Expressing Gratitude All Year Long

by Chris Bjorklund

Although we focus on gratitude during Thanksgiving, taking the time to acknowledge the hard work of others makes a difference year-round. Photo: CC0 Creative Commons ©2018

During the month of November and the Thanksgiving season, most of us are more focused than usual on the gift of gratitude. But given the positive impact of gratitude on others, perhaps we should think about ways to express our gratitude throughout the year.

I started reflecting on that the other day after listening to my voicemail. A local framing store manager called to let me know that my two paintings were ready to be picked up. Then, he added something extra—he said he sincerely appreciated my continued business, which meant a lot to him.

I’ve been a customer at this framing shop for the past several years—maybe twice a year on average. I’m just a homeowner doing a little redecorating, not a big corporate client. While the staff is friendly and offers a lot of help selecting mats and frames, only one employee knows me on a first-name basis. Because their computer system tracks transactions along with my contact information, the manager must have noticed that I’m a repeat customer and decided it was time to say “thank you.”

Businesses that provide great service like being thanked as well, both publicly and privately. Last year, I organized a birthday party for my husband with tapas, paella and live music. The caterer was excellent and the local musician played a 45-minute set of songs that exceeded my expectations. After the event, I contacted the caterer and the musician to say thank you and express my gratitude for making the evening so special. Both were surprised that I took the time to share positive comments.

At the end of the day, saying thank you and expressing gratitude reinforces the personal connections we have in our communities.