A lot of respect can be earned or lost by our ability to say thanks. It may not be the way it should be, but some people really take offense if they don’t receive a thank you card within 30 days of sending a wedding gift. And have you ever held the door for someone who didn’t even acknowledge your presence, much less say, “thanks”?
The Endangered “Thank You”
Sadly, a genuine thank you is hard to come by these days. The good news is that since they are becoming more of a rare occasion, it just makes you look that much better when you give one.
I am always interested in unique or creative ways of doing anything, so when I thought of the idea to write about creative ways to say thank you, I got excited. To be honest, I have a lot of room to grow in my gratitude levels. I believe Christians should be the most thankful people on the earth. If we truly understood the depth of the gift that we have been given, we would be overflowing with gratitude.
Saying thanks in a traditional way is always better than not at all. But, if you want to express your thanks in a more unique way it may be a bit more memorable for the recipient. These are some of my favorite ways to say thank you…
1. Thank You Photo
Grab your gift, a camera (or your phone), and your best smile and get to work. Sending an email is nice, but if you attach a picture with you riding the shiny new bike your Aunt bought you, it will really pack a punch.
2. Create a thank you video
My wife and I did this after our wedding and had a blast. We used our regular digital camera (most of them are capable of recording videos) and recorded a 30 second clip of us using the gift, singing a song, or expressing our thanks in some other goofy way. It was so much more fun than trying to figure out what to write for each thank-you card. We then burned a CD with the corresponding video for each gift giver. Everyone loved the thank you videos and people still mention them to this day.
3. Write a letter
It is amazing how quickly something that was once commonplace can become creative. When was the last time you received a hand-written letter?
My wife loves nice stationery. She loves the flowery, swirly kind that is on really thick card stock that makes you think you are getting invited to a wedding when you receive it in the mail. I will say, using nice stationery makes it so much more fun to write a thank you note. It also gives you a nice dose of incentive to thank people – if you don’t the stationery is going to go to waste!
If you haven’t written a thank-you note in a while, use this guide as a refresher… How to write a thank you note
4. Thank them with food
Nothing says thanks to me like food. I just associate so much pleasure to eating, that I automatically think good things about a person who gives me food – Guys, I know I am not alone on this
Find out what their favorite type of food is and attach a nice little note telling them why it is being given to them.
Bonus: Write “thank you” ON the food. If you go to MyMMs.com you can personalize a package of M & M’s – oh, and I like peanut M&Ms the best
5. Phone call
Just like the Do-Do bird and the hand-written note, the phone call seems to be nearing extinction as well. With all of the more efficient and less committal forms of communication we have available to us – instant messaging, email, text messaging, etc, phone calls can almost seem like a hassle sometimes. That is exactly why calling someone to verbally thank them can be a very powerful way to express your gratitude.
Bonus: to really make this fun you can tell them thank you in 26 different languages.
6. Give a public “thank you”
Thank your recipient in front of a bunch of his/her peers. This will make them feel very appreciated as well as better their reputation among their peers.
7. Make a banner or sign
Make a sign that says “Thank You” and place it in a place they will see it. If you live with this person, you could place the sign on the bathroom mirror or refrigerator door. If you work with the person you could place it near their office, the water fountain or elevator or wherever else they may see it.
8. A magazine subscription
This is a fun way to thank someone, that really can be pretty cheap. Some magazine subscriptions can go for as little as $10 a year. The recipient then has a monthly reminder of your generosity!
9. Inscribe “thank you” on a plant
Do you know that for $15, you can send someone a pot with a soon-to-be-seedling that will actually have the words “thank you” inscribed on it’s leaves? Crazy, I know, but true. It is called the Message Bean and you can check it out here.