With Thanksgiving just a few short days away, you probably have been constantly thinking about all of the turkey and mashed potatoes you’re going to be eating, and I don’t blame you! But aside from that, seeing your family and friends probably excites you too. I love seeing everyone when I go home, but I am terrible at showing emotion and letting people who I care about the most know just how much I care about them. So, here are 6 simple ways to show thanks this holiday season, whether it’s to people you love or to random strangers.
1. Greet your best friend with their favorite Starbucks/Coffee Shop drink
This might not seem like a big gesture, but imagine having a rough morning and getting your favorite drink delivered to you… that cup of joe might as well be a huge bear hug! And they’ll be even more amazed when you get their grande, iced, non-fat, soy vanilla latte order without missing a beat.
2. Plan a Friendsgiving
It might be a few days till Thanksgiving itself, but heck! Plan a Friendsgivings! They generally include your closest friends and a whole lot of food. Thanksgiving round 2 if you will. The best part is that you don’t have to worry about talking to relatives about your future plans, because your close friends already know that you don’t have a job set up after graduation and they accept you for it. We all enjoy being surrounded by good company and taking the time to plan a dinner to celebrate your friendships is a great way to show how thankful you are to have them in your life.
3. Pay it forward
When you’re in line for coffee or find yourself in a drive-thru, paying it forward is such a generous way to spread positivity. It doesn't have to be a huge gesture, it's the unexpected gesture goes a long way. So why not buy that woman in the mini van behind you a few ice cream cones for the screaming kids in the backseat?
4. Donate food/clothes
If you have cans of food that have been sitting in your pantry or clothes that you don’t wear, why not donate them to a nearby food or clothing drive? Families are always also in need of diapers and personal products, really anything helps! One of our interns is actually hosting a food drive right now through the local bars here in Pullman! Donating items is an easy way to directly give thanks to those in need.
Whether it’s at a homeless shelter, the YMCA, or some event, volunteering is an obvious way to give thanks this holiday season. Even if it’s just for an hour or two, giving up your own time to benefit others can make a big impact, and it’ll feel good too! You could go with a friend or go with a big group and make that much more of an impact on your community. My whole soccer team would volunteer at a homeless shelter every year, and it was so humbling and always a good time.
6. Just say thank you
When all else fails, just say thank you. I know it’s a CRAZY concept, but sometimes we overlook the simple gestures that can go a long way. You could even go the extra mile and write a little thank you card. I know I still get really excited when I receive a handwritten card just because no one hand writes stuff anymore, and it seems so much more thoughtful than a text or phone call. You could thank your parents for putting up with your nonsense and still loving you. You could thank your friends for always being there for you, even when you annoy them most of the time. You could thank your cat for always snuggling with you and listening to you vent about your problems. Either way, we forget to thank our loved ones when we get caught up in our lives, and Thanksgiving gives us the perfect opportunity to do so.
So when you’re home for the holidays, think of everything you are thankful for, and try to give back this season! Because as corny as it sounds, it’s the gift of giving that really hits the soft spot in your heart. If you can think of any other ways to give thanks this holiday season, comment them below!