Sunday, November 11, 2012

25 People To Thank in November

Buy this thank you banner here.
I love November. I love gratitude. Here is a list of 25 people I want to thank this month. Join with me! It would be fun to do one each day until Thanksgiving. I recommend writing thank you notes, calling on the phone, sending a meaningful email, or giving a little gift to show gratitude. Ready, set, go thank someone!

1- God. Try and dedicate some prayers simply to being grateful instead of asking for things. All good things come from God, so there is no shortage of things to thank Him for!

2- Your parents. I need to make up for all my growing up years when I didn't say thank you enough. Not to mention thanking my mom for growing me and carrying me in her uterus (I have new appreciation for that now that I am a mom). I have my parents to thank for me being the person I am today.

3. Your spouse/significant other. Make a list for him or her of why you are grateful for them. Leave it where they will discover it at school or work, or coming home at night.
So thankful for this hard working husband of mine.
4. Your kids. If you don't have your own kids, find nieces, nephews, cousins, or neighbor kids to thank. Children have something to teach us all. My kids are very young, so I write my thanks and special notes to them in journal that I will give to them when they are older. Every child needs to hear that an adult appreciates them and that they make a difference in our grown up world.
So thankful for these two energetic kiddos. And as you can see, they are both thankful for sticks. 

5. Your friends. You know, those friends, the ones you can really be yourself around? Think about how much they put up with! They definitely need to be thanked.
I have some kick-butt girl friends!
BFFs. No joke. 
So, now we are done with the obvious people. I mean, the first 5 are kind of a given, right? 
Let's dig a little deeper. 

6- A politician or local leader. Is there someone in politics that you admire? Someone who works for a cause you believe in? Why not tell them? Write a letter or an email. If you're not big into politics, is there someone in your community who has influenced and blessed your community? Tell them!

7- A Church leader (local or worldwide). So many Church members give their lives in service and never hear appreciation. Of course, they don't do it for the appreciation of man, but it is always nice to hear!

8- A Church leader from your past. I had incredible leaders in my young womens program (youth group) growing up. And I was kind of a twit when I was growing up. So they probably don't know how they have blessed my life. I bet they'll be shocked to hear from me!

9- A teacher from your past. The internet has made it easy to find people and thank them. Did you have a professor, coach or teacher who really helped you? Send them a quick email to encourage them. Teaching is hard work!

10- A local police or fire station. Try taking these folks some cookies, donating to them, or having your children draw them pictures.
Printable coloring page here
11- Veterans. Veterans Day is on the 11th. Try to think ahead and send cards to people you know who have served/are serving in the military. I like to think that by sending a card, the person knows you don't just think of them on the holiday, but really care about them. Or make a phone call and tell them how much you appreciate it (phone calls seem to be fewer and far between in this digital age).

12- Extended family- Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, all need some love too. I was blessed to have lots of great aunts and great uncles (both literally and figuratively) that have had huge impact on my life.

13-A place you love. Yes, thank a place. You could take out a small ad space in your local newspaper or online forum to thank your town. For us, we have a local park that we love and has served us well all summer. We will be writing thank you notes to our local Parks and Recreation Department (maybe someone like Leslie Knope will read it and it will make her day!) and thanking them for providing the beautiful places that we play.
My kiddo at his 2nd birthday playing soccer with friends at our favorite park.
14- Your mail carrier. Leave  a little note or token of your appreciation waiting in the mailbox for them when they arrive.  

15- Next door neighbors. Whether we like it or not, our neighbors have a front seat to the comings and goings of our life. Best to be on their good side and find things to like about them. Plus, who are  we going to borrow a cup of sugar from when we need one, and who else will let us in when we lock our keys in our house? 

16- A business. Do you have a business that you frequent where they treat you especially well? I know a man at the copy center of my Staples who is always so helpful, and I have a regular cashier at my grocery store who is so good with my kids. Buy a cashier a candy bar or slip or give them a sincere thank you! Or, find the manager to report all around good customer service. 

17- Someone who blesses a family member.  I have some family members with challenges, so I am more grateful than I can express when someone reaches out to love my family members. To me, that is the ultimate sign that someone loves me- that they bless my family members.  Is there someone looking out for your adult children far away, or someone giving your child a little extra support?

18- Co-workers. I know, they can rough sometimes, but I am sure there are a few things you can appreciate about your co-workers, right? I think a little acknowledgment in the office can go a long way to improve the morale at work. Take in some treats to share or leave post-it notes with a 'thank you' on a co-workers door or computer.

19- Someone who has passed on. Sometimes, when people pass away, we begin to realize the importance that they had in our lives, and we didn't always get to tell them. Visit a grave or write a letter to those you love that have passed on. I believe they will hear us.

20- A health care professional. Doctors, nurses, dentists, midwifes, chiropractors, etc.  They can literally hold our lives in their hands! My kids see the most amazing Physician's Assistant. Next time we go into the office, I will be sure and tell her how thankful I am!

21- A person who shares their talents.  Do you have an artist you love? Someone who shares their music and voice with your church congregation or community? Someone who helps you fix your house? We have a friend who just fixed our busted computer free of charge with his amazing technical talent! A HUGE thank you for that!

22- A kind stranger. I am always impressed by the kind things that strangers do for me. Especially recently, when my two year old throws fits in public, a lot of people have tried to help. Sometimes there are kind people who talk with me and say nice things at the grocery store. Men hold doors or help with heavy loads. I even had a receptionist at my doctor's office who helped juggle other appointments to get me in even though I had gotten the time wrong and shown up an hour and a half late.  I love keeping little business cards that say thank you in my purse and handing them out when the situation arises. 
I kept seeing free business card offers from and wondered what I could do with those. So, I designed some kindness cards with my favorite quote. If I'm rushed, I just hand them the card, but the back is blank so I can write a personalized message if needed.  Design your own kindness cards here.

23-An older person- Just like we learn a lot from children, I think we can learn a lot from our Elders. My grandpa has often expressed feelings of being forgotten by society or becoming obsolete. Let us strive to make sure they don't feel this way by calling or writing or serving them to express our thanks for their examples.

Dancing with my Grandpa at my wedding while Stephen dances with his mom. 
24- Someone who gave you something you love. Nearly everything in my house is a hand-me-down or a gift from someone else. Each day I use things that remind me of the kindness of other people. For example, I have a pair of special soup bowls that my friend  (shout out to Jen Atkinson!!) gave me for a wedding shower that I love. I'm sure I told her thanks at the time, but it would be so fun to remind her how thankful I am for her generosity. Also, my second son used all the clothes I got from baby showers from my first son. Each time my baby wore an outfit, I remembered who it was from and their kindness (for example, Aleatha made me an awesome sleepsack from recycled fabric that I cherished with each of my boys). Also, my mom handstiched a quilt for me that is packed with symbolism, blood, sweat, and tears. I need to remind her again how thankful I am for that each time I see it. I could go on forever with this one, because like I said, everything in my house reminds me of the generosity of others (crib and finger puppets from the Merrills, striped socks and earrings from Nortons, and on and on and on...)

25- Your body.  I have new gratitude for my body with all the health issues I have experienced this last year. My body is not perfect. I am carrying around an extra 20 pounds with me right now and some on-going health issues that I would love to get rid of. But, my body has gotten me this far and has brought me my two beautiful children. During these holidays, we tend to forget about self-care. Thank your body. Take time to feed it nourishing foods. Stretch. Rest. Breathe, and be thankful for your heart, mind and soul.

So, who have I missed in my list? Who are you thanking this Novemeber? What things do you do in your family to express gratitude?