Happy November! This month, and leading up to Thanksgiving, homes across the United States will be filled with people, laughter, and the delicious smell of sweet, sweet holiday food. Where has this year gone?
Over the years, Thanksgiving has evolved from more than just a historic holiday celebrating people coming together. Now, the holiday has shifted to the entire month of November to focus on reflecting and giving thanks for every gift in life. Gratitude is about more than taking a second to say “Thanks.” Gratitude shows genuine appreciation. This November, we have some ideas for how you can express gratitude.
1. Make a list.
How can you give gratitude if you don’t know what exactly you’re thankful for? First, give gratitude this month by making a list of everything you have to be thankful for. It could be something as simple as the shoes on your feet to something as big as the house you live in and the food you eat. Include as many items as you can think of, and then share that list with your significant people. Encourage them also to make a list, and work together to come up with ideas. Consider expanding your meal-time sharing of thanksgiving to other meals to other meals throughout the month.
2. Write a letter.
If there is someone in your life you are especially grateful for, let them know. Maybe it’s a mentor, friend or relative who lives far away. Try writing an old-fashioned, handwritten letter to specifically tell them what they mean to you and why you are grateful to have them in your life. Handwritten letters mean so much more in our digital age, so show that to the person you care about. Chances are you will make their November and Thanksgiving day much sweeter.
3. Give a gift.
You don’t have to wait until winter to give gifts. Show your appreciation and gratitude for those in your life by giving little gifts. These can be anything from an actual wish list item, to just a kind note thanking them for being a part of your life. Homemade and simple gifts are a valuable way to show your gratitude to the most important people in your life and make them feel appreciated. Build stronger relationships and share the love as we enter this holiday season.
4. Hold a ceremony.
Have you ever tried holding an awards ceremony during the month of November? Try it! Hand out awards to family members for things you are grateful for. Is someone particularly kindhearted? Give out an award. Are you thankful for someone who works long hours to provide for the family? Give them an award. An award ceremony is a fun, lighthearted way of showing genuine appreciation for the loved ones in your life.
5. Offer a meal.
Finally, some friends and family members may have nowhere to go for the Thanksgiving holiday, or don’t have the financial capability of providing a meal. You can show gratitude for everything by giving back to others. Offer a meal this month—either to friends who need a family for the night, or by literally donating food to a community organization and see how your heart swells with gratitude and love.
Throughout November, show your gratitude for everything in your life by trying out some of these tips. Reflect on what you’re thankful for, show appreciation, and give back to have a wonderful month of gratitude.