Grat-i-tude (noun): the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness. This is the official definition according to the Oxford English dictionary. I like that it states “readiness to show appreciation”. While we should all have an attitude of gratitude every day, November seems to be the month when people are extra conscientious of it. That’s kind of the whole point of Thanksgiving, right? We take the time to gather with friends and family to remind each other of how grateful we are to be in each other’s lives. Well, there are eleven other months in a year when we should feel gratitude for others too.
Below are some of my favorite, and easy, ways to show gratitude to the people who make our lives better in big and small ways.
Say, “Thank you!”
This is probably the easiest, yet most under-utilized, way of showing gratitude to someone. It takes very little effort, costs nothing, but makes a huge impact! You could even take it a step further by sending someone a thank-you card! I’m a crafter, so I love making cards, but taking the time to pick one out is fun too! And, thanking a member of our armed forces when you see one out and about is the least we can do when they’re risking their lives to keep us safe. Right?
Call Someone Just Because
In this age of text messages and digital information, it’s hard to remember that people can actually communicate directly. I realized it had been too long since I spoke to my dad on the phone when he immediately assumed something was wrong when I called him to say hi. Friends and family need to know that we appreciate them for being a part of our lives.
Ok, this one takes a lot more time and effort, but it’s so gratifying! Plus, it’s great bonding time with my daughter. I’m always touched when someone takes the time and effort to do that for me. Besides, who doesn’t like chocolate chip cookies? If chocolate chip cookies won’t work, then how about rice crispy treats, or salted caramel rice crispy treats? I have yet to meet someone who doesn’t like my salted caramel rice crispy treats. Follow this link to the recipe. You can thank me later.
And as a general rule of thumb, don’t take anything or anyone for granted.
Regardless of whether or not someone has to do something, we should be grateful that they did it. As parents, we have to provide food and shelter for our children, but it still makes me feel appreciated when my daughter says, “Thank you!” As a teacher I was obligated to teach my students, but it still gave me the warm fuzzies when I got a card at the end of the year from a student that thanked me for teaching her. If you’ve ever volunteered in your child’s classroom or with a local charity, didn’t it make you feel good to know that your presence was noted and appreciated?