‘Tis the season to be thankful. With Thanksgiving upon us and the December holiday season coming up shortly, it’s a wonderful time to remember that we can appreciate the many people in our lives, including ourselves. 

Often it’s those little moments in life when we take the time to say thanks or do an act of kindness that brings us and those around us the most joy. It says, “you matter,” and everyone wants to feel this way. We may not realize the impact we can make with our gestures of thanks.

As Margaret Cousins quote states so simply and true, “Appreciation can make a day, even change a life.”  

Here are 20 Ways to say thank you to anyone, including yourself:

1. Smile at a stranger, a friend, someone you love.

2. Draw a picture with a kind word, quote, or phrase.

3. Cook dinner for a friend that doesn’t get to enjoy home-cooked meals very often.

4. Mail a hand-written thank you note to someone you appreciate. (I know this is sooo last century!)

5. Sing a song when it’s least expected. (serenading is a lost art)

6. Bake cookies for your local firehouse.

7. Write a poem or limerick for a child in your life.

8. Write a list of 10 things you appreciate about a person, and share it with them.

9. Hugs! Who doesn’t like a hug? (Remember to ask permission first)

10. Leave a note of thanks to your postal worker for delivering your mail every day, rain or shine.

11. Let the manager know how well your favorite waiter, salesperson, or customer service person helped you.

12. Write 10 things you appreciate about yourself, and post it where you will see it every day for a month (or longer).

13. Send a fun postcard to someone you haven’t seen in a long time.

14. Send a letter or email of appreciation to any teachers that made a difference in your life.

15. Leave a colorful and thankful note for a waiter who gave you excellent service.

16. Send flowers to your mother on YOUR birthday. (yeah, she’s the one that made it all happen!)

17. Decorate your dinner table with some extra special touches of love & creativity. Ideas: colorful & personal notes, flowers, candles, special table cloth & table settings, tree lights, crystals, etc.

18. Pick or buy flowers for your next-door neighbors & leave with a note thanking them for being wonderful neighbors.

19. Save a dollar a day for a month, and then treat yourself (or someone in your life) to a movie and ice cream (or whatever you like).

20. Look at yourself in the mirror, into your beautiful eyes, and let yourself know how much you appreciate the gift and blessing that you are.

With every expression of kindness and gratitude, we are lifted, blessed, and transported to a place where our hearts are naturally joyful.

As Mother Teresa said, “Gratitude is the Mother of Joy.”

Yes, it’s true. It’s hard to be grumpy or stay upset when we feel grateful. Instead, we focus on what’s right in our lives. So jump in, share the love, the joy, and the gift of being thankful. It can change your life.