Since American Thanksgiving is upon us, it's the perfect time to stop for a moment and reflect on giving thanks. There are dozens upon dozens of ways to express gratitude, but I've compiled a handful of my personal favorites to share with you.
1. Say "Thank you" and tell someone why you appreciate them. This is the most simple of gestures, but it can really make someone's day.
2. Perform a Random Act of Kindness/ Pay It Forward. It doesn't have to be a large display, something small and anonymous works. While you can find loads of examples elsewhere online, here are a few ideas: give out $5 gift cards to strangers, pay for the person in line behind you, hold the door open for someone, let another car out into traffic, leave a dollar bill on someone's windshield, and/or smile at everyone you come across. See, simple things.
3. Donate to a worthy cause or give to someone in need. There are countless charities out there looking for a little help. And, you don't have to give them money. You can donate clothes or household items, blood, or even your time. Or, if you personally know someone who needs a little help this holiday season, offer to cook them a meal or help out with chores around their house.
4. Reach out to a friend you haven't heard from in a while. It's always nice to know that someone's thinking about you. And, it doesn't have to be much, a simple text or e-mail would work.
5. Give out compliments like they're candy. How long does it really take to tell someone that you like something about them? It can be their new haircut, their organizational skills, their ability to play the piano, whatever. I'm sure that hearing that you admire something about them will add a spring to their step.
6. Journal your blessings. Make a list of all the things you're thankful for. Seeing them listed on paper right in front of you makes them more concrete somehow.
7. Don't complain. This is actually a gratitude practice I've only recently learned about, but I really love the idea. Why complain about little annoyances when there are so many people out there who have so little in general? I'm personally going to try to make this more of a habit.
8. Write and send thank you cards. In this age of electronic communication, getting a handwritten note in the mail is always such a thrill. You could absolutely make someone's day with a little note of appreciation.
9. Take nothing for granted. Think about all the conveniences you have in your life: the store down the street, an oven, clothes to stay warm, shoes on your feet, electricity! There are plenty throughout the world living without these basics that we commonly take for granted.
10. Recycle. Show a little love for the planet on which we live. It gives so very much to us, it's only right to give back.
11. Forgive someone. Stop carrying that grudge. In fact, it probably weighs more on you than the person or company you're angry with. Let bygones be bygones.
12. Go outside, soak in some sun, take a deep breath, and be thankful for another day!
Now that you've got a few ideas on how to appreciate and pass on your blessings, let me share with you the top 12 things I'm thankful for (in no particular order).
1. My husband
2. My family
3. The means to pursue my passion for being creative
4. My health
5. Technology (most days)
6. Quiet moments that allow me to think
7. Snuggles from my pets
8. Having food in my fridge/pantry
9. The beauty of nature
10. Living in a free nation
11. Living in one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen
12. Friends, both IRL and bloggy ones like you!
Since having more ways to spread and appreciate joy cannot be a bad thing, I'd love to know how you share your gratitude and count your blessings. Please share in the comments below!
Happy Thanksgiving Y'all!