9 Creative Ways to Say Thank You

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”?

9 Ways to say thank you....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.

M&Ms Custom Thank You

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

Message Bean Thank You

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.

What creative ways have you given or received a special “Thank You!”?

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  1. MInTheGap

    #9– make sure it’s a magazine they aren’t getting and might actually want. And if they don’t want to renew it, they’ll get more than a monthly reminder– they’ll get the “your subscription is running out!” reminders too.

    Good list!

  2. bob

    Good point, magazines sometimes can blur the line between sales and mailbox abuse!

  3. Kristl Story

    My favorite is filling a glass bottle (recycled, of course) with m&m’s and stick a colorful fake daisy in it! It’s cheap & cheerful! Click on this link for a picture! http://www.TheBudgetDiet.com/thank-you-gifts

  4. Lori

    Due to unforeseeable vendor supply issues, Message Beans have been discontinued. When they sell out, they will no longer be available. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience.

  5. Sandra at Thistle Cove Farm

    I give homemade shortbread that was baked in a thistle mold; everyone knows it’s from me and knows it’s going to be delicious.

  6. Julie

    Sadly, a genuine thank you is hard to come by these days…. too true!
    I am Canadian and a pet peeve of mine and many of my friends is the American tenancy to answer “Thank You” with “uh-huh” instead of “You’re Welcome”. When we hear that we feel we have somehow inconvenienced the person we thanked, and it would be preferable if we weren’t so darned polite. Now that I live in the U.S., I have actually had people tell me to loosen up and not say Thank You so often, but I can’t seem to stop myself, nor do I wish to!

    • Kristen

      Julie, it’s funny you say this – I am American, and never noticed this American/Canadian difference until my (Canadian) boyfriend pointed it out. He also said he feels a little uncomfortable when people don’t answer with “You’re welcome,” but knows it’s just an American tendency.

      What I’ve told him – and what other friends of mine have also said, when they heard this – is that when I answer “Thank you” with something like, “Sure,” “Uh-huh,” “No problem,” etc, I’m actually trying to put someone MORE at ease! To my ears, answering with “You’re welcome” sounds as if I’m implying that I really went out of my way, as if I’m *expecting* thanks. Giving a more brush-off answer is just our abbreviated way of conveying, “Not at all, it’s really nothing!”

      None of this, of course, is to say that our way is “right,” just to explain that we’re not trying to be rude – maybe even trying to be nice, in our own (possibly misguided?) way!

    • Julie

      That’s an interesting perspective. Next time instead of hearing “I can’t be bothered to answer you politely” I’ll try to hear “No problem”.

  7. Cherie

    Don’t forget today’s social media abilities. For the right age group, a post on facebook with a thank you and tag takes only a moment but can bring a big impact. I appreciated my niece posting a picture from her shower and a sweet message to the hostess as soon as she returned home. Hand written notes followed later but I appreciated the acknowledgement of my efforts that night while resting my tired legs.

  8. Alexander John

    I personally like the video thank you. You can be as creative as you want, plus I love making YouTube videos so this fits perfect for me. How great would it be if you told your friend to type in “Thank You his name here” and your video popped up? How amazing is that?

    Great ideas, thanks for sharing.

  9. Vicki Ventura

    To go along with homemade (baked) treats, we have neighbors who drink Scotch, and they watch our home when we’re out of town, and vice versa. Since they kept an eye on our home for a few weeks over the summer, we bought them a bottle of Scotch, and I followed-up the next day with some homemade cookies. I like to give gift certificates to businesses that people like to visit or use, like Panera, Barnes & Noble, or Starbucks. Of course now you can get a card that’s like a credit card, and they can use that most any place…so they aren’t locked in to having to use it at just one business. Also, I just started putting up food, so you can give something that’s pretty much gone by the wayside (like the personal calls and handwritten thank-you’s), and that is homemade jams, jellies, relishes, sauces, pickles, you-name-it. And, lastly, for those of us who don’t have a lot of money, but we have some time, offer to mow someone’s yard, help with raking, painting, working on their computer, etc. This is especially nice for older people. It doesn’t hurt your pocketbook, but it can be a real blessing to someone.