Who would have thought that two small words put together could resonate such a feeling of happiness, gratefulness, and strength?
Today, our neighbours down south are celebrating Thanksgiving, and the holiday season is in full swing!
In the spirit of Thanksgiving, here are four ways to express your gratitude and send your well wishes this holiday season to those you care about:
1) Ditch the E-Card
Believe or not, we do still have the ability to hand-deliver or snail mail items. Sure, it’s easy and more cost-effective to go online and craft a quirky e-card and send it off. Some, depending on the design, can be nice and engaging, but I find that e-cards generally lack that personable touch – especially with those annoying pop-ups and ads. They get read once and likely get forgotten about soon after. They just lack the long-lasting effect. Plus, e-cards don’t give you the opportunity to display them nicely on your mantle at home. A colour printout just doesn’t have the same effect. Sorry.
I’ve traditionally given out handwritten cards every year and love doing so. It’s just something that I’ve always enjoyed because, for me, it helps sustain healthy relationships. When people physically receive something, they tend to remember it and the person who sent it.
But I can appreciate how challenging it can become to find the time to actually sit down, write your cards, label and stamp them and then mail them out.
So if you have the good intention of wanting to do so, but just can’t find the time, there are vendors that can do this for you at a minimal cost: Check out Postable – an online service dubbed ‘Snail Mail for Modern People’ which can cater to all of your card-mailing needs. They have all kind of options and fancy fonts to choose from that will make it look as though the cards were hand-written. Not a bad choice to consider as an alternative if time is limited.
Also, if you’ve ever donated to a charitable cause, even once, you’ll know that they tend to bombard you with all kinds of mail afterwards as a way of keeping you hooked in. I easily have a lifetime’s supply of mailing labels, paper pads, calendars and holidays cards that I’ve received from a slew of not-for-profit organizations. If you do not want to receive an influx of freebies, then put yourself on a do-not-mail list. But in the context of card giving, put that pile of cards to good use, and save a couple of dollars in the process.
So having said that, don’t forget the value in crafting a handwritten card – the person on the receiving end of it will absolutely appreciate the effort.
Here is my lovely stack ready to be distributed this year:
2) Don’t Be Generic, It’s Boring
Do you have that one colleague at work or perhaps a companion in your life that has gone above and beyond and you just feel like you want to do something extra special for them? Is a coffee mug or box of chocolates just not cutting it?
Then it’s time to think outside the box.
Focus on an interesting personality trait and go from there: Are they a big soccer fan? Do they love Chinese food? Are they into makeup? If you give them not only a gift, but a gift that they can really relate to, you will know that your gift will not only be truly appreciated, but will also be put to good use instead of either being re-gifted, or stowed away in a cabinet to collect dust.
A recent example of my own was when I wanted to do something extra nice for a colleage to show her gratitude for all of her hard work. I decided that I wanted to bring in cupcakes – but not just the ready-made batch from the local grocery store – that would have been too easy. Instead, I decided to get custom-made cupcakes with the El Salvadorian flag on it – because that’s where she’s originally from and speaks very warmly of her roots. Needless to say, once the box was opened, a big smile ensued, along with some waterworks. And that truly made it all worth it.
Here’s a snapshot of them before they were devoured. Yum!
3) Call, Don’t Text
If you are looking to reach out to someone to express your thanks and seeing them in person isn’t feasible, then try giving them a call, but don’t text.
Many people have developed, what I vew, as the bad habit of over-texting to the point where you’ve forgotten how the person even sounds over the phone.
Sure, texting makes sense in certain situations, but when it comes to wanting to convey your message in a certain way, I would suggest not doing it. Texts can easily be miscontrued (the same goes for email) and then there’s that bloody thing called autocorrect which can easily put you in some hot water.
So pick up the phone and call them. They will appreciate the effort. Even if you end up leaving a voicemail – at least that initial connection would have been made and will likely entice the person to call you back instead of texting you so that you can have a meaningful conversation.
4) Pay It Forward
If someone has shown their gratitude to you in a super nice way, then why not carry that positivity over and brighten a stranger’s day? You will reap the rewards of your kindness. So the next time you’re at a Tim Hortons or Starbucks, consider treating the unsuspecting customer behind you to a coffee. I was the recipient of this pleasant surprise last summer, and it really brightened my day – not to mention the unexpectedness of it.
So these are just a few ways to express your appreciation to those you care about. Just remember: although we take a special day out of the year to show our thanks, while feasting on a big juicy turkey with family and friends, it’s important to note that Thanksgiving should really be everyday. Don’t wait for a holiday to come to remind yourself of what’s truly important.
Be proactive in your gratitude
Each time we turn on the news, something catastrophic is going on somewhere in the world. So even if your life isn’t quite where you want it to be, it’s okay, just be thankful for the life that you have and the good people in it. Everything else will fall into place. If you believe in a higher power, take the time to pray and give thanks.
So I urge you: Be proactive in your gratitude. Don’t wait for a setback in order to remember what really matters. Be grateful today and everyday.
So what are you thankful for? Share your stories of gratitude!