As parents, teaching our kids habits of being thankful and of gratefulness today will go a long way into developing happier adults of tomorrow. This festive season is perfect for ingraining these habits even more deeply (which are most likely and hopefully already there) as part of something more regular than around Thanksgiving.
Here are 10 ways we can give thanks, to our family, friends, community, and more.
- Donate – this one is pretty simple and obvious; and you can donate to the cause that calls to your heart. Every little bit counts. You could also check out the Wishbook in your local community if there is one (our local newspaper publishes one every year and the online edition will be up Thanksgiving Day here) or other foundations like Make-a-Wish if you wish to donate online.
- Volunteer – at food banks, senior centers, animal shelters, and more. Do call ahead and check since most of these places have a volunteer list a mile long and you might need to put down your name for volunteering sometime from now. If you can get a group together to go along, it makes it all the more better in every way.
- Write a letter to someone you know – A handwritten letter or postcard still makes us happy, so write a letter to your parents, a relative, a friend, or even your kids! (Or if asking them to write, maybe they can write to a grandparent, a cousin, or their friend across the street too)
- Write a letter to a senior citizen – You can check out Love for the Elderly for information.
- Write a letter of gratitude to a soldier, a veteran, a first responder – You can check Operation Gratitude for how you can do this.
- Take a thank you basket to the local fire station or sheriff’s office.
- Do a RAK today – random acts of kindness seem to spur chain events of kindnesses often so you never know what that cup of coffee you buy for a stranger can end up at. But even if no chain is spurred, do that random act today and revel in that gooey feeling all by yourself…
- Say thank you – that is all there is to this one.. thank you to the newspaper delivery guy, that mail person who unfailingly drops off mail no matter what the weather is like, to the clerk at the checkout counter who has possibly been standing for hours. When I volunteer to serve food at my son’s marching band tournaments, all those kids unfailingly say thank you as we serve them and it always warms me up, inside out!!
- Smile and make someone’s day – Be the first one to smile and you can see spirits lifting up – yours and of those around you. A smile is magical that way.
- Make a card for someone – Here is one organization I enjoyed working with in the past. Get together a group of friends and make cards for hospitalized kids to show they are not alone, to help them get through their day. Make and pack and send out the cards to this organization (or others) and they will take care of delivering the cards to the kids.
- And one last one to make it more than ten – Shop – yes, you can give and say thanks by doing at least part of your shopping at organizations that give back with your purchases or at the charities themselves. This article at the Balance has wonderful ideas for the same. One local organization that I want to mention here is Inclusive World – they have a few items available (changes throughout the year) and you can check back to see if you find something you will love. You can check their mission here.
16 thoughts on “10 Ways Of Giving (Thanks) Not Just on Thanksgiving, But Everyday”
These are great suggestions and absolutely putting a few on my list to do before the end of the year!
Such an important message! I love to volunteer, it’s such a fulfilling thing! But the other suggestion you gave are amazing too, so important to smile, I naturally have the resting b**ch face, so I LITERALLY have to remember to smile otherwise people think I’m always pissed ahahah
Writing a hand written letter is an awesome suggestion! It would make the received feel so special.
thank you shelby.. I am hoping to work on those myself..writing letters was something i really enjoyed doing and should do it a bit more regularly
It’s amazing how many people feel the need to give back during the holidays. You can’t volunteer at food banks or anything during Christmas or Thanksgiving. It’s a great problem to have. These are some awesome alternatives.
Yes, that is so true.. i am lucky that being part of the scouting organizations (both boy scouts and girl scouts) gives us many opportunities to volunteer throughout the year..
These are absolutely wonderful ideas of remembering to be grateful for our everyday lives all days not just one day a year….
I love this list. such great ideas!
Yes, it’s unfortunate that Christmas is right after Thanksgiving because right after all the gratitude comes the gimme gimme gimme.
Such a true post, I used to wonder why do we need one day to thanks everybody, can’t we do it regularly. Saying a small thank you to the one who has made your day brings so much of happiness. And yes random act of kindness is a must.
Gratitude and giving thanks is important all year long. It all starts with kindness.
It’s wonderful to be so conscious of this. Gratitude is something we should all make second nature.
Such an awesome post! Yes we should give thanks all year!
yes. thank you:)