Thanksgiving is the time when we start getting into the holiday spirit. We think about all the things we can give thanks for – that new job or promotion at work, speeding ticket we talked our way out of, our children’s accomplishments, or even how Aunt Rosie managed to not burn the turkey this year.
It’s a time when families gather around the table to enjoy a nice meal and each other’s company. For many, it’s part of the tradition to take turns sharing what each person is thankful for. However, let’s take Thanksgiving a step further this year and not only tell each other what we’re thankful for, but show the people in our lives how much we appreciate them.
To get you started, we’ve put together a few ways you can show the important people in your life just how much you’re grateful to have them. And don’t forget to show yourself some appreciation, too! You work hard, and deserve your own recognition and show of thanks.
Write personalized hand-written notes
For others: Even if you don’t consider yourself a good writer, or your hand-writing is terrible, take a chance by expressing yourself in words. A personal note from the heart is priceless.
You don’t have to write a Shakespearean sonnet. Just be honest, and tell the person how much you truly appreciate them. A hand-written note is something they can read again and again, and cherish for years to come.
For yourself: It might feel silly to write yourself a note, but why not try it? Choose some nice stationery paper, and take the time to tell yourself all the things you love and appreciate about yourself. We write out our goals and shopping lists, and for those who journal, we write about our desires and dreams.
Think of this as another way to keep yourself inspired and motivated. You can even hang it by your mirror and read it every day for an added pick-me-up all year long.
Steal some quality one-on-one time
For others: During the Thanksgiving holiday time, it can feel like getting on a roller coaster – you just hang on tight and go for the ride. To show your loved ones how much you really appreciate them, push a pause on the roller coaster, and find ways to get each person alone to spend some time with them.
Ask them to go for a walk, or play a game with him/her. Even if you only have a few minutes, pull the person aside and show that you’re only focused on them. The gesture will be memorable and have a lasting impact.
For yourself: You deserve some quiet me-time, too. Hide yourself away, even for just half an hour. That doesn’t mean to check emails or bury yourself in social media. You can do that anytime. Instead, use this time to really focus on yourself.
Do some journaling. Meditate. Take a bubble bath. Have a glass of wine and read your favorite book. Or just enjoy some peace and quiet while people watching in the park. Whatever time you can spend by yourself to show yourself that you appreciate YOU, take it. You deserve it!
Do an act of service that is meaningful
For others: You don’t have to do some grand gesture like painting someone’s house or washing their car, but for many people, acts of service are deeply meaningful. So keep your eyes peeled for little things you can do for others just to show that you care about them.
Does your significant other appreciate it when you cook with him when you normally don’t cook together? Does your best friend need help with something that you’re able to do without being asked? Look for even the smallest opportunities to help someone you love, and just do it because you can and because you care.
For yourself: Obviously, you can’t do acts of service for yourself as that’s what you do on any ordinary day. Instead, treat yourself to something special. Hire out a service and give yourself a break. It doesn’t have to be all year round; just do it when it really counts.
Are you hosting Thanksgiving at your place? Save yourself the stress of cleaning before or after – on top of all the cooking you have to do – by hiring a cleaner to get your place ready for your guests, or to clean up after they leave. Think of what kind of service you can pay for, just this once, to show yourself that it’s ok to take a well-earned break once in a while.
Buy or make a small gift that shows how much you care
For others: We’re not talking about Christmas shopping or Black Friday here. This is a completely separate, small, very personal gift “just because” you want to show how much you appreciate someone in your life.
If you have a photo with you and the other person, put it in a nice frame, or if you have crafting skills, make a frame or small scrapbook. Does your father or mother love to drink tea? Buy them a box of their favorite tea. Find small things that show how well you know the people in your life and that you were thinking of them and wanted to show how much you love them.
For yourself: You could really have some fun with this, but again, this is not the big splurge for your own Christmas present or checking out your whole online shopping cart. Instead, think small and meaningful.
Do you like craft projects? Take some time to make some home-made decorations for Thanksgiving, or crochet yourself a cute scarf or hat to wear at the annual Turkey Walk. If you’re not the crafting type, take yourself shopping for something special like a new ornament for your Christmas tree, or buy yourself a new pretty journal. It doesn’t have to be big or expensive – just meaningful to you.
Give or get an extra long hug
For others: When we see our friends and family, it’s normal to give them a hug, but it’s usually just as a quick hello or goodbye. To make a hug really meaningful, do it at a random time when it’s unexpected, and make it a bit longer with an extra squeeze.
No need to make it too long and awkward, but just enough to show the other person that you appreciate them so much that you just had to hug them. Somehow, a hug has a way of brightening anyone’s day so dole them out this Thanksgiving.
For yourself: Although you could try to hug yourself, it’s not quite the same. So go get yourself one. If you’re already hugging others to show your appreciation for them, then you’re getting a two-for-one deal since they’ll probably be hugging you back. Take a moment to enjoy the hug and receive the love and appreciation coming from the other person.
And if you’re solo this Thanksgiving, this will give you a good excuse to get out and be social. There’s always someone happy to give and get a hug, especially during the holidays, so don’t be shy.
Make this Thanksgiving extra special. Take a few moments to really show the people you’re thankful for – yourself included – just how much you appreciate them.
Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Bellabeat! We appreciate you!