We Asked People On The Street Who They Were Thankful For, And Their Answers Might Surprise You

04/13/2015 12:00 am ET | Updated Apr 15, 2015

If you think that thankfulness can only be served up beside a roasted turkey and a pumpkin pie, think again. It’s something that can -- and even should -- be practiced every day. And that’s not just because it makes someone else feel good: studies have shown that practicing gratitude improves your sleep, helps your heart and boosts your relationships. (Let us take this chance to tell you, we’re grateful that you’re reading!)

We partnered with American Greetings to ask regular New Yorkers (and a few tourists) to write down the one person they were most thankful for. The answers sometimes were surprising, but always heartwarming. Want to make yourself (and someone else) feel good? Let us who you’re thankful for (and why) in the comments.

Bear (Brother)
“Because he’s far away...and I miss him.”

My Mom
“Thank you for everything.” (He was Facetiming her when we stopped him.)

Nina, my daughter
“When my husband passed away suddenly, she left sunny, lovely California to come stay with me till I got back on my feet again.”

Brian (Brother)
“Just because he wouldn’t expect it. We usually fight all the time!”

“Because he makes me smile all the time, and what could be better than that?”

Seamus (brother)
“He can be a pain, but he’s been a good inspiration lately. And he’s going to kill me when he sees this drawing.”

My son
"My son, Nathaniel -- even though he's a teenager. Sometimes he's so good and he'll sit and cuddle, and other times I'm like, 'Who gave you that mouth?'"

My mom
“Growing up, you don’t appreciate your mom. Only when you’re older do you realize how much she has done for you.”

My Grandma Mary
“She recently passed away, and I learned a lot about her I didn’t know. We had a lot in common ... Now I’m crying! … She would have loved to be on this trip.”

Pope Francis
“Because he’s trying to change things.”

Anke (my sister)
“I kind of miss her on this trip because on family trips, she was always who I hung out with! She shaped me a lot and I idolized her when I was little. I tried to do everything like her.”

JDP, father-in-law
“It’s in hindsight, but [he] was always someone who was forcing things to happen. When I was younger, I had the natural reflex to reject it. [But] along the way the steps he took have proven to be so important.”

I am thankful for my mother!
“Because she’s the most important thing in my life. There’s a lot of people in my life, but she’s the number one person that came to my mind.”

We’ve all heard of a bucket list, but what about a ThankList? American Greetings wants you to share a thank you with the people who shaped you. Who’s on your ThankList?

Suggest a correction