One day, a friend gave me a note in an orange envelope. I was seeing her in passing, and she said it was nothing, just an assignment she had to do for an English class and to open it later. It was a thank you note addressed to me. In her handwriting, she shared the impact I had on her life and how much my friendship meant to her. She was thanking me for being her support system and for being in her life. I was so moved by this because I had never explicitly heard this sentiment expressed from her before. I was always aware that she was thankful for our friendship and that she was happy to have me in her life, but to have this tangibly written—it was so powerful. I’ll never forget it.

The idea is so simple, but there is something so bonding about expressing gratitude among two people. Through her expression of thankfulness, I instantly felt like our friendship strengthened, and it was so validating to hear how much my contribution to our relationship was impacting her. It made me want to continue putting in that effort because now I knew that effort was paying off. She also inspired me to want to share the love, too.

This Thanksgiving, I plan on writing thank you notes to all of the important people in my life. I want to share my gratitude for the amazing people I get the privilege to spend my time with, and I want them to know how much their relationship means to me. While it might seem a little awkward or old-fashioned to give a card, I really believe that it is the most powerful way to express gratitude. You have to set the time and effort into writing a note, but the recipient will feel that as well as your personal sentiment when they receive it. If the card thing isn’t for you, there still is a lot of love and thankfulness to share in an email or text as well.

At the end of the day, expressing gratitude helps us feel more positive about our lives, and the recipient feels loved by someone important to them. It’s a win-win situation!

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