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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
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.
Want to contribute to Hurricane Sandy relief efforts?
- American Red Cross
Hurricane Sandy: Help those in need.
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.
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.