21 Ways of Giving Thanks

Yesterday thoughts of the week ahead began to stir my soul. The older I’ve gotten (don’t ask!), the more I’ve seen Thanksgiving have less limelight. The focus of all retail is Black Friday. I don’t think our forefathers ever imagined that the day they set aside to give thanks would be minimized to mere minutes.

My blog posts are generally focused on God’s Word and the ideas and thoughts he gives me. I’ve told you before that my opinion of what happens in this world doesn’t matter much at all in light of eternity. You can find opinions anywhere and everywhere. So I’m just going to whisper to you that a certain tv commercial I saw last night about “thanksgetting” went totally against the grain for me. I had already been thinking of this post and all the different ways we can show how thankful we are. Thanksgetting? Seriously?!

ways of giving thanks

21 Ways of Giving Thanks

Choose just one of these 21 ways of giving thanks and discover more joy in your life. I promise it will be better than anything you could possibly get.

1. Create a thankful tree with your family.

Our family has created a thankful tree for the last several years and it’s a wonderful way to focus on giving thanks for a season, rather than only one day of the year.

2. Take a prayer walk.

A simple way to be thankful is just to cultivate giving thanks for everything you can see. Tell God how beautiful his creation is.

3. Make a list.

Just take a few moments and write out a list. My friend, Joanna Weaver, has  a beautiful printable you can use for reflecting on what you are thankful for.

4. Think about the simple things you use every day and focus on what life would be like without just one of those.

Maybe it’s your bed, a favorite piece of clothing, or even a coffee cup. Tell someone how thankful for you are for this item.

5. Start a journal.

Not sure how to begin? Check out this post for how to start journaling.

6. Use the JOY journal method.

The JOY journal acronym bookmark is a super simple way to prompt yourself to outline your thanks.

7. Send a note or card through the mail.

Everyone still loves to receive mail, right?

8. Send a text.

An unexpected thank you text can be just the thing to encourage both your heart and the hear of a friend or loved one.

9. Write a social media message.

Use your social media status to give thanks for a set number of days in a row. This is an especially great way to curb the temptation to complain about things that are going wrong.

10. Be intentional and focused on saying thank you in person.

I try to remind our children to do this on a daily basis, but sometimes a day of focusing on giving thanks to everyone you come in contact with is especially needed.

11. Volunteer your time.

Giving back to your community or church is a beautiful expression of thanks.

12. Challenge yourself to give 100 thanks.

Journal each day until you reach the number.

13. Make a list of “thankless” jobs.

Many service jobs are overlooked and the people who work those jobs are left without appreciation for their hard work. Make a list of those people in your community and outline 2 or 3 ways you can be intentional to show them your appreciation.

14. Place thank-you notes written to your family in lunch boxes or backpacks.

Always a treat to get a note at lunchtime!

15. Initiate a corporate thanks for someone you know in leadership.

Have all members involved to bring a note of thanks to your company president, pastor, or government representative.

16. Make a family “Thank You” poster and take a photo.

Send the photo either digitally or in print to give thanks to those who have served your family in some capacity.

17. Write a prayer of thanksgiving using this one as a springboard example.

18. Use one word to describe a quality of your spouse or a loved one and decorate it.

Give your one word creation along with some verbal words about why you are thankful. You could be as simple or creative as you like, even frame it for a longer-lasting memory.

19. Use a list of Bible verses to inspire thanks.

These Bible memory verse cards for giving thanks and the newer Thanksgiving Bible Verse cards are perfect for taking screenshots or printing.

20. Write out a list of the names of God or words that describe who he is.

Praise him not just for what he has done but for WHO HE IS. Use this article about the names of God for a little help.

21. Print a favorite quote that reminds you of true joy.

You could even create a gratitude poster or board to focus on giving thanks. Pin your quotes or photos to the board as a collage of gratefulness.

Even when I can’t find thanks in my heart for what God is doing, I can always find praise for who he is. – One More Step

His love, his faithfulness, his guidance, his unending, never-changing love-- these attributes encourage my heart to know that he wants what is best for me. #onemorestep Click through for 21 ways of giving thanks, even through tough circumstances.


The God who never changes, Who was and is and is to come; give thanks to his holy name.

Have a wonderful week of Thanksgiving!


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  1. Thankyou for such a wonderful post! What a great list of doable things to help us remember to be thankful! My personal favourite is the prayer walk, I work as a gardener, so get to see the beauty of Gods creation and work with it intensely 3 days a week. Lately I have really had my eyes opened as to how blessed I am to be able to do that, and it certainly has brought more joy to my work!

  2. Thankyou for your hard wwork you are a blessing to us

  3. Joanne Peterson says:

    What a great list! I didn’t see the commercial, but we are trying to teach our kids to be thankful with what they have, and they have a lot especially in comparison to those in developing countries, we are rich! Blessings to you and your family, and happy thanksgiving!

  4. Barb Thomas says:

    I am thankful for many things but am grateful for each day that I get quiet time to read your posts, reflect on what’s going well and listening to what God wants me to do each day and share a spiritual cup of coffee. I am blessed to have found your books and website. Thank u my friend.


  5. May God Bless you for being a blessing.

    The last picture hit home.
    Sometimes it is a struggle to see what God has done or is doing in our lives, so don’t think we should be thankful, because somethings are not working out the way we want.
    I will print this out and frame it (If thats ok ) I need this reminder everyday!!!

  6. Thank you Rachel for the ‘wake-up’ call. I have reallly been struggling to he thankful. Since loosing my husband to cancer in March life is really difficult. All the “unknowns” in life come crashing down at times. I really try to be thankful but it isn’t always easy. Thank you for the reminder of being thankful for the simple, ordinary things in life. I’m thankful for having a roof over my head, food in my stomach, my children, my grandchildren and most of all for a God who is always there. God who will never, never leave me or forsake me. God who loves me for who I am and not for what I do or don’t do. Praise be to our Father thru Jesus Christ, Lors and Saviour. //Jazmin

  7. I had the same reaction to that commercial, Rachel. Have a blessed ThanksGIVING!

  8. Thank you for this inspiring post. I clicked on a lot of those other resource links you provided. I hope you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

  9. Thank you! What a blessed post this is! I am thankful for your incuragement. Thank you

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