50 Ways to Show Gratitude to the People in Your Life

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I've compiled a list of 50 ways to show gratitude to your family, in your community, and around the world. With a few ways to actively thank God Himself.

I wasn’t feeling very thankful.

In my defense, I was pregnant and raging hormones were affecting my thinking. It seems silly in retrospect, but there I stood in the closet grumbling to myself as I moved Rev’s suits and dress pants from wire hangers back to suit hangers.

Kind of funny considering all the parenting tasks that were coming but…

That day, all I could think about was having to do something I’d reminded him about before. Everyone knows a suit loses its shape and wrinkles if it’s not on the right hanger.

And in the midst of my grumbling, I heard the Lord’s still quiet voice whisper…

“Would you prefer he wasn’t here?”

Wait! What?


God had blessed me with an amazing man. I had so many reasons to just be thankful and those six words have stayed with me forever. God’s gentle reminder . . . I could celebrate who Rev is and all the blessings he brings to my life or I can grumble about little things like hangers. I could build him up or tear him down. My choice.

Showing Gratitude is a Choice

You and I have a choice to make every day. We can focus on ourselves and grumble when the people around us aren’t meeting our expectations or we can focus on ways we are blessed through that person and show them gratitude.

I’ve compiled a list of 50 ways to show gratitude to your family, in your community, and around the world. With a few ways to thank God Himself. He placed you where you are for a reason and a wonderful way to thank Him is to live with gratitude right where you are.

One of my favorite gratitude quotes…

“Thankfulness is the beginning of gratitude. Gratitude is the completion of thankfulness. Thankfulness may consist merely of words. Gratitude is shown in acts.” ~Henri Frederic Amiel

So let’s get started.

I've compiled a list of 50 ways to show gratitude to your family, in your community, and around the world. With a few ways to actively thank God Himself.

50 Ways to Show Gratitude to the People in Your Life

Show Gratitude at Home

  1. Make a Gratitude Jar or Board – Name specific things that have happened or that someone has done for you.
  2. Have a “Do Something for Someone Challenge” – It doesn’t have to be a big deal. Just encourage everyone to look for ways to do something nice each day without being asked.
  3. Write a note to a family member telling them why you’re thankful for them.
  4. Go around the table at dinner and list ways your family blessed you that day.
  5. Say “Thank You” – Have fun with it. Make up a “thank you” song to sing to each other that’s unique to your family.
  6. Do little things you know will make them happy.
  7. Take time to listen to understand not just reply.
  8. Be patient even in this crazy busy holiday season.
  9. Forgive each other.
  10. Take an interest in a family member’s hobby or passion.
  11. Make saying “thank you” a priority before a gift can be used. Send a snail mail note or make a video and email it to the gift giver.
  12. Enjoy a date night with your spouse each week.
  13. Have one on one time with each child at least once a month.
  14. Laugh together often.
  15. Pray for family members at home and away.
  16. Talk about what they learned from a bad situation and how they might be thankful for it.
  17. Make a small handmade gift or card.
  18. When you’re angry – stop and breathe before you speak.
  19. Make home a no insult zone – even in humor.
  20. Compliment more than you complain.

Show Gratitude in Your Community

  1. Thank a friend for being there for you.
  2. Donate unused clothes, food, toys, and household items to help those in need.
  3.  Serve at a shelter or senior center.
  4. Carry $5 in your pocket to give to someone in need.
  5. Let your children see you show gratitude to those who help you. – Servers, trash collectors, checkers, receptionists, etc.
  6. Take a prayer walk in your neighborhood.
  7. Give blood.
  8. Teach a skill, language, or hobby at your community center.
  9. Help a neighbor – babysit, cut the grass, shovel the walk, cook a meal, etc.
  10. Invite someone to join your holiday celebration. – I have a friend who does this and says an added benefit is it puts everyone on their best behavior.
  11. Help your children write a thank you note to babysitters, teachers, and pastors and pray for them.
  12. Smile at strangers -“Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.” ~Mother Teresa

I've compiled a list of 50 ways to show gratitude to your family, in your community, and around the world. With a few ways to actively thank God Himself.

Show Gratitude Around the World

  1. Sponsor a child through World Vision or Compassion Int.
  2. Pack a Shoe Box for Operation Christmas Child.
  3. Write a thank you note to a someone serving in the military – get ideas here.
  4. Pray for those serving in missions.
  5. Help a missionary with financial support.
  6. Join Samaritan’s Purse Prayer Network.
  7. Recycle and conserve energy . . . take care of the earth.
  8.  Go on a mission trip.

Show Gratitude to God

  1. Make a list of family blessings and thank God together.
  2. Read a Psalm and give thanks.
  3. Live today – let go of the past and don’t worry about tomorrow.
  4. Love and serve the people in your life.
  5. Find 10 more ways to thank God here.

Show Gratitude Everywhere . . . Always

  1. Always be honest and kind.
  2. Be complimentary and encouraging.
  3. Offer grace – don’t expect perfection.
  4. Notice people – make eye contact.
  5. Look for the best in people.

I've compiled a list of 50 ways to show gratitude to your family, in your community, and around the world. With a few ways to actively thank God Himself.

Just for Fun

♥ Look at someone and say, “You bless me!

I always thank my God for you and for the gracious gifts he has given you, now that you belong to Christ Jesus. 1 Corinthians 1:4


Another reason to count our blessings and live with gratitude.

If the World were 100 People

If we looked at the earth’s population as if it were a small community of 100 people, it would look something like this…


  • 48 male
  • 52 female


  • 30 are Christian
  • 70 are non-Christian


  • 30 would always have enough to eat
  • 50 would be malnourished
  • 20 would be undernourished (1 would be dying of starvation)


  • 60 can’t speak, act according to their faith and conscience due to harassment, imprisonment, torture or death
  • 40 live in a country designated as “free”
  • 12 live in a war zone


  • 12 are unable to read
  • 7 have a college degree
  • 45 own a computer
  • 40 have an internet connection


  • 33 live without basic sanitation
  • 10 have no clean, safe water to drink

If you keep your food in a refrigerator and your clothes in a closet…
If you have a bed to sleep in and have a roof over your head…
If you have people who care about you…

You are abundantly blessed. I am too! May we faithfully thank and praise God by showing our gratitude and love to Him and the people He’s placed around us.

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  1. bethany mcilrath says:

    So helpful, Deb! You are a great list