There are lots of ways to celebrate Thanksgiving and actually be, well, thankful. We can memorialize all we are thankful for, even ON the tablecloth. We can tell our children, spouse, friends, and family how much they mean to us, or review classic stories of gratitude in our country’s rich heritage that inspired the holiday. But this Thanksgiving, I urge you to write five special thank you letters of gratitude to some of the people that have made the greatest difference in your life.
But this Thanksgiving, I urge you to write five special thank you letters of gratitude to some of the people that have made the greatest difference in your life.
And do it by hand.
Writing anything without using a keyboard is almost quaint nowadays. But I think that makes it all the more special, actually. Of course, if an email or typed thank you letter works best, don’t let that stop you. The note itself is what will make the biggest impact.
Here are the notes I want to urge you and your spouse to write this Thanksgiving:
1. Write a note to your favorite teacher.
Teachers have an incredible impact on kids and don’t receive nearly the praise or thanks that they deserve. Who helped you see something in yourself you’d not seen before? Who gave you confidence, cheered you on, and inspired the best in you? Let them know how they changed or impacted your life in a note while you still can.
2. Write a note to your favorite coach or instructor.
Coaches and instructors often stirred mixed feelings in us when we were young. They often drove us hard, beyond what we thought were our limits. But they also often got the best out of us, even when it wasn’t always fun and games. Looking back, who pushed you to be the most, and deserves to know you appreciate them today more than yesterday, as you look back? Let them know in a note.
3. Write a note to your favorite spiritual leader, mentor, or advisor.
Perhaps a youth group leader, Sunday School teacher, or pastor helped you understand something about God and life that has shaped who you’ve become and what you’ve done with your life. Or maybe they helped you in a particularly rough season where you didn’t have answers or know where to find them.
4. Write a note to your favorite relative not in your immediate family.
Perhaps an aunt or uncle, a grandparent, or a cousin had a unique, special impact on you years ago. Have you told them what they meant to you? Do you realize that the people that inspired you often have little to no clue that they did? Again, before it is too late…and knowing none of us have any guaranteed time on this earth…let them know in a note!
5. Write a note to your favorite former boss.
Whether it was your first job in high school or your last career stop, think back on who that supervisor was that really impacted your work habits or success path, or helped you avert a bad situation. Let them know just how much you appreciate them for what they did then, and how it still impacts you today.
Who are some other people who deserve special thanks this holiday season? Share your comments below.