they always push and help me achive my goals.

  2. moxiemoo2006

    What I am Thankful for
    Anise Cassell


    We hear so much about the holidays. Their meanings and why we celebrate them. Why this one is always the least remembered is for the true meaning it represents. More than Christmas Thanksgiving gives us reasons to give back something to the one who gave us everything. We can often count our blessings in minutes. To really set forth those things for which we truly have reasons to give thanks is much harder.
    What I am great full for my family is truly wonderful. We have our hard times like everyone does. My son lives far from home now. He has his family. They have been through so much. Their marriage put through some serious ordeal most of us only hear about and say to bad.
    Through all the tough things we go through one thing has remained constant. Our faith in God. To loose hope when all else fails is not the answer to life’s fulfillment.
    Keeping the faith alive when there is nothing to hold onto takes courage. Inner strength comes not from within but from above. “Faith is the hope of things we look forward to as though they have already already been fulfilled.” Hebrews 11:1.
    I look forward more than I look back because the promise I cling to is there. I believe that it has already been fulfilled. Our days are not empty unless we leave them that way. Being out
    there working toward that promise brings us a great reward.
    Love, Hope, Charity. These three.
    Love is the tie that binds.
    Hope believes better times are before you.
    Charity is not being afraid to humble yourself when you feel at your lowest. Showing mercy as well as accepting it is to humble yourself to the one in control. Put your faith in HIS hands. HE will always be there to see you through the hard times as well as the good.
    This is what I am great full for.

  3. Gianni Beau

    Dear Mama,

    I’m sorry that I haven’t written lately or we haven’t spoken to each other. Things are busy here and one day blends into the next and time moves on.

    Thanksgiving day is over, but I felt the need to think about what I was thankful for. Someone once wrote that our country was blessed because we set aside a day each year to be thankful. I wonder if our problems as a country don’t come from the focus on preparing for shopping and finding bargains rather than giving thanks.

    Of all the things I have to be grateful for, it is that you were my mother. We had trying times together and if you hadn’t kept trying to protect Eleanor and me, I don’t know what we would have done. I think we would have been dead.

    I am grateful that I was able to leave home and get an education. I know learning for the sake of learning is frowned upon today, but I was and am always grateful for each new thing I learned and learn. My life is fuller and richer because of it.

    I am grateful for finding work in something that I always enjoyed doing. Programming computers was and is a joy to do although I haven’t done much of that lately.

    I am grateful for marrying and divorcing Barbara. It forced me to look at myself and change the direction of my life. I’m sorry that it put Barbara through a lot, but I’m still grateful for what happened.

    I am grateful for finding Marie. We have been together for more than 35 years. The years have frequently been a struggle, but I know that I could not have grown without her being there.

    Then there is being grateful for the present moment. We weren’t badly affected by the hurricane Sandy. We didn’t loose electricity or water. Nothing of ours was destroyed.

    Mama I know that you were always grateful for a hurricane when I would come home to visit from college. For three summers there was a hurricane each summer during my visits and they allowed me to stay two or three days longer than I would have.

    I am also grateful for this moment when I can think of you and write to you even though we will never speak again in this life. I love you Mama.


  4. Montanna9

    To Whom it May Concern,
    I woke up in a comfortable bed with clean sheets and soft pillows. My house was warm and there was food in my refrigerator. I had a cheese omelet, toast, and black coffee for breakfast. I sat at the kitchen table and read the paper. Then I took Hawkeye for a walk. When I came home, I called my parents and said, “Happy Thanksgiving!”

    I have a job. I have a car that will take me to that job. But I didn’t have to work on Thanksgiving. I got a paid day off. My friend Katie asked me if I would spend Thanksgiving at her house. I showed up with flowers and pecan pie. Her husband offered me a cold beer. We watched football and put our feet on the coffee table. Then we had another cold beer.

    We ate turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and gravy. I tried the ambrosia. I said it was delicious. We talked about my wife, who died of colon cancer last March. She was thirty-nine. I told them my goal is to honor her life by living well, and dwelling on positive thoughts, even when it hurts.

    Katie sent me home with leftovers. She wrote on my Facebook page: “Thanks for spending Thanksgiving with us. It was great having you!”

