Show gratitude in unconventional ways…(Part One)

Ring-a-ding!!  ‘ Tis the season of gratitude. The holidays remind us to take a step back and show the people in our lives gratitude. Appreciation does not have to be wrapped in a bow!. Here are a few unconventional ways to show you care…

1.  A gratitude cleaning!
Clean your closet and cabinets. It is said that we only really wear 20-30 items of our favorite items most of the time. What about the other hundred items? Mind you, not including holiday clothes and ugly sweaters. Clean out items, make a list and offer them up to friends and family. Maybe there is a item you own that a friend loves more than you…give it to them. A thoughtful gratitude gift. Donate items to a shelter or charitable cause, showing gratitude for others is sometimes “sharing”.

2.  Compliment people on their gifts.
Say wonderful things found in greeting cards.  Just say it!  Not in an email, snapchat, tweet or text!  Look you friend/co-worker/loved one in the eyes (don’t stare as that’s creepy, just a casual glance) and say “I really appreciate your friendship”, “You are a talented teacher”, “I appreciate that you do most of the cooking” (to my husband), “You’re a good mother” or “You are a good student” It’s a verbal hug!  A positive compliment to students, co-workers  or loved one’s can literally change a frown upside down.

3. Random Act of Kindness. 
In fashion, but fun. Let’s hope the act of “pay it forward” continues as a trend. Recently I paid for the dinner of a police officer behind me in a drive thru. Told the cashier to tell him “Thank you”. It was a small gesture, but I imagine that I made that police officer feel appreciated. Pick your own, whether it’s a coffee, a meal or a pack of gum….it’s lovely. I have been on both the receiving and giving ends…it’s truly awesome. Giving without expecting a thanks….it’s selfless except it will make you giddy and gooey inside.

4. SAY NO!
The joy of the holidays can bog us down with layers of social commitments. We get stressed, hurried, tired and it sucks up those holiday funds.  Parties, gift exchanges, school holiday parties, dinners….maybe, instead of saying yes, yes, yes to everything. Say NO to a few!! Spend the time mentally and spiritually refreshing yourself. (maybe monetarily too).  Work out, take a nap, chill out or clean your closet (see Number 1 above). Take time to be a better you!  If your stressed and strained, honestly no one wants to hang out with you. Sad but true. Show people you care by being the best you, rested, mentally untangled and open to receive and give joy.

5. Do something you hate (dislike)
Offer to spend a day or plan an activity with someone doing what they love…. It’s a gift of time. “I know you have been asking me to go bowling, and I am not a huge fan, but I want to spend time with you…so  let’s do it”.  It’s one day or event, I’m not saying sign up for the bowling team. The sentiment really shows respect and appreciation. Also, you never know, maybe you’ll like it or have a hidden talent…or not.  It’s the thought that counts. Maybe next time they will try your hobby/interest.

This is part one of three posts to creatively show gratitude with meaning and thoughtfulness. See you in a couple of days with Show gratitude in unconventional ways…(Part Two)


Andrea Leppert
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