Between grocery shopping, roasting the turkey, cleaning the house and setting the table, you've probably got a lot on your plate this Thanksgiving season! Amid all of your "to-do's," it's important to contemplate all you're grateful for and do some actual thanks-giving this month. We've rounded up eight simple ways to show gratitude this season and make the most of this special holiday!
1. Write a love letter to yourself.
It may seem silly, but this exercise is one of the most powerful ways to give thanks this season. What are you grateful to yourself for? What are your favorite qualities about yourself, and what are your talents? Start by addressing the letter to your name (ex. "Dear Emily"...) and list all the things you love about yourself. You'll probably be surprised about how many there are! Keep the letter in a place you'll be able to find it when you're having a bad day.
2. Invite someone new to your Thanksgiving dinner.
Maybe you know of someone who is planning on spending Thanksgiving alone, like the out-of-state student or coworker who isn't flying home for the holidays, or the elderly widow down the street. Opening up your home to them is the definition of kindness and goodwill this time of year, and you'll broaden your social circle while providing the person in need a Thanksgiving they'll never forget. The more the merrier!
3. Pass around a gratefulness basket at your Thanksgiving table.
Some guests get stage fright at the thought of going around the table and telling the room what they are thankful for, especially if everyone doesn't know each other that well. Invite your guests to dive deeper into their gratitude by handing out slips of paper and having them write down what they are grateful for instead. After everyone has anonymously placed their paper in the basket, pass it around again and have each person pull a slip of paper out and read it aloud.
4. Use social media to highlight someone you're thankful for.
Use the power of your Facebook or Instagram for good this holiday! Post about the people you are grateful for in your life and make them feel special.
5. Share your material possessions and donate items to a local shelter or thrift store.
Who doesn't love a little fall cleaning spree before your Thanksgiving guests come over? Show thanks for all you've been given by donating items you no longer need to a shelter or thrift store in your community. It's a win-win: you'll declutter for the holidays while providing for someone in need at the same time.
6. Start a habit of writing in a gratitude journal.
Writing in a gratitude journal is a habit that's worth keeping, and there's no better time to start than the Thanksgiving season! If you've never tried this simple but powerful exercise, pick out a journal or notebook you love and start writing lists of what you're grateful for each morning or in the evening before bed. The more you write, the more you'll realize you're grateful for - and there's nothing like flipping through old entries for a positive energy boost.
7. Craft a "Thankful Tree" as a Thanksgiving decoration.
This is a great craft to make with kids! Cut leaves out of colored paper (or gather real colored leaves, if you're feeling fancy) and write something you're grateful for on each one. Tape the leaves onto a drawing of a tree and display it somewhere you'll be able to see it all season long.
8. Support local.
Show the members of your community you are grateful for them by supporting local business and being a good customer! Tip your waiter or barista. Smile at the employee who is bagging your groceries. Find a local farmer and source as much as you can for your Thanksgiving meal from them. Post on social media about your favorite local restaurant, craft store, or floral studio and encourage friends to pay them a visit. The list could go on, and the support will return tenfold in growing your local community and economy!
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