Saturday, January 3, 2015

Finding Unique Ways of Saying Thank You

Now that the holidays are over and everyone is settling back into their usual routines, thoughts have turned to when to take down the holiday decorations, storing clearance items for next year, etc. One thing though, that should be thought of, that rarely is anymore is the seemingly now forgotten tradition of the thank you note.

I took a break from the great migration of Helium articles once the holiday fervor took over and I just did not have all day to sit in front the compute, but luckily I saved several articles as drafts to my blogs, so even though Helium as we once knew it is gone, I still have many of my articles available.

A while back, I contributed to a title on unique ways of showing your thanks. Originally, I said that "Thank You" was one of the most important phrases in the English language; the truth is it's one of the most important in any language, right up there with "I love you," and "I appreciate you."

Once upon a time people sent out thank you notes after having received a gift or after being the beneficiary of a gesture of generosity. That tradition has fallen by the wayside for the most part, save for wedding gifts. The rise in digital communication and the decline in snail mail has meant fewer and fewer handwritten thank yous.

Does this mean we've grown into a thankless society? I certainly hope not! There's no digital substitute for good manners. Below is my former Helium article on some of the unique ways you can say thank you to someone who has done something for you.

From October 2012...

Unique Ways to say thank you

Thank you is one of the most important phrases in the English language. Finding a unique way to show your appreciation is more than just a reciprocal gesture or an acknowledgement of what someone has given you; it is a heartfelt and thoughtful expression of gratitude.
We are all presented with opportunities to say thank you on a daily basis, and these occasions are as varied as the ways in which we are able to show our appreciation. Sometimes though, saying the words, sending a note or flowers, or picking up the tab for a meal may not seem like enough. In those instances, the gesture of thanks becomes a deed of occasion, directly reflecting the gift or act thanks are being shown for.
When looking for a unique way in which to say thank you, even small gestures can go a long way. Acknowledging someone’s generosity toward you can be as simple as putting up a sign in the front yard stating how grateful you are. If you’d like to make a bigger gesture, another option is to write a letter of acknowledgement that you then send in to the local newspaper or radio station and ask them to help you publicly thank the person.
Not all unique gestures of gratitude have to be made in public. Everyone has a talent for something, and whether yours is drawing, cooking, gardening, sewing, organizing, or even housekeeping, that talent can easily be put to good use to say thank to someone to who has been generous with you.
Gift baskets are one of the easiest ways to say thank you in a unique way that is also personal. A hand-written note accompanying a bin of baked goods, flavored vinegar, foods that have been canned, or fresh edibles harvested from the garden, can go a long way towards showing your appreciation.
Saying thank you for something someone has done for you can also be done through a gesture toward others. Did someone give you a ride or lend you bus fare when you desperately needed it? Purchase a package of tokens and give away free transportation to strangers with a note explaining their free ride is in honor of the person/act you are thankful for. Paying it forward is a great way to say thank you in a unique way.
Memorials and tributes that also give back to others, such as placing a bench or shelter at a bus stop or planting a tree, not only serve to pay your thanks forward, but stand as a legacy of generosity that will help to inspire others.
Unique ways to say thank you can range from small gestures that help you count your blessings to acts of service such as making a donation, volunteering your time, or even engage in activism for a cause important to a person, group, or institution you wish to thank.