top of page

Attitudes of Gratitude - Essay Contest

Updated: Nov 29, 2021

2021 THANKSGIVING

These winning entries from the Idaho Catholic Register’s annual Thanksgiving Essay contest from grades 6-8 appeared in our Nov. 19 issue.

GRAND PRIZE WINNER (ALL GRADES)

Reid Krahn

Seventh Grade

All Saints, Lewiston


I could faintly see the bright light in my bedroom on, “What are you doing?” I croaked.

“Come on Reid, get up, we are leaving in 30.” It was Caleb, I knew he was ready, he probably had been up for an hour already. I glanced at the clock. 4:12 it read.


“Hey, hey, hey!”


I would know that loud voice anywhere. It was my cousin Jesse, always obnoxious, yet a great person to hang out with.


I opened my eyes fully, the two beds had covers thrown to the side.


“Well, let’s go.” I said, wiping the sleep from my eyes.


I had all my warm clothes on, the late November chill really can take a toll on me. My dad made tons of coffee, I sipped on the hot drink as we pulled out of the garage. Everything had been loaded, ready for the pre-Thanksgiving fishing trip.


We pulled into the parking lot a half hour later. My other uncle, cousin and grandpa were waiting, along with our friend. He had a nice, 26-foot Bentz Boat, and was pulling it with a second-generation flatbed Dodge.


We loaded up and headed out for the long fishing day. It was still very dark, the hour-long drive to the boat launch felt like forever. However, when we got to the launch it felt amazing to be outside in the fresh air. The loud hum of the rapids made me thankful for this trip with my family.


Eighth Grade

FIRST PLACE

Abigail Wallace

St. Joseph’s, Boise


I am grateful for many things this Thanksgiving season, and that makes it difficult to narrow down my gratitude to something or someone in particular.


For one, I had the pleasure of watching myself and people near to me change and grow during these past few months. If nothing else, I am eternally grateful for that.


In the start of 2021, I wondered if, like the year before it, it would be spent predominantly alone. This has not been the case for me. When I needed it most, the people in my life that really matter rallied behind me, helping me through hard times and picking me up when I made mistakes.


Since the beginning of this year, I have grown and been able to watch the people around me change and grow up. I could not be anything other than thankful that I have both given myself the grace to accept new people into my life, and the ability to let go of people that don’t make me happy and lift me up. Confidence comes naturally to kids as they grow up, just like rash decision-making and restlessness. But grace is something that can be incredibly hard to both dole out and accept for oneself.


I’m saying that most of all I’m grateful for support systems, for grace, for getting to grow and make mistakes, and for life going back to normal(ish). I have many things to be grateful for this Thanksgiving season, and I will continue to focus on them as I grow up.


Eighth Grade

SECOND PLACE

Audrey Parsons

St. Joseph’s, Boise


This year I am thankful for the health care workers. We’ve been in a pandemic for a year and a half, stretching health-care workers and the healthcare system to its limits. The healthcare workers have to help all the people with COVID, along with all the people who would normally be admitted. I can’t imagine the amount of stamina they must have to show up to work every day to work 12 hours amidst death, suffering, and hatred.


And yet, we keep on ignoring the signs around us that this pandemic is real. There are more than 5 million deaths from COVID-19 worldwide. The healthcare workers witness at least one of these deaths a day. I hope and pray that God will keep me and every-one I love safe. I believe that He will. But, God is caring for 7.753 billion people at one time. That’s a lot, so we should help Him by getting vaccinated and wearing masks. This will also help the healthcare workers whose designated places of work (hospitals) are currently in crisis care, which means they are having to decide who to help and who not to.


God doesn’t want to see His people suffer and neither do the rest of us. Would you rather wear a piece of cloth to save a life or have someone die because you didn’t? Personally, I want to keep those around me safe. I hope you do, too.


Eighth Grade

THIRD PLACE

Noah Horn

Sacred Heart, Boise


What I am thankful for this Thanks-giving is all the veterans. I am thankful for the veterans because they fought for and sacrificed their lives for the good and well-being of this country.


Every day I think to myself how blessed I am to live in this amazing country, and it is all because of them. From all those who fought in the Battle of Gettysburg to those who fought in the Vietnam War, they are the reasons we have the freedoms we have today. They gave up their lives so that we could live a better one. These amazing human beings are the reason I am able to wake up every morning and say proudly that I live in the greatest country in the world. I am so grateful and I will always remember those who fought and gave their lives for this country.


