Happy Thanksgiving! This week and leading up to Thursday, homes across the United States will be filled with people, laughter and the delicious smell of sweet, sweet Thanksgiving holiday food.
Over the years, Thanksgiving has evolved from more than just a historic holiday celebrating people coming together. Instead, it has shifted further to focus on reflecting and giving thanks for every gift in life. Gratitude is about more than taking a second to say “Thanks.” Gratitude shows true appreciation. This Thanksgiving, we have some ideas for how you can give gratitude.
1. Make a list.
How can you give gratitude if you don’t know what exactly you’re thankful for? First and foremost, give gratitude this week by making a list of everything in life you have to be thankful for. It could be something as simple as the shoes on your feet to something as big as the house you live in and the food you eat. Make a list with as many items as you can think of, and then share that list with others in your life. Encourage them to also make a list if possible, and work together to come up with ideas. For families sitting around a Thanksgiving meal, one idea is to go around the table before eating and each share something you are thankful for.
2. Write a letter.
If there is someone in your life you are especially grateful for, let them know. Maybe it’s a mentor, friend or relative who lives far away. Try writing an old-fashioned, handwritten letter to take the time and specifically tell them what they mean to you and why you are grateful to have them in your life. With technology nowadays, handwritten letters mean so much more, so show that to the person you care about. Chances are you will make their Thanksgiving day much sweeter.
3. Give a gift.
You don’t have to wait until winter to give gifts. Show your appreciation and gratitude for those in your life by giving Thanksgiving gifts. These can be anything from an actual wish list item, to just a kind note thanking them for being a part of your life. Homemade and simple gifts are a valuable way to show your gratitude to the most important people in your life and make them feel appreciated. Build stronger relationships and share the love this Thanksgiving week and going into the holiday season.
4. Hold a ceremony.
Have you ever tried holding an awards ceremony during your Thanksgiving dinner? Try it! Only this time, hand out awards to family members for things you are grateful for. Is someone particularly kindhearted? Give out an award. Are you grateful for someone who works long hours to provide for the family? Give them an award. An award ceremony is a fun, lighthearted way of showing genuine appreciation for the loved ones in your life. Put together some awards this week to showcase at the big reveal on Thursday.
5. Offer a meal.
Finally, some friends and family members may have nowhere to go this Thanksgiving, or don’t have the financial capability of providing a meal. You can show gratitude for everything in your life by giving back to others. Offer a meal this Thanksgiving—either to friends who need a family for the night, or by literally donating food to a community organization and see how your heart swells with gratitude and love.
This Thanksgiving week, show your gratitude for everything in your life by trying out some of these tips. Reflect on what you’re thankful for, show appreciation and give back to have a wonderful Thanksgiving season.