How Do You Show Thanks?

With a holiday named “Thanksgiving”, it is only logical to ponder giving thanks. There are many different ways one might show their gratitude.

Related: Listen to an episode of the Intellectual Roundtable Podcast, where Lee and Michael discuss this question: ‘How do you show thanks?’ We also discuss another question as well, ‘What book has had the biggest impact on you?’

The origin of the holiday comes from a feast to celebrate a successful harvest. The feast part remains, although most people are not involved with a harvest.

However, eating a meal is not giving thanks. During that meal (or before or after), you might stand up and express your gratitude for your good fortune. Acknowledging beneficial things that have happened to you is a good start.

Some people volunteer, or donate to charity, or in some way help those less fortunate. Others might spend time with loved ones, or contact them in some other way.

As we prepare for the Thanksgiving holiday, it is worth a few moments to think about how you will mark the holiday.

How do you show thanks?

Related questions: What does it mean to be thankful? How important is ceremony? What makes a tradition? What do you like to cook?


2 thoughts on “How Do You Show Thanks?”

  1. On giving thanks, I’m going to be real practical. A simple “Thank you,” is good. But you can amp up your expression of gratitude by adding the receiving person’s name, a short pause, and a gentle nod of your head (e.g. “Sue (nod) … thank you.”). But even better (and most important), after the expression of thanks, share why and how their action(s) meant so much to you. It’s pretty easy to give thanks; it takes worthwhile thought do so in a way that carries deep meaning.

Now a couple thoughts on how not to express thanks. First, when thanks are extended to you, if you feel it, please accept it. Don’t immediately bounce back with “And I’d like to thank you for …” I’ve always felt giving thanks and acceptance are diminished when we don’t return an expression of thanks with a heartfelt, “You are welcome” or something similar. Save your “Thank you,” until you’ve properly accepted theirs.

    Second, unless you truly know a charity needs your time and effort during the holiday season, don’t express your good fortune by volunteering now. It seems that everyone with the means wants to express thanks by serving a meal to those who have less. Most big- and medium-size charities (or those well-known in the community) have more than enough volunteers around the holiday season. Bottle up your need to express fortune in this way by giving it in February or March or April or May or you get the picture.

    1. Well said, Michael. These are good, practical suggestions I’m going to try and remember (and use.)
      How do I show thanks? One thing I’ve started doing (mostly when I eat alone), is to say grace. It makes me pause and think about all the people involved in getting the food to my table.

      It also increases my awareness of the food itself, and how lucky I am to have it. Often I think of how prisoners of the holocaust would have loved to have just a scrap of food from my table. So why do I have enough to eat, when millions or even billions of people in the world go hungry? I have no answer, except that I’ll do my best to change this, with God’s help.

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