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10 Ways to Show Gratitude

Although it’s easy to get caught up in the food and football, Thanksgiving is really all about gratitude. So in between NFL games and second helpings of pumpkin pie, take a moment to think about all you have to be grateful for in life. While some of the things will likely be abstract or inanimate (your health, the food on your table, the roof over your head), you’re likely also thankful for many of the people in your life. Whether they’ve recently done something specifically lovely or they’re just always kind and helpful, take a moment to say thank you this week. Not sure how? Below we’ve listed a variety of ways to show gratitude.

10 Ways to Show Gratitude

Say thank you.

Don’t underestimate the power of simply saying “thank you” with sincerity and enthusiasm. Look the person in the eyes as you say it, and consider citing a specific example to show the person the difference they’ve made in your life. Finally, don’t be afraid to say thank you after the fact – sometimes we forget to say thank you in the moment, but it’s never too late to show your gratitude.

Write a thank you card.

Thank you cards are appropriate for a variety of occasions, but they’re especially common after events (weddings, showers, birthdays) and after receiving a gift or service. A thank you card doesn’t have to be long, but be sure to personalize it so that the person knows you’re thanking them specifically.

Send an e-mail or text.

If you can’t say thank you in person and the situation doesn’t call for a card, an e-mail or text is a great way to say thank you. Some people dismiss these electronic options, but if it gets you to show someone else kindness, the convenience is surely worth it.

Do something kind for them.

One of the best ways to thank someone for their service is to do something for them in return. For example, if someone invites you to dinner in their home, you could do the dishes and clean up the countertops. You could also think about the chores the person you wish to thank dislikes the most. So if you know your sister hates vacuuming, offer to do it for her.

Listen to them.

This may sound simple, but in some situations it’s incredibly powerful. Do someone the kindness of listening to them fully and then responding thoughtfully. If the person you wish to thank always has a lot to say, they may find your “active listening” very rewarding.


One of the quickest ways to show gratitude is to smile! Whether someone has held a door open for you, given you the last piece of pumpkin pie, or offered to run to the grocery store for you, be sure to thank them with a smile. One of the great things about smiles is how contagious they are – after you smile at someone, they may smile at someone else, and so on and so forth. Plus, they say that simply smiling can make you feel happier!

Give a larger tip than usual.

If you’re trying to thank someone in a service position who you typically tip, consider giving a larger tip than usual. This is an especially good idea if the person serves you regularly (the waitress at your favorite restaurant, the barista at your preferred café, etc.).

Write a nice review.

Are you grateful for a particular small business in your area? Whether it’s an ice cream shop with friendly servers, a handyman who always provides quick service, or a dog-sitter who treats your puppy like family, consider leaving the business/person a positive review online. Not only will the person appreciate your kind words, but also you may help them gain more loyal customers.

Give a thoughtful, personalized gift.

Giving a gift is an excellent way to thank someone, but it’s only worthwhile if you pick the right gift. Does that make you nervous? Don’t worry. You don’t have to pick something expensive or exclusive. Just put in a little thought to ensure the gift is something that specific person will enjoy – a gift card with a heartfelt note is a good go-to option for any situation.

(P.S. Check out our blog post Thanksgiving Crafts for Adults!)

Just be there.

Give the gift of your presence. Especially if you’re a busy person who often misses events and skips parties, remember that being there for your loved ones is invaluable.


There are a variety of ways to show gratitude. Some are elaborate, while others are simple. Some are expensive, while others are very affordable. Whatever method you choose, remember that the most important thing is the thought behind it. A heartfelt “thank you” spoken aloud means so much more than a pricey gift purchased on a whim.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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