11/24/2011 09:46 am ET Updated Nov 24, 2011

HuffPost Says Thanks: What We're Grateful For This Year


It's a simple enough word. But once a year, we put aside our differences and hit the pause button on everyday life to reflect on what we're really thankful for.

And, it turns out, counting your blessings has real health benefits. Grateful people "feel more alert, alive, interested, enthusiastic. They also feel more connected to others," said University of California, Davis psychology professor Robert Emmons, author of two books on the science of gratitude, in an Associated Press article this week. "Gratitude also serves as a stress buffer ... Grateful people are less likely to experience envy, anger, resentment, regret and other unpleasant states that produce stress."

That effect extends to adolescents, as well. A study published last year in the Journal of Happiness Studies found that grateful kids had higher GPAs and life satisfaction, and were less envious and depressed than their less-grateful peers

So, in the spirit of gratefulness, we asked staffers at AOL Huffington Post Media Group to share what they're most thankful for. Read on for their thoughts (and some personal photos!) -- then tell us, what will you be giving thanks for this year?