How to Show Thanks - 20 Thanksgiving Ideas

Ways to show thanks this Thanksgiving

Need some ideas for how to show thanks this holiday season? One way to show gratitude for what you have is to give something back. This means giving of your time, your money, and even your heart.

Here are 20 ways to express your gratitude for what you have this holiday season by reaching out to others


List of what you're thankful for: It can include things as important as family or anything else.
List of what you're thankful for: It can include things as important as family or anything else. | Source

Express your gratitude

1. Make a list of everything you are grateful for. Just writing it down will help you to feel more blessed and aware of what you actually have. From simple pleasures to deeper joys, write it all down.

2. Say a prayer of thanks, whether aloud or unspoken, or meditate on the blessings in your life. Think positive thoughts about the people and things for which you are thankful.

3. Send a handwritten letter to someone who shaped you or had a positive and lasting influence on you. This could be an elementary or high school teacher, a coach, a youth minister, or perhaps someone in your own family, such as a parent or grandparent.

4. Contact someone you haven’t talked to in a while. Reach out to a relative or old friend to chat and share how much you care.

5. Send a card or care package to a member of the armed forces to show your appreciation for their service. This act will make both your holidays brighter.


Start Thanksgiving traditions

6. In your own family, encourage family members to reflect on what they’re thankful for. Go around the Thanksgiving table, with each person mentioning at least one thing that he or she appreciates.

7. Visit a shut-in. Take a plate of food from your own Thanksgiving meal.

8. Donate to a specific charity. Get the whole family involved in choosing one each year and contributing toward it financially.

9. Do something for a friend going through a hard time. Take a card and food to someone going through a divorce or grieving a death. Offer to give them some respite by taking the kids for a while.

10. Commit to making a positive change in your life. Instead of waiting until the new year, why not express your gratitude at Thanksgiving by vowing to do something positive in your life such as quitting smoking or establishing an exercise routine.


Donate or volunteer

11. Volunteer at a soup kitchen on Thanksgiving to help serve the meal. If your town does not have such a place, take food to a shelter or food closet. If you don’t have a local homeless shelter, check with local churches, as most take food to distribute to those in need.

12. Take warm blankets, gloves, and hats to the local homeless shelter

13. Donate clothes and toys to a women’s or children’s shelter.

14. Send an anonymous donation to a family in need. Earmark it for Christmas gifts, medical bills, or something else if you know the specific need. .

15. Donate to others who have recently experienced disasters. Think about recent events that have affected large groups of people. In 2012, for instance, Hurricane Sandy affected a huge number of people on the east coast of the United States. Find worthy causes such as this one where you can donate your money or time.


Hugs welcome!
Hugs welcome! | Source

Give of your time and your heart

16. Do something for your elderly neighbor. Rake the yard. Take out the trash. Drop off a pumpkin pie with a note.

17. Visit your grandparents and other older relatives. If you don’t have any, visit an older person in a nursing home. The social worker there can tell you who gets few or no visitors.

18. Visit the local animal shelter and adopt a pet. Consider saving a life by adopting an older pet. You will enrich its life as well as your own.

19. Pay it forward—Yeah, I know, you’re always hearing this phrase. Well, you are always hearing this phrase because “paying it forward” is a legitimate way to show your gratitude for what you have and passing your gratefulness along to others. Pay it forward by paying for a stranger's meal, by putting extra money in the parking meter, or by leaving a bag of canned goods on the porch of a needy person or family.

20. Give hugs. Hugs are simple. Hugs are free. Hugs are very effective. Hugs are one of the best things you can give away.


A Beautiful Song of Thanks

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I appreciate your comments! Happy Thanksgiving! 60 comments

ThePracticalMommy profile image

ThePracticalMommy 4 years ago from United States

Great reminder to be thankful during this season! I like that you gave ways to volunteer time or to donate to those in need. So many of us who are blessed sometimes forget to give back!


ahorseback profile image

ahorseback 4 years ago

I love that list , Family , leaves and coffee ! perfect , perfect hub too !


jpcmc profile image

jpcmc 4 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

The hand written letter is a nice one. Having a personal touch makes it more special.


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

PracticalMommy--Glad you liked it! It is good for us to stop and remember to get back--and to count our blessings! I forget sometimes myself! Thanks for the input!


Kris Heeter profile image

Kris Heeter 4 years ago from Indiana

I love many of these ideas and will share this with some family and friends. And, most of these can be done all year round! Great hub!


stephanieb27 profile image

stephanieb27 4 years ago from United States

Love the list! I just wrote a similar hub last week. I want to be more intentional about showing thanks and giving this month. :)


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

Thanks, ahorseback! I'm thrilled that you think so! I should have included my dog and cats in the list, but I guess they're my family!


