Catch the Gratitude Vibe

Let's give a big thanks to Thanksgiving, that kick-in-the-pants holiday that reminds us to practice gratitude.

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In the spirit of Turkey Day, here are 18 ways to say grazie.

1) Give a neighbor a compliment: “That giant turkey decoration on your front lawn is so stylish!”

 

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New Homes in Stafford County

Great Nonprofits is a website that offers ratings of the best organizations around the country. Here's a link to the best ones in the Fredericksburg, VA, area, where we have new homes.

2) Buy a box of note cards and use them—a handwritten thank you note is better than an email. It just is.

3) Compile a holiday tip list. Thank the house cleaner, dog groomer, newspaper delivery guy or anyone else who provides a service that makes life easier.

4) Help economically disadvantaged folks put their best foot forward. Donate gently worn women's professional clothes to Dress for Success and gently worn men's suits to Career Gear.

5) Start a gratitude journal. Three times a week, write down one thing you're thankful for. There's got to be something.

6) Thank your partner or spouse for putting up with you.

7) Kick-start a donation drive. Here's an idea: Ask several local dentists if they'll donate a carton of toothbrushes to the homeless. Then drop them the boxes off at local homeless shelter.

8) Buy a cup of coffee for the person behind you in line at Starbucks.

9) Send an email to a relative you haven't spoken to in ages.

10) Did you meet a super-helpful salesperson? Tell their manager.

11) Make a donation to a veterans' charity, such as Homes for Our Troops. We can't thank our military enough these days.

12) Ask a homeless person what they'd like for lunch—and buy it for them.

13) Babysit for a friend who needs some free time. Kids can drive anyone nuts.

14) Leave chocolates for the office receptionist.

15) Instead of hitting the big-box retailer this Christmas, shop local.

16) Reward your pooch with an extra-long walk.

17) Encourage your child to pick a new toy, and together, donate it to Toys for Tots.

18) Hosting Thanksgiving dinner? Leave a thank you note under all your guests' plates: “Dad, thank you for taking me to Disney when I was seven.” Or something like that.

RYAN HOMES QUESTION: Can you share another way to give thanks?