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ELC Santa Barbara Four Different Ways to Give Thanks November 17th, 2015

Thanksgiving is a time when friends and family gather over a nice [big] meal.  With the Thanksgiving holiday coming up next week this is the perfect time to show your gratitude to friends, family and anyone who has made a positive impact in your life.

Here are some ways to give thanks:

1.  Say Thank You!

Approach the person that you would like to thank and verbally express your gratitude. You can also include the reason why you feel thankful.  Examples include:

  • -Thank you very much for inviting me to your house for Thanksgiving dinner. I am looking forward to it!
  • -Thank you so much for the turkey you prepared for us. It was delicious!
  • -Thanks a lot for cleaning the dishes. I appreciate your help.
  • -Thanks for a great evening! I really enjoyed myself.

2. Write a Note of Gratitude

Sometimes you may want to express your gratitude beyond just saying ‘thank you’ or maybe you did not get a chance to say thank you to the person because you had to leave early. In such cases you could write a note or send a thank you letter to that person. Here is an example of a thank you note:

Dear Mrs. Smith,

I am writing this note to thank you for inviting me over to your house for dinner last night. I really enjoyed the wonderful meal, the fun games we played and the deep conversations that I had with your family. I am grateful for all of your kindness and generosity. Please pass my regards to the rest of the family!


Grace Marshall

3. Share a Thanksgiving Blessing or Quote

Some people practice the tradition of sharing a prayer or blessing prior to Thanksgiving dinner. Here is one example of a poem by Ralph Waldo Emerson that can be read before partaking the meal:

“For flowers that bloom about our feet, Father, we thank Thee. For tender grass so fresh, so sweet, Father, we thank Thee. For the song of bird and hum of bee, For all things fair we hear or see, Father in heaven, we thank Thee. For blue of stream and blue of sky, Father, we thank Thee. For pleasant shade of branches high, Father, we thank Thee. For fragrant air and cooling breeze, For beauty of the blooming trees, Father in heaven, we thank Thee. For this new morning with its light, Father, we thank Thee. For rest and shelter of the night, Father, we thank Thee. For health and food, for love and friends, For everything Thy goodness sends, Father in heaven, we thank Thee.”

Below are some more examples of quotes that you can read at the Thanksgiving dinner table as you encourage others to share what they are thankful for.

Give thanks for unknown blessings already on their way.” ~Native American Saying.

In everything, give thanks.” ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:18.

A thankful heart is not only the greatest virtue, but the parent of all the other virtues.” ~Cicero.

4. Bring a Gift

In addition to saying thank you and writing thank you notes, you can also express your gratitude through giving a gift of your choice such as flowers, a box of chocolate, a basket of fruit, a meaningful photograph, a card, or even a hug! It is the thought that counts.

Have a happy Thanksgiving! As you gather with your loved ones and eat lots of good food, remember to give thanks!