Eighth Grade

HONORABLE MENTION

Zach Boroff

St. Mark’s, Boise


Thanksgiving is the time of year when we reflect on the amazing talents, people and things God has given us. This year, more than ever, we have to grateful for the wonders handed to us. We have experienced loss, loneliness and separation. But, maybe that isn’t such a bad thing. Maybe we just need to slow down and take in this beautiful world; the world that God has given us because He loves us so much. He puts these wonderful people in your life to bring you closer to God because that is how much He loves each of us.


I’m most grateful for people: my family, my classmates, my teachers and my friends. I guarantee you that you would not be where you are without the support your loved ones give you. So, this Thanksgiving, when you sit down and enjoy your Thanksgiving traditions, try to reflect on all those people who inspired you, challenged you and made you who you are. Give them a call, invite them for dinner and show them just how much they mean to you.


Seventh Grade

FIRST PLACE

Micah Mager

St. John Bosco, Cottonwood


I’m grateful for my community. I’ve been here my entire life and every time I travel to different cities or towns I do not ever think of living there and am so grateful for where I live. I live in Cottonwood and go to a wonderful school, St. John Bosco.


People may say that this town is very boring, and there’s nothing to do. If you

actually spent time here, you would enjoy it. I can walk to my friend’s house in a minute without waiting too long to walk across a street. There are no stoplights here, just stop signs. St. Mary’s Church is always packed on Sundays.


I’ve never been in a car while someone behind us honked rudely because we were going too slow or talking to someone who was on the sidewalk. I’m hoping to live in Cottonwood for my whole life and to also raise my children here if I have any. If I have children, I hope they will love this town as much as I do. I pray that this town will stay the same for as long as I live.


honked rudely because we were going too slow or talking to someone who was on the sidewalk. I’m hoping to live in Cottonwood for my whole life and to also raise my children here if I have any. If I have children, I hope they will love this town as much as I do. I pray that this town will stay the same for as long as I live.



Seventh Grade

SECOND PLACE

Holten Crane

St. Paul’s, Nampa


This year and for many years now, I have been thankful for Jesus. Jesus is the savior. He came down for us and died on the cross. We read about this in the Bible. I’m very thankful for the Sermon on the Mount and His teachings about the way to get to heaven.


Matthew, one of Jesus’ disciples, includes the Sermon on the Mount in his Gospel. The Sermon on the Mount is Jesus teaching all the people there about the true meaning of the commandments and the Beatitudes. He teaches them the deeper meaning about how to follow Him. He tells us that if we want to make it to heaven we need Him because it is impossible to make it to heaven without Him.


One of the main reasons I am thankful for Jesus is because of His death on the cross. He died on the cross to save us. He saved us in two great ways. One was he freed us from original sin. Without His death, we would never have the chance to be freed from original sin through baptism. The second reason is the greatest reason, which is the ability to make it to heaven. His death gave us the chance to meet God our Father in person and to have eternal happiness with Him in heaven. Jesus not only saved us, but He also saved the Old Testament saints who were waiting for him to come. These Bible teachings help us to get to know Him even before we possibly get to heaven and meet Him. Without the Bible, we wouldn’t know how to get to heaven or even know who He truly is.


Reading the Bible is an exceedingly good thing to do if you want to learn about Jesus and the history of our faith. I want to continue growing faith by understanding the Bible and really contemplating on it.


Seventh Grade

THIRD PLACE

Evan Sterling

Sacred Heart, Boise


What I am most grateful for this Thanksgiving are all military members. I am grateful for them because they give us the chance to be together. I am also thankful for my grandpa who was a Marine, my dad who was in the Air Force, and my brother who is an active Marine. They are all very special.


Veterans are very hard working, and they do a lot to make sure that we stay safe. These people are also the reason we are living peacefully this Thanksgiving. Without these people who risk their lives, we wouldn’t have peace and wouldn’t be all together this Thanks-giving. I am very thankful for veterans because some of them don’t even get to see their families this Thanksgiving. These people are the people who help us live the lives we live. I’m thankful for all new and old military members.


Seventh Grade

HONORABLE MENTION

Kevin John Martínez

St. Joseph’s, Boise


The last two years have been crazy. The pandemic has taught me many great lessons that I have carried on to this day. Most important, you need to be grateful for all the beautiful things in life. Rather than focusing on all the negative things you face, you must look around and be happy for what you have. My favorite quote is by Aaron Burr: “Talk less, smile more.”


Being grateful for my many opportunities has helped me realize how lucky I am to have a family that loves and supports me no matter what. My family has always supported me, which has made me the person that I am today. I am showing my family my gratitude by thanking them and doing little things with and for them. I am raking leaves for my father, playing with my brother, and helping my mom out with chores around the house.


