We passed the season of being thankful and have rushed into the season of giving and taking. I love giving gifts to my friends and family. It brings me a lot of joy to be able to do that. I’m humbled when I receive gifts from them and appreciate their thoughtfulness.

Something else that puts a smile on my face is when someone does something nice for me. It doesn’t matter if it’s someone I know or a perfect stranger. It doesn’t matter if it’s a small thing like holding the door for me or if it’s a big thing like helping me move a heavy piece of furniture. If I’m on the receiving end of a random act of kindness, getting a helping hand with a chore, receiving a gesture of love, or even getting a compliment, I say thank you. I’m truly grateful for those who take the time and make the effort to do something nice for me.

When you do an act of kindness or give a helping hand to someone else, hearing the words “thank you” should make you feel good inside. You know, the warm fuzzies that tickle your gut. Those feelings come when you and your efforts are appreciated. Those two simple words make you want to do it again so you can reexperience that feeling. I talked about this before in my blog called Giving and Receiving.

One of the hardest things to say thank you for is a compliment. For some reason, we feel like we don’t deserve it and blurt out the reasons why the person shouldn’t be saying things like that about us. It’s awkward for both the giver and the receiver because they’ve offered you something and you’ve thrown it back at them. Instead, think of it this way. A compliment is a gift graciously offered to you. Be a receiver. Accept the gift with gratitude and say thank you. That’s all that needs to be said. Keep your self-degrading words inside, and let the giver feel good with having done a nice thing.

Saying thank you for what you receive is one thing, but what about going a step farther? What about the disappearing art of writing thank you notes? My mother-in-law was very big on this, especially from family. She did a lot for us, and we made sure to write her a note of thanks afterwards. She not only expected it, she appreciated it when we did. It was the very least we could do in response to her generosity.

Nowadays, thank you notes may be texts or emails or a written note. Nothing perks up your day more than getting a piece of mail that has a happy tone to it. Personally, I appreciate any form of thank-you note, recognizing that someone took the time to write and send it. Sometimes it’s so cheerful, sincere, and thoughtful that I want to send a thank you note for the thank you note. How do you thank someone who brightened your day?

This year, after the gifts are opened, the meals eaten, the games are played, and the festivities are over, take the time to write thank you notes for what you received. One, it helps you remember what everyone got you. Two, it means a whole lot to that other person. Three, it’s polite and the right thing to do. Four, it will give you the warm fuzzies and probably the other person too. They’ll want to do it again.

Merry Christmas!

2 Responses

  1. Good thoughts. Showing gratitude is fundamental to having peace and contentment. Paul stressed that praying in gratitude is part of how that peace in Christ works. And gratitude is a big part of how it is often better to give because receiving gratitude from our giving lifts us up. And it lifts others up when we express our gratitude to them. Thanks for the thoughts and reminders.

  2. Well said and thank you.

    My life like most of the world have been blessed with children. I have two hard working, loving, caring young men ( two of my boys) living with us. They will forever be 8 to12.

    Often when we are in public, at a customers house or just some place they will be told they do not have to say yes sir, No mam or other such responses of respect. Respect is a valid and deserving gift to receive. My belief is to value this respect when given.

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