Thanksgiving will always be celebrated as a holiday filled with warmth as families invite friends and relatives to their homes to recount the year’s blessings. While Thanksgiving is known for the abundance of delectable food, such as oven-roasted turkey, mashed potatoes, and cranberry sauce, the feeling of appreciation that pervades this celebration is what truly embodies the meaning of this holiday.
There are many ways you can give thanks for your blessings and good fortune this Thanksgiving, and they don’t even need to be grand gestures. Here are some suggestions on how you can show gratitude in simple ways:
One meaningful activity that you can initiate with your loved ones is creating a unified Thanksgiving prayer. By mulling over the prayer together, it becomes more personal and special.
To start, you can ask family members to fill in the blank on a piece of paper beforehand.
“Thank you for _______.”
Offer to start the prayer before the meal and let your family members continue by having them read their prayers one by one. Ask them to keep the paper until after the meal. You can either collect the papers so you can compile them or hang each of them on the Christmas tree for everybody to see.
Show your appreciation to family and friends by giving them your brightest and sweetest smile. Though it may seem trivial, a smile can lighten up someone’s mood for a better day ahead.
Mother Teresa of Calcutta said that every time you smile at someone, it is an “action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.” Because smiling is such a beautiful act of love, it closes the gap among people and brings them closer together.
Smile every minute to show your appreciation for everything that you have. Besides, smiling has a positive impact on your health; it makes the immune system work more efficiently by helping you relax and by lowering your stress levels and blood pressure.
Pay It Forward
Catherine Ryan Hyde, the author of the book, Pay It Forward, encourages her readers to forget the conventional act of “paying people back” and instead follow the revolutionary concept of “paying it forward.”
For example, if you do something good for three friends, you normally get a “thank you” gesture from each of them. When this happens, the goodness is confined only to your small circle. But if you ask your friends to pay the act of kindness forward, the positive effect will ripple endlessly. Your single gesture of kindness can benefit more people than you can imagine!
When it is your task to pay something forward, be aware of where your help is needed. There are no small acts of kindness—help an elderly woman cross the street or lend some encouraging words to a friend. Do what you can to help.
You can also express your gratitude by giving back to the community. Volunteering at a soup kitchen or joining a fundraising group can give you a sense of satisfaction that you may not get elsewhere. Inspire others to do the same by telling your friends how fulfilling it is to share your time and services with others.
Acts of kindness are a great way to show how thankful you are for a year’s worth of blessings.