What are you grateful for this year?

Minnesotans offer insights on what they are thankful for this holiday season

A thanksgiving meal being served
Minnesotans young and old told us what they are thankful for this holiday season.
Wendy Wei on Pexels

Updated: Nov. 25, 11:12 a.m.

Thanksgiving is sometimes the only time of year when we talk about what — and who — we're grateful for.

In the interest of spreading those feelings of gratitude, MPR News’ Emily Bright visited Wescott Library in Eagan and Gatewood Elementary School in Minnetonka to ask people of all ages, in person.


“I am grateful for my friends and family, because then I actually get to play with them and I spend time with them. Because you never know when they're going to pass away and how long they're going to live.” — Daisy Zamorano Romero, age 10 

Daisy and Ayan share what they're thankful for.

“I'm grateful for my family making s’mores. We go camping a lot. I'm grateful that we're gonna get a new puppy because I love puppies.” — Rosie Zamorano Romero, age 6 

“I'm grateful for my family. Because the days that I don't have school, I get to spend time with them. It's really cool to have a family that loves you. And siblings that love you so much that you could play with every day.” — Ayan Mahamud, age 10

“I'm grateful for my siblings, because if I didn't have siblings, I would have been bored. And I wouldn’t have anybody to play with. I'm grateful to be back in school, because it helps me learn. And I can learn more in-person than being in distance.” — Awo Mahamud, age 12

Awo, Jason and Rosie share what they're thankful for.

“I'm grateful for my family because my mom and dad get me whatever I want. I like my brother, because me and him play some basketball sometimes on his phone, and sometimes I watch movies with my mom and dad.” — Jason, age 9

“I’m grateful for my family, because if you didn’t have one you would be lonely and you would have nothing. [With my family, I like to] play video games, play hide and seek, read a book, and do challenges, like whoever can read the most books or eat the most food, stuff like that.” — Asiya Dakol, age 11

Adults share what they're grateful for this holiday season

“I'm grateful for being alive after the COVID pandemic. We have lost so many people along the line. Both of my sisters are nurses. My elder sister is front-line; she has been taking care of patients who have been affected by COVID. She kept striving, and she didn't give up on her job. People were also resilient. I hear so many stories from her and that keeps me going.” — Dawit, Eagan

“I'm grateful to be able to spend time with my nieces and nephews. With COVID for a long time, we weren't able to do that. So I'm just grateful that we're able to do that now.” — Keandra Binns, Eagan

“I'm thankful for classical music and a good beer!” — Joe Simon

“I would have to say [I’m grateful for] my wife, because she does so much for me, even without asking, and so I'm very grateful that she is in my life.” — Ted Martz, Burnsville

“I'm grateful for just being able to have my partner and I's families both meet together. This is what will be our first time having that happen. So I'm really excited to see that play out. Aside from that, I’m grateful for a job that I found that I’m transitioning into.” — Josh Lai, St. Paul

“I’m grateful to be here along with my daughter and grandkids [using the public library computers.] I’m not too good with the computers, so just to be able to have her help, here with me, and just to be around the holiday season. It’s my favorite time of the year.” — Anita Dozier, St. Paul

“This is my 35th year of teaching. I love the community I live in and the families I have worked with over the years. I am an essential caregiver for my 97-year-old mother and I am so grateful to have been hired to teach in an online program this year with families from all over the state of Minnesota. I look forward to working with my students every day and the joy they bring me. I am also grateful for the time I get to spend with my mother!” — Christi Kaehn, Eden Prairie

“I am so grateful for my spouse who is endlessly kind to me and my coworkers/friends who keep me grounded. I am grateful for holidays when I can slow down and enjoy just being.” — Konnie


What are your grateful for? Submit your own story here! We’ll keep updating this feature throughout the holiday weekend.

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