The holidays are the perfect time to reflect on the year and say thank you to those who have been a part of your 2016 journey. In business, expressing your gratitude to clients and employees can be tricky: what do you buy for someone that seemingly has everything or how do you select meaningful gifts that don’t break the bank?
It can take a little time and effort, but showing your gratitude is one of the most important things you can do. Not only does it make you and the recipient feel good, but research suggests the benefits are dramatic: People who regularly practice gratitude by taking time to notice and reflect upon the things they’re thankful for experience more positive emotions, feel more alive, sleep better, express more compassion and kindness, and even have stronger immune systems.
Here’s some strategies I’ve employed over the years and am happy to share with you:
- Handwritten notes. Taking the time to write a short but heartfelt note about how thankful you are for that person is extremely valuable. If you can provide examples and details of things that person did that made you grateful will make this handwritten note even more powerful.
- Charitable donations. For the person that doesn’t need another box of candy or bottle of wine, making a donation to a local charity in that person’s name can be a great way to honor that person and pay it forward in a positive way. Often the charity can provide a letter of donation acceptance and then you can go a step further and add a handwritten note to that letter and forward it to the recipient of your gratitude.
- Handmade items. If you are a Pinterest addict and have the crafting gene, there’s nothing better than a handmade gift. However, if you are like me, then sometimes sourcing a gift that has been handmade by someone else can be just as meaningful because it is unique. Attend local craft fairs or holiday boutiques to source wonderfully unique items that support local artisans.
- Your time. The most valuable gift you can give is your time and your undivided attention. Reach out to the person you are thankful for and request a 30 minute coffee session and then commit to keeping your phone off while you tell that person how much you appreciate them.
I encourage you to take the time to express your thanks this holiday season with these simple but meaningful strategies. William Arthur Ward is quoted: “Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” I promise you that your small actions will make a big impact on the recipients.
–Jane Olvera Quebe, President