Another thing I am grateful for is my Catholic education. While many kids around the world were stuck at home doing online school, I had the chance to learn in front of my teachers and friends in the classroom. I am grateful for my Catholic education since I am able to learn about and pray to God every day while also getting a high-level education. I am able to show my gratitude by being a caring person and helping others on their own journeys.


Sixth Grade

FIRST PLACE

Eve Didelius


All Saints, Lewiston

I have much to be thankful for but if I list all of it, it would be unending so here is what is the most important to me: my family. There are 12 of us: me, nine brothers, and Mom and Dad. Sometimes it’s hard to be thankful for my family because they can be annoying, but I can think of something to be thankful for every one of them.


Peter would be nice to have around when I am older and looking for a car because he knows a lot about cars and could find the right one for me. James is helpful because he lives in Walla Walla, and I live in Lewiston so he can let me know what’s going on down there. Tommy can figure out how to play any musical instrument in an average of three months. John is good with the drums. Andrew can dig a hole faster than any average adult. Matthew is important in every dessert recipe. Nathaniel has developed huge friendships that are very sure for a 4-year-old. Jude is wild. Si-mon is cute. Mom knows all the secrets of baking. Dad is an expert at pingpong, and we play once a week. So all those people are my family.


The reason I picked family to write about is because of my faith. Without my family, it may be hard to remain Catholic, and since that’s the most important to me, I am thankful for them helping me stay that way!


Sixth Grade

SECOND PLACE

Malachi Graham-Pile

St. John Bosco, Cottonwood


I’m grateful for my friends and family. My friends have helped me overcome stuff I struggle with. I am also grateful for the chance to do a lot of activities. 4-H has taught me patience with my goat, even though I still struggle with patience. Hard work has made me humble and less whiney.


I also lost a lot of weight with six years on the farm. Two years ago, I started football and wasn’t really good at it, but I have gotten better and this year my nickname is “Freight Train.” I’ve also had other struggles that I’ve overcome, and I am grateful for that. Now I’m working on not lying and staying organized. Soon, I will get better at these things, too. That is what I’m grateful for.


Sixth Grade

THIRD PLACE

Logan Yallaly

St. Joseph’s, Boise


What am I grateful for? That’s a very good question. I know that you are probably thinking of something like family or friends, but in truth, I am grateful for my teachers and the people who have gotten the COVID vaccine.


My fellow classmates and I have started Middle School during perhaps the worst year possible. As you know, we are in a pandemic and it has been rough. School has been tricky for students, but nobody stops to think about the teachers. Teachers have gone through a lot during these past couple of school years and it has been extremely hard on them. They have had to change their lesson plans be-cause kids have been getting COVID-19 or exposed to people carrying it. Teachers should be worldwide heroes for all of the things they have done. They should receive high honors along with the hospital workers.


I would like to thank all of those who have gotten the COVID vaccine and the people who have been fighting to end this pandemic, most importantly the people who risked their lives to help the people with the deadly coronavirus, and last, but certainly not least, my teachers.


Sixth Grade

HONORABLE MENTION

Maria McGoldrick

St. Mary’s, Boise


I am grateful for our world and the people who protect it. Even when my world seems down, these people are still there to help it. The world keeps us safe and provides us with what we need: food, water, air, and shelter, you name it. We must not take it for granted. If the world is in danger, then so are we. Let’s go outside and plant a tree. Trust me, this is not just for me. Take your family and friends and have some fun, for our lives have barely begun.


No matter how old or young you are, you can still appreciate the world around you. So, this Thanksgiving, offer a prayer or two to God and be grateful for what we have. Let’s offer a prayer to the people who keep us safe, including doctors, policemen, firefighters, and our armed forces. The doctors keep us healthy and happy. Whenever you’re sick or hurt, you know you can rely on them. Police-men stop the bad people from messing with our lives. Firefighters protect us from fires anywhere and anytime. The armed forces protect our country from attacks and in wars. Now that is a dangerous job!


If you enjoyed this story and would like to read more like it, please consider buying a subscription to the Idaho Catholic Register. Your $20 yearly subscription also supports the work of the Diocese of Boise Communications Department, which includes not only the newspaper, but this website, social media posts and videos. You can subscribe here, or through your parish, or send a check to 1501 S. Federal Way, Boise, ID, 83705: or call 208-350-7554 to leave a credit card payment. Thank you, and God bless you.



140 views0 comments

Comments


Diocesan Pastoral Center

FAX: (208) 342-0224

1501 S. FEDERAL WAY, SUITE 400, BOISE, ID 83705

  • Facebook
  • YouTube
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
bottom of page