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

jpcmc--I love handwritten notes and cards. A letter would mean so much. Thanks for the input. :-)


RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 4 years ago from the short journey

20 beautiful ideas for showing thanks! Wouldn't it be wonderful if we chose to practice them throughout the year and report back here for Thanksgiving 2013.


Mhatter99 profile image

Mhatter99 4 years ago from San Francisco

What can I say? Great advice. Thank you. If I were well, I'd be making my rounds for Toy for Tots.


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

A great hub which I thoroughly enjoyed this one and thank you so much for sharing.

I vote up and share.

Eddy.


ImKarn23 profile image

ImKarn23 4 years ago

These are beautiful sentiments - for thanksgiving or any old time at all! I'm Canadian and we celebrate TG in oct for some reason, but - i'm heading to florida to do American TG with friends!

I wish you health and happiness always, my friend - and the inner peace that can only come from being surrounded by loving friends and family - and a HUGE hoarkin' turkey!

LOL


viveresperando profile image

viveresperando 4 years ago from A Place Where Nothing Is Real

Loved this. I try to give thanks every night before I go to bed and any moment when something frustrates, upsets, hurts me, etc it helps me to not allow certain things to get a grasp of my day.. :) enjoyed going through your list.


GiblinGirl profile image

GiblinGirl 4 years ago from New Jersey

What a great, positive hub. Thanks for sharing. I definitely want to try some of these things - they are all very doable.


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

Kris Heeter--You're right about them being good for year-round! Great comments. thanks!


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

stephanieb24--I, too, want to be more intentional about showing thanks. I'll have to check out your hub, too!


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

RTalloni--That would be a great thing! If only . . . . I need to be more mindful of my own list throughout the year; that is for sure!


Ruchira profile image

Ruchira 4 years ago from United States

Beautiful ideas of thanks.

These ideas are told million times but we hardly pay heed to it until the actual day arrives.

Voted up as useful.


ElleBee 4 years ago

Beautiful hub. Lots of great ways to remind us to be thankful, and useful suggestions for how we can act on that thankfulness.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 4 years ago from Southern Illinois

Great hub with wonderful ideas for a peaceful Thanksgiving. To serve in a shelter i would gladly do. Thank you for sharing thoughts..


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

That's sweet, Mhatter! Bless you.:-)


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

Glad you like, Eddy! thanks so much!


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 4 years ago

Victoria, this is a great list and will cost little or nothing to do in expressing heartfelt thanks. I do many of these and I love the blessings received from those you help. Your Pay Forward idea is one that really hits home with me, I'm going to try this. Blessings.


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

ImKarn--Yeah, I've noticed that about the Canadian TG! cool. Thanks for the lovely comments! Enjoy TG in Florida!


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

viveresperando--Wow, that's impressive that you give thanks every night and that you don't allow other things to overcome you. Wonderful input. Thank you!


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

GiblinGirl--Thanks! I'm trying to do more of these, too!


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

Vee.....My list of what I am blessed with in this life, is way to long to mention here. I'll bring my list along with me when I come for Thanksgiving dinner! One thing I am thankful for is having you as a friend!!


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 4 years ago from South Africa

Brilliant ideas for thanksgivings! I buy them all.

Thank you, Victoria :)


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

Ruchira--You make a great point. It would be wonderful if we practiced these types of ideas all year long!


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

ElleBee--Thanks for the input. Glad you liked the list. :-)


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

always exploring--Thanks for reading and sharing. Happy Thanksgiving!


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

teaches--I need to be more mindful of doing things like this all year long. Thanks so much!


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

Effer--Don't forget the bottle of wine to bring along with that list--LOL. I'm thankful for you, too! :-)


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

You can have ALL the wine. It gives me HEARTBURN!!! LOL


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

Awesome, Martie! Great to see you!


lovedoctor926 4 years ago

A beautiful hub. These are very good ways to express gratitude this holiday season


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

Oh, good, Effer! I was hoping you would say that. LOL!


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

Happy thanksgiving, lovedoctor! Glad you liked these ideas!


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

Hope you have a great Thanksgiving, and I wish we celebrated it over here! I think we should start it! lol! seriously, great hub and its lovely to remember the reason for the day, nell


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

Nell, I think you're right! Everybody should have a "Thanksgiving." You should start it! :-)


Cathy Fidelibus profile image

Cathy Fidelibus 4 years ago from NJ

Thanks, love this hub, great information and suggestions. I will definitely pass them on to my family.

