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Giving Thanks with 10 Ways to Pay it Forward

Personal Insights

Every year around the Thanksgiving table Mom asks everyone to say what they’re thankful for. This year, why not shake it up a little? Don’t just be thankful, give someone else a reason to be thankful, too. Here are 10 ways to pay it forward this Thanksgiving season.

Buy the Next Round

This is a famous one, for a good reason. Everyone’s rushing in to get that pumpkin-flavored goodness before it’s gone, so leave a few dollars with the cashier to purchase the drink for the person behind you. Or make a new friend by asking them directly.

Speak to the Manager

Most of the time when someone asks to speak to the manager, there’s a storm brewing. This year, take the time to let the boss know how great their employee was. That and positive reviews online will be greatly appreciated.

Babysit for Free

Harried couples with children are often told they need to take a night out – but what about those kids? Instead of free advice, offer to watch the little ones for free and even pay for the date.

Leave a Gift for Your Mail Carrier

The mail comes through, rain or shine, and it can be grueling. A few brownies or a cold drink can be a welcome reprieve. Leave it in the box for a surprise or greet them in person if you’ve got something fresh.

Write a Letter to a Teacher

Teachers are often forgotten after graduation, but maybe there’s one who stands out as really making a difference. A handwritten letter of thanks, with a few choice memories, could make the trying work of teaching worth it – and you might even get a reply!

Take Care of the Coffee 

It’s always a crisis when the office runs out of coffee. Be the one to replace the coffee without being asked, maybe throwing in a few choices of creamer as well. Bring it in, wash the pot, and set it out for anyone to use.

Give Away the Extra Copy

Good books are a gift – so give one away! Buy a new copy of a favorite novel or nonfiction work and give it to a friend. (Don’t cheat and give away the old one!) It’s not just the gift of a read, it’s a gift of new conversations and inside jokes.

Do Your Neighbor’s Yard, Too

The next time the lawn needs to be mowed, keep going. Move on to the neighbor’s yard and finish it before they have a chance to do it. The mower’s already running, might as well make the most of it.

Give Up Your Seat 

Back to the classics! Waiting for a table, riding the bus or train, or anywhere else, allows you to offer your seat to someone who needs it. Older folks, ladies with kids, or anyone at all. Or choose not to sit at all, so that the next person finds one waiting.

Buy Your Friend That Thing They Like 

Each person is different, and everyone has that one little thing they enjoy, be it a snack, a show, or a favorite place to visit. Don’t wait for a holiday, go ahead and pick up that drink, those tickets, that snack – whatever it is, they are sure to love it.

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