• Ane from Boomerang

How to show gratitude on Thanksgiving


family celebrating Thanksgiving around a dinner table

Thanksgiving conjures up images of stuffed turkeys, casseroles, and pumpkin pie, but there’s more to the holiday than stuffing oneself silly. While it’s easy to lose the day’s true meaning between family visits and second helpings, Thanksgiving is all about gratitude. Originally founded in October to show thanks for a good harvest and other blessings of the past year, Thanksgiving is now also a time to express appreciation for your friends and family—and even yourself!


5 Thanksgiving gratitude ideas

In anticipation of the big day, here are five ideas on how to show gratitude.


1. Celebrate yourself

In the words of RuPaul, “If you don't love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else?” Showing gratitude starts with thanking your body and mind for all they do. Start by making a list of all the things you’re proud of or have accomplished in the last year, then reward yourself with some “me time.” This can be anything from a bubble bath paired with a glass of wine to a walk on the beach or knocking an item off your bucket list. Perhaps it’s trying out a new hobby or signing up for an online workshop (may we suggest an online gardening class like garden and nature club or flower design?).


2. Celebrate your loved ones

Your friends and family fill your life with joy, and Thanksgiving is the perfect time to show gratitude for all that they do. This doesn’t mean you have to buy expensive presents or plan a big party. On this holiday, it really is the thought that counts. How about the gift of encouragement? Plan some quality time with loved ones, sign-up for an online cooking class together, like cooking homemade apple pie, and host a Thanksgiving dinner. Before digging in, make sure to tell your guests how much they mean to you.


3. Celebrate your community

No man—or woman—is an island. Whether or not we realize it, we all rely on our neighbours and communities in some way. If you’re able, Thanksgiving is an ideal occasion to give back, particularly to those less fortunate. Look for local volunteer opportunities - Volunteer at an animal shelter or food bank, or perhaps organize a clothing drive. If you’re not comfortable meeting up with strangers, embark on a local hike to pick up litter or arrange to drop off groceries to seniors in your area. Many people are dealing with loneliness during COVID, so even writing a neighbour a friendly note can go a long way. If someone has gone out of their way to help you recently, why not thank them a second time?


4. Celebrate your challengers

This one may sound a little counterintuitive, but it’s often our biggest challengers who push us to be our best selves. Whether that’s a competitor, a healthy critic, or someone who cares a little too much for your liking, now’s a good time to acknowledge the ways in which they help propel you forward. Even if you don’t agree with them all the time, if they inspired you to make a change or take a risk, you should let them know how it paid off.


5. Celebrate those from your past

It’s natural that people will come and go from your life, but Thanksgiving is an opportune time to reflect on past friends, colleagues, and acquaintances who left a lasting impact. Take a few minutes alone to thank them silently and send good vibes their way, or reach out with a quick phone call, email, or social media message. You’ll be surprised how even a few short words can brighten someone’s day.


Give the gift of encouragement this Thanksgiving with a Boomerang workshop

Pursuing a new hobby or rediscovering your passions with a loved one has never been easier. With Boomerang, older adults can register for over 250+ online workshops a month in areas of their interest. Together you can explore your creative side, learn to cook new dishes or get active in virtual fitness classes. Our online workshops are led by passionate hosts to help you explore your interests.


View our upcoming workshops and classes!

This article offers general information only and is not intended as legal, financial or other professional advice. A professional advisor should be consulted regarding your specific situation. While the information presented is believed to be factual and current, its accuracy is not guaranteed and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subjects discussed. All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the author(s) as of the date of publication and are subject to change. No endorsement of any third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products or services is expressly given or implied by Royal Bank of Canada or its affiliates.

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