Have a great Thanksgiving!


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 4 years ago from South Carolina

Thanks for sharing these caring suggestions for living the true meaning of Thanksgiving, not just at this holiday time, but year-round.

I am blessed that my husband's family includes all the great aunts and uncles during their Thanksgiving Holiday meal. It's a family tradition that started when we all lived close together, but my husband and I still travel to upstate NY each year, feeling so blessed for this chance to be with everyone.

Voted up across the board except for funny. Also shared.


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

Cathy, I'm glad you like the suggestions. Happy Thanksgiving to you, too!


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

Happybooomernurse--That's a great family tradition you have going there. I do need to try to do more of these throughout the year, too. Thanks for sharing your comments--and the hub!


Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas

This is an excellent list of things anyone can do to make the world a better place. So often people do nothing because they think giving money is the only thing that will help, and they don't have any.

Everyone needs a helping hand sometimes and everyone can give a helping hand sometimes. Even small things can make such a difference sometimes, if only to give someone renewed faith in the human race because someone cared enough to give that helping hand or that message of support at a difficult time.

This article has such an important message all year around, but it is especially important now during the holiday season whe so many people are still struggling with our economy that has not yet improved for ordinary working people.

Voted up, AI, pinned to my 'Helping People in Need' board, and shared.


rebeccamealey profile image

rebeccamealey 3 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

20 wonderful ways to give thanks this Thanksgiving by giving of your time, resources and heart. Thanks. I enjoyed your list! Voted awesome and beautiful!


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 3 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

Au fait--Beautiful comments--thank you! You are so right. And thanks for pinning! :-)


Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 3 years ago

Oh Victoria, you touch my heart with this hub, and I love Josh Groban.

I have so much to be grateful for, including my hub friends.

Voted up UABI and shared.


carter06 profile image

carter06 3 years ago from Cronulla NSW

Love this list Vic.. a lot!! Even though we don't have a national thanksgiving day I do try to make thankfulness part of my everyday life..it's not so hard really.. especially when we see images of countries devastated by natural disasters like the current Typhoon in the Philippines and the heart break it brings..great reminder, thank you..VUUABI shared & pinned..Cheers


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York

I couldn't agree more. Thanksgiving is a good time to start these things but certainly they should be carried on throughout the year.

We have so much to be thankful for and if we're not sure, just read the newspaper or watch the news on TV!

Voted up, useful, awesome, and interesting.


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 3 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

Rebecca--Glad you enjoyed my list! :-) Thanks so much!


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 3 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

Shryon--I'm so glad this touched you. Hub friends are great, as is Josh Groban! :-)


DzyMsLizzy profile image

DzyMsLizzy 3 years ago from Oakley, CA

How very nice. Many good suggestions. I like the selfless ideas of sharing. Even those of us who have little, have more than some others.

I am reminded of a young cousin (years and years ago), who was "thankful the dog is under the table to eat my vegetables." Kids! LOL

Voted up and useful.


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 3 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

carter06--I agree that we should be thankful every day. Yes, I can't imagine going through what they are having to endure in the Philippines. It's heart-breaking. Thanks so much for your wonderful comments.


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 3 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

tillsontitan - You are so right in that we should always be thankful. I guess that Thanksgiving is a good time to remind ourselves. Thanks for the read and the votes!


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 3 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

DzyMsLizzy--that is so neat about your cousin and the dog! So sweet! There are so many "little" things to be thankful for!


Phyllis Doyle profile image

Phyllis Doyle 3 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

Thank you, Victoria Lynn, for a lovely reminder to all that there are so many things in life to be grateful for. I am grateful for so many things, especially #18. In March of this year, I adopted a 12 year old Pomeranian, Marvin, who is a darling little boy and so sweet. My family and friends tease me that Marvin is "spoiled rotten", but I feel he deserves all the love and care I give him -- he gives back to me with so much affection and joy. Thank you for your list of great ideas.


lovedoctor926 3 years ago

A very nice post just in time for Thanksgiving. A season for sharing and caring. These are helpful tips.


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 3 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

Phyllis--my 9 1/2 year old Shih Tzu, Pekingnese, Terrier mix is spoiled rotten, too. I wouldn't have it any other way. Glad you enjoyed the hub. Happy Thanksgiving!


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 3 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

Thanks lovedoctor! Happy Thanksgiving to you!

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