Whether it’s the love of family, friends, or flashlights, St. George residents have much to be grateful for this holiday.

FEATURE — St. George News set out to randomly interview shoppers at the Zion Outlet Stores to find out what they are most grateful for this Thanksgiving season. Coming in at No. 1 is family, hands down.  Of 13 interviewed, 10 people responded, “family.”

Time-honored celebrations of thankfulness aren’t anything new. For thousands of years, many countries have celebrated a bountiful harvest or prosperity with festivals and traditions.

Today, many traditions have remained intact and families gather together in a spirit of thankfulness for good health, a bountiful harvest and for each other.

Sisters Madison and Taylor Wiser of St. George had no hesitation when asked what they were grateful for. “Family and friends,” Taylor Wiser said. “Definitely family — family’s top priority, always,” Madison Wiser said.

Jeremy Adams and Colton Burns  were just leaving Starbucks when asked what they were grateful for this holiday season and both agreed that family support was at the top of their list.

I am most grateful for definitely my family and how much they’ve supported me,” Burns said. “Been through a lot this last year.”

Carolyn Rodgers from South Jordan was finishing lunch at Mongolian BBQ and said, “I’m grateful for good health and family,” while her husband, Larry Rodgers, said, “She took the words right out of my mouth: We have a wonderful family.”

Lestie Black was also finishing up lunch.

“I’m most grateful for my four kids,” Black said. “I have four boys.”

St. George and its community is also a gratitude-list favorite for many of those interviewed. They cited community spirit, friends they’ve made in the area and people in general.

Cindy Mubata was finishing up her shopping. She moved from a much colder state, she said, where her family still lives.

“I’m so grateful for — actually that I’m in St. George; I like St. George, I love St. George,” Mubata said. “I moved from a place that’s very cold.”

Christian Harris moved to St. George to attend Dixie State University and despite encountering difficulties with the relocation, he has found a home here.

“I’m grateful for the family that supported me behind moving to Dixie,” Harris said, “as well as the friends I’ve made down here.”

Kami Jones is also a Dixie State University student who relocated to St. George. She had quite a bit to say about the St. George community and how grateful she is to be a part of it.

“People that you meet here are amazing and I feel like I’ve really found a family,” Jones said. “It’s just a brighter, happier place here. I love it, I love every part of it.”

A younger point of view came from Kadin Pitts, a resident of Washington, Utah.

“I get to be here for a nice vacation — and that I have flashlights” Pitts said of things he is thankful for. 

Tying into community spirit for some is volunteerism and charity.

“I’m most grateful for ‘Coins for Kids,’ it’s a great program,” Mercado said. “There’s a lot of volunteers that take the time to make someone else happy and makes themselves happy.”

KONY Coins for Kids” is a nonprofit organization that provides Christmas presents for less fortunate children in Washington County.

St. George resident Dieu Hua is thankful for a bountiful harvest and health.

“I’m grateful that I got a job, and still have a job,” Hua said. “I have good health and hopefully next year will be better.”

Thanksgiving is full of family, food and festivities for many, but there are those who work on Thanksgiving and are unable to enjoy a traditional holiday.

Going without law enforcement, firefighters, hospitals, utilities and transportation crews would be unimaginable during the holidays. Even those working at the corner store or restaurant provide a valuable service.

At the end of the day, most agree, the best place to spend the holidays is with family, friends … and flashlights.

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Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2015, all rights reserved.

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