It’s good to be thankful. And when someone has done something to put a smile on your face, it's natural to want to do or say something to show your appreciation.
No matter who you are saying thank you to, it is important to think about how they would like to be thanked, whether in public or private, with words or actions, directly or indirectly, with gifts or quality time. Think about their personality, and how they would express their appreciation to you.
We thought we’d help you out and give you 16 ideas for saying those two special words.
Say thank you...
1. Can you remember the last time you received a hand-written letter? It’s always exciting to see that handwritten envelope amongst all the bills and magazines. It’s not as common to send a thank you card these days, but the power of words shouldn’t be overlooked. Expressing what someone’s actions or gifts have meant to you can be really powerful, helping them to feel appreciated more than a gift could.
2. Did you know that text messages have a 98% open rate, while email has only a 20% open rate? So for something smaller, why not send a spontaneous text acknowledging that you’ve noticed what they have done?
3. If you want to thank someone publicly during this time, why not write a post on social media and tag them in it?
4. If you prefer spoken communication over written, you could try something a bit different like making a thank you video. This could just be you telling them what you appreciate, or you could be creative and write a song or a funny poem. The possibilities are endless!
5. Who doesn’t like receiving a spontaneous gift? It’s a great way to not only show someone your appreciation, but that you care enough to go through the effort of buying them a gift. Make a gift bag or hamper full of things you know they like, or something that they’ve mentioned in the past. Even if it’s only their favourite drink, biscuits and chocolates, it’s enough to show them that you know and appreciate them.
6. If you're feeling creative, you could go one step further and make something! Even if you’re not creative or able to create something for someone, could you bake them a cake or some cookies to recognise your gratitude?
7. Some people simply appreciate some quality time with a friend. This is an easy way to bless them: invite them over for dinner, arrange to go for a walk with them, or take them out for a picnic (remaining socially-distanced of course!). There are so many ways to bless people with your time.
…in a practical way:
8. If you have heard of the five love languages, you will know that some people feel loved through acts of service. This could be anything from offering to babysit to helping someone redecorate their house. Could you walk their dog or help them with the gardening? Or perhaps you could simply return the favour.
...to your partner:
9. If your partner has had a busy or difficult day, try surprising them by cooking the dinner or by planning a date night to show your appreciation for all they do.
10. Simply tell them what you appreciate about them. Often the small things can go unnoticed so speaking out that you’ve noticed what they’ve done can be really affirming.
...to your child:
11. To thank your child, try making a big deal out of their accomplishment by giving them an award, making a certificate or trophy for them.
12. Let them pick an activity for you to do together - set expectations or a budget so that you can say yes to whatever they pick!
...to a colleague:
13. We can be grateful and generous in the workplace. Why not put some baked goods in the staff room to thank your colleagues?
14. At the moment, lots of us are working from home, but once we return a simple way to show your gratitude is to make a hot drink for your colleague.
...to a stranger:
15. Why not make someone’s day by acknowledging their hard work? This is a stressful time for many people so small gestures can make a huge difference. Ask your cashier how their day has been, thank your bus driver, tip your waitress generously, or even the simple gesture of making eye contact and smiling can have an impact. Did you know that smiles can be contagious? People actually have trouble frowning when looking at others who are smiling and find themselves subconsciously beginning to smile as well. So make someone smile today!
16. If someone has done something kind to you out of the blue and it has made your day, why not pay it forward? Replicate the idea and make someone else’s day - spread the love and thankfulness around!
Here at Christians Against Poverty, we are so thankful to all of our amazing supporters, without you we would not be able to do the work we do. We also always want to thank God for his continued provision and blessing.