  5. karenguccione

    On this Thanksgiving, like on so many others, I read and appreciate the wonderful posts about thankfulness. I love reading about the joys, gifts, and special moments in the lives of those around me. While many people dedicate themselves to thirty days of thankfulness, I am just not that steadfast. For me, it can be summed up in one main idea.

    There are no words to fully explain how thankful I am for having the opportunity to experience the past six years. In November 2006, right around Thanksgiving, I almost died in one of my heart surgeries. The surgeon made a critical error, causing a blockage in the lead vessel transporting the blood out of my heart. Numerous specialists and surgeons have told me it is miracle I did not suffocate on the operating table. Blood pooling in chest, neck, and face, my heart created collateral vessels to transport the blood away. No fancy surgeon saved me that day, my heart saved me. Death reached out, took me in its arms, and whispered, “Not yet.”

    Six years later, while I still struggle with the long-term effects of that blockage, I also try to appreciate each day for the opportunity to simply live it. There have been lots of highs and lows, but I am here. I am alive. Since then, I have been able to watch my children grow and thrive. I have laughed and cried, I have yelled and danced. I am living my life thanks to the gift of a second chance. For that, I will be forever grateful.

  6. Izzy16

    Dear God,

    Its easy to get wrapped up in the things we don’t have instead of focusing on the things we do have. I’m sixteen and it’s hard to remember to be grateful. But that’s not an excuse to disregard all the things you have given to me. But first I want to apologize for doubting your existence. I’m so sorry that I demanded proof that you are real when so many bad things have happened to proof you weren’t. To prove you had abandoned me. Ryan needs heart surgery, my dad lost his job, my mom’s diabetes are making her mean and I’m afraid my best friend will take her life while I’m too busy being depressed. But I now know you are there. I want to say that I am grateful that Ryan’s heart condition was caught on time, my dad is a hard worker and he’ll find anotehr job, my mom’s new attitude is just character building for me, my best friend is still alive and I’m depressed, but at least we have each other and our friendship. I want to say I’m grateful for the loved ones you surround me with, the tangible items I possess, and the passion of writing. I am most grateful for you igniting the spark of faith in me, for it got too dark and lonely with it blown out.
    I am grateful for the gifts around me and I promise to try harder in remembering that those gifts exist.

  7. Chrisgiraffe

    Dear Unseen Force That Guides Us All Including Me,

    You know I’m an ungrateful bastard at heart and I know that’s exactly what you created. I lived a blind life fool-heartedly thinking I could see. I lived a full life thinking I had nothing. You tested, you tried, you turned your back… or so you’d have me believe. And then my eyes opened to see the sunrise, the sunset, a child being born, a friend dying, a stranger helping another stranger, a parent holding on tight. My ears couldn’t escape your music and when I thought they were full you always gave them something new. My heart burst a thousand times but there was always a little glue somewhere to put it all back together. As many times as I think the day will be just like the last one you surprise me at the last minute. I would hate you but you know I love mocha and you always keep it near enough to keep me warm, smiling and on friendly terms. Perhaps it’s not so much that you’re not here as much as you’re not as close as I’d like. Whatever you are, thank you for everything. Don’t be a stranger.


  8. slayerdan

    To Whom It May Concern:

    To my friends and family, neighbors, strangers, internet skulkers, those past and those to come. I find it asinine to have a day of thanks once a year. I do not mean this as negative. As a still somewhat young man, I have experienced: birth of my children, death of my closest friends, seen the most amazing sights and been party to some dismal times. See these dots?….. Those are the lifetimes of five people in the grand scheme of things.

    Over and done.

    And of theat blip in the timeline, they spent one day a year being thankful.


    Be thankful every single day. For the simple, minute things that often escape us. A moment of silence. A smiling baby at a restaurant. Our military dying for greedy politicians so we can be free. Be thankful for your ability to choose. Your ability to have a child. To see a movie. To buy a Snickers. To cry. To laugh. To share. To handle the biggest slap life can give you and still plod forward-a little slower but a lot wiser.

    I am thankful every day I wake up and realize “hey, I am still here”. Make your mark. The more removed we are from the birth of our country(sorry, this is somewhat America-centric) the more the next generation just doesnt get how hard it was to get here.

    And celebrating it one day a year isnt going to help them.

    Instead of being thankful, be a teacher. Teach kids to appreciate the things that we here try to write about. Human frailty. Random smells. A pat on the back from a stranger. Laughing when you fall down in the mud. Where we came from. Who died for where we are. Help them keep the true notion of what it means to be thankful alive.

    Not eating turkey.

    In closing, more than ever, I am thankful I have the ability to step a bit out of the norm, and share with people. To think. To analyze. To put forth an argument. And hopefully inspire others to do the same.

    I also thankful for old Looney Tunes(before being considered so horrible), loud rock music, and the ability to sit at the beach at 2am and listen to the ocean tell me how much older and wiser she is than I am.

    ….. Thats five more people, gone. Is one day a year really enough? everyday people–everyday.

    Now go eat seconds.


  9. penney

    Dear Everyone,

    Okay, the Thanksgiving rush is about to happen. My car broke down last night taking Allison to Aunts house for sleepover, canceled. Scheduled dinner at in-laws for today but canceled due to car, but last minute they’re coming to get us. Oops guess I have to get that stuff I was supposed to after all. Rides here in 20min, kids almost ready, Randy ran to the Safeway(thank God it was open), Drinks on Us! Did you get an ice bag, honey? Holy Crap they’re here…. I’m not dressed yet! I’ve got to pee…. put the dogs out, wait no, in…. fill the water dish… what else, teeth, breath, diabetes kit, camera get the darn camera! RUN!!!! HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE!

    If my day wasn’t like this one, I would be all alone with nothing to look forward to. I am thankful for having a life even as turbulent as this one.

  10. Morgan Le Fables

    From: ML@email.com
    To: AuntieM@email.com
    Date: Tue, Nov 20, 2012 at 10:02 PM
    Subject: Re:Thanksgiving Dinner… Help!!!

    Hi Auntie M … 🙂

    First off, thank you so much for helping out! Here is the super short list of food I’d like you to bring for thanksgiving dinner:

    -Eggnog (its mostly for Uncle Gregg, so we need to make A LOT),
    -Sweet Potato Pie (I tried to pry Nana’s secret recipe from Auntie Sue, but she is refusing to let me in on the secret ingredient/s).

    Once again, thank you so much for doing this and helping out. I wasn’t sure how to make the Sweet Potato Pie just the way Nana made it, and I wanted the kids to enjoy it again this year.

    I really do miss Nana around the holidays. I remember when she used to sit me down and tell me stories about her life when she was younger. Do you remember how every thanksgiving she’d stand up at the end of the dinner table, and tell us how she was most thankful for the orange tree that grew down the road from her childhood home?

    I guess that is where Nana’s love of eating oranges came from, huh. Wait, do you think oranges are one of the secret ingredients in her Sweet Potato Pie recipe?

    I guess, in a way, Nana being gone makes me feel even more thankful for all the family I have around me. Makes me feel more grateful for the time we all get to spend together… ah well, sorry for getting a bit melancholy there. 🙁

    Anyhow, call me if you need anything.

    Love, ML x


    Authors Note: Over here in the UK, we don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, but we do celebrate the holiday season (in general). So Happy Holidays everyone!

  11. JaredCayman

    Dear Puppy Face,

    My little black and white doggy, you’ve done so well, and both of us love you very much.

    Thank you for dealing with this crazy move, and putting up with both of our “ups and downs”. Mom and I have been under more stress than normal, as I sure you’ve sniffed it the air.

    We are almost done with the mental adjustment. Soon we will all have a new home, bigger, brighter, and with something you’ve waited a long time for! A back yard! You deserve it.

    Sometimes I wonder if you miss home. I know most of your old friends back home would trade places with you in an instant. As would most of our friends.

    I hope you know, you are probably the most spoiled dog in the universe, at least, in all the caribbean. But that is because you are pretty darn cool. Even though you rarely listen, eat stuff you that can hurt you, and occasionally, really piss me off. But you make up for in cuddles and craziness. Not to mention your ability to listen and understand me, and without saying a word, console me.

    So Marley, this Thanksgiving, I am thankful for you. My little buddy. I give you thanks for reminding me to look at the bigger picture in life and not take myself so seriously. For showing me that if I want to run around the house like a lunatic, after I have a bath, then its ok, even fun.

    You’re a Good girl.

    Mom and Dad.

    You’re gonna get a brother!

  12. seliz

    Dear Son,

    I was thankful for you from the moment you were born. That’s why I had to give you up.

    It’s been a hard road; two years without you here in my arms feels like an eternity. Every day is a battle where grief threatens to overcome me when I think about losing you. It still feels like yesterday when I kissed your tiny head goodbye for the last time in the hospital.

    But then I remember why I did it. I remember struggling growing up; hearing my parents arguing about money almost every night. I remember being hungry and finding nothing but bare cupboards to quell my growling stomach. Can you imagine me at just fifteen working my first job just so I could give the whole check to my parents? And do you know the most heartbreaking part of that memory? My parents shamefaced looks when they took it. They never wanted me to have to do that.

    Son, I never want that for you either.

    So this Thanksgiving I’m thankful not only for the miracle of your existence or the blessing you are as a person (still blooming into your own individual). I’m thankful for more. I’m thankful that you’ll spend this Thanksgiving, and everyone after, surrounded by people who love you; not worrying about what lay behind the scenes.

    I’m thankful that you’ll never know about the pain of hunger or the worry of how you’ll get by.

    And I’m thankful that you’ll never know the pain of missing me because you’ll never know about me, sweet boy. You’ll grow and thrive because nothing is holding you back; not hunger, not sorrow–no limits.

    So enjoy this Thanksgiving tremendously and continue to live your life with no limits. Know that above all else you will always be loved, my sweet.

    With all my love,

    Your birth mother

  13. Imaginalchemy

    “From the Mailbag at the Department of Universal Fairness”

    Dear Dept. of Universal Fairness,
    I have nothing to be thankful for this year! My stupid parents only got me an iPhone with 16GB memory, instead of the one I asked for with 32GB. This is the worst pre-Christmas gift ever! They better return it and get the right one before Christmas, and they better have not screw up my other gifts as well.
    But until then, I have no reason to be thankful for anything.

    ~The Youth

    To the Dept. of Universal Fairness,
    Where’s the justice, huh? I thought you people were supposed to look out for the little guys like us. Instead I have to cancel my vacation to Belize because my kid got sick, and now I’m stuck at home with the whole family for my paid time off. This is outrageous!
    Due to your lack of service and your complete ineptitude, I have nothing to be thankful for this year.

    ~The Mogul

    Dear Dept. of Universal Fairness,
    Why is it that everything has to be so hard? I mean, all I wanted was that gorgeous new pair of boots (trust me, I had no other pair like it among my 52 sets of shoes), and the moment I put them on to go to the premiere, some idiot steps on my foot and scuffs my beautiful new boot. Can’t you teach that moron a lesson? You know, make his foot fall off or something so he’s no longer a menace to us all? You’re supposed to grant universal fairness, after all. Start doing your job!
    It’s really ungrateful of you that you have it soooo easy, while the rest of us work so hard and have to put up with crap like this.

    ~The Diva

    Dear Valued Customer,
    The facts that you have the good health, the mental capacity, and the freedom in which to write your letter to us should be more than enough evidence that you have PLENTY to be thankful for.

    The Dept. of Universal Fairness

  14. handyman43127

    Dear Jesus

    Here it is, another November. I saw it coming months ago.

    Looking back, I see so many prayers unanswered, The world is still fighting for a belief that has nothing to do with love. I wonder how we will exist beyond ourselves? Do you understand me?

    I find myself unemployed this year, the savings account is empty and the house is gone. If it were not for the generosity of others I would be homeless. Have you heard me?

    Everything that can break is now broken, my will is cast into the wind, blown in the wind like the unwanted flowers that are plucked from the lawn, Do you see me?

    I have found love, but she is so far away. How will I get to her without your help? Can you help me?

    I suppose I will remove the frozen turkey from the freezer, thaw it on the counter, open the cans, stored for an emergency and cook on the stove that is not mine. See me?

    When I find something to be thankful for I will be sure to write you about it. Until then I will continue to ask for more than I want or need. Did you hear me?

    Have a wonderful and blessed holiday.

    Yours faithfully Billy.

    1. Imaginalchemy

      Very moving…I’m hoping that this is a fictitious letter, and not one stemming from personal experience? If it is fictitious, I love how you put a different spin on what one might expect from this prompt. If it is not fictitious, I will send lots of good thoughts your way and hope things get better for you.


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