by Tomeka Jones, CNN
Editor's note: This post examines interesting comments and thought-provoking conversations posted by the CNN Student News community. Some comments have been edited for space or clarity.
(CNN) - Thanksgiving is more than a succulent turkey with all the fixings and a slice of sweet potato pie. At least that’s what some middle and high school students believe when it comes to a day of giving thanks. Many students shared with CNN that they’re most thankful for family, friends, and much more.
Read some of their heartfelt messages of gratitude:
Asia: I’m thankful that someone adopted me and that my sisters are able to get the proper TLC (tender loving care) that they need and I’m also thankful for my awesome civics teacher, Mr. Plyler.
Robert: I am thankful for my mom for keeping food on the table and keeping a roof over my head. I am also thankful for my father; he has passed away but he’s still here with me. I am grateful to have a caring mother and a loving father.
Angel: I have a lot of things to be thankful for. I'm thankful for everything that has entered my life, even the bad times. Without the bad things, something good after that would've never happened. I'm also thankful for my family and friends, they’re always there for me when I need them. And, for having life of music!
Elijah: I am grateful for my Grandma. She does everything for me when I really need it. She is willing to go without paying a bill if I need something. She doesn’t have all the money in the world but she tries to make ends meet.
Sebastian: I am thankful for the food that I eat, I am thankful for the world so sweet, I am thankful for being with my family, and I am thankful for everything.
Roberto: I am really grateful for my group home because without them I’ll probably be homeless or in jail. My group home helped me out so much by giving me a roof over my head. They support me by helping me get my education; they help me out by giving me clothes. They help me stay out of trouble by giving me activities to do during the day.
Nathaniel:I am thankful for school, because if there wasn't school we wouldn't be smart and wouldn’t get anywhere in life.
Arcadia: I am thankful for the food I eat, the clothes on my back, a roof over my head, and to be able to go to school and have an education when there are a lot of people who don't have a house or go to school and struggle to have food to eat. We are complaining about our house being too small or about our clothes being old, and not up to date, or that we don't want to go to school when in another country a girl got shot for standing up for her rights to get an education. So think about the next time you complain about school and your house and clothes, because I am thankful that we have the right to go to school and everything I have.
Morgan: I am thankful for being able to wake up every morning and be able to eat a meal. Some kids don’t even have that.
Daniel: I am thankful for my amazing mother and everything she does for me and I am also am thankful for my sisters for their service in the U.S. Army. My 48-year-old sister who died last week in battle served for 20 years. And my 38-year-old sister who served for 10 years and is going back for another five in January 1, 2013.
Jacob: I’m thankful for the soldiers overseas.
Victoria: Thankful that our country is still prospering even though we are going through a tough time
David: I am thankful for the right of free speech.
Abiagail: I'm thankful that we Americans live in a safe country. I am also thankful that we have such brave soldiers that risk their lives for our freedom of speech, press, religion, and expression!
Jerod: The things I am thankful for are this country, my family and friends, and the men and women who serve and keep our country safe and free.
Lukas: What I'm thankful for is a nation where I can be free to make my own choices, be able to hang with others of different races, have a nice home with good pay coming in, and an education that will help me achieve my dreams.
Ronnie: I'm thankful for my mom raising me to be a young man. I'm also thankful for my great education and good grades.
Peri: I’m thankful for everything that has ever made me smile.
Carter: I look around and I realize everyday is a day to be thankful for because it’s the little things in life that leave an imprint on your heart.
What are you thankful for during the holidays? Tell us in the comments below.