Ways of Expressing Gratitude
When someone does something nice for you, it’s customary to say thank you or send a note expressing your gratitude. There’s nothing wrong with simply saying thank you, but sometimes you want to do a little more to show how truly thankful you are.
Thank you notes can come across as obligatory and generic. Although a note is sure to be appreciated by the recipient, there are many other ways of expressing gratitude.
When you want to do something unique to say thanks, think along the lines of what is personal to you or to the other person. Gifts or actions that fit this description are extra-special and show thoughtfulness on your part.
Remember that when someone does something for you, they probably aren’t doing it for a reward. Even the simplest ways of expressing gratitude will be appreciated. There’s no pressure to go overboard just to say thank you.
Some general ways of showing your gratitude to someone for something they have done include the following:
- Spend time with them – Take some time to do something they like. An older family member will probably appreciate a simple visit or phone call. Do this when you aren’t in a rush to do something else afterward.
- Spend money – The deed doesn’t have to be elaborate or expensive, just show that you care. A few dollars can go a long way when it comes to a thank you gift.
- Give something personal or special – Handmade gifts will never go out of style, and they’ll always be appreciated.
- Vocalize it – Words of affirmation are very powerful, so say it, shout it, or sing it!
- Share it with other people – Give them a shout out on social media, or just tell them thank you in front of someone else. They didn’t help you for attention or praise, of course. However, it will make them feel good to know that you appreciate them so much that you’re willing to tell others.
Unique Ways of Expressing Gratitude
Mail them something
Sending something in the mail used to be commonplace, but no one really makes the effort anymore. Mailing a card or gift shows effort and forethought.
Email is more efficient, but it isn’t nearly as personal. Think of their delight when they open the mailbox to find something besides the usual bills and junk mail!
Plan to spend some time with them
Your plans don’t have to be for an entire day. The simple act of planning to spend time together rather than just saying you’ll do it “one day” can mean as much as the actual activity. Remember, it’s the thought that counts!
Meet for lunch or coffee, ask if they have checked out a new shop in town, or spend the morning walking around a farmers’ or flea market. If they are homebodies, offer to bring over a puzzle or game you can do together.
Use your talents to make them a unique gift
Your talent may be something obvious like owning a tee shirt or earring business. It could also be something very simple, like handwriting a favorite recipe for them (bonus if you cook the dish for them as well!).
If you are artistic, write them a song or poem or paint a picture. You could offer to do some yardwork that they can’t do themselves or offer housecleaning services if they are overwhelmed with work or family obligations.
Up Your Thank You Note Game
Rather than a note, give them a whole book! The book can be a newer copy of one of their favorites, a book you know they’ll love, or one of your personal favorites.
Inside the cover, you can write a short thank-you, or tell the person what it is about this book that reminds you of them. Either way, they will think of you and your appreciation every time they see it.
Care package based on their interests
Again, you don’t have to go all-out here (but you certainly can if you want to!)
Just 3 or 4 items in a small basket or bag is a really thoughtful way to express thanks to someone. Here are some suggestions for items you can put in their goody bag:
- Gift cards
- Candy, drinks
- Books, magazines, or a journal
- Pens, highlighters
- Seeds, gloves, gardening tools
- Popcorn, DVDs
- Home décor or picture frames
- Lottery tickets
- Lotion, lip balm
Try to include items that the person might buy for themselves, or items you know they’d love to have but wouldn’t purchase themselves.
Presentation is everything, so even the container can be original and useful.
Make them a playlist
This is a completely free gift, but it can mean a lot to someone you are close with.
Using a music platform that you both have access to, create a playlist that includes songs and genres they love, songs that remind you of them, songs that evoke shared memories, and songs that express how you feel about them and what they have done for you.
This gift is not something they are likely to take the time to do for themselves, but it is something they will always treasure.
There are no wrong ways of expressing gratitude. If someone has done something special or helpful, they are probably a genuinely kind person who just wanted to help you or make your life a little easier. Therefore, they are going to appreciate any type of thank you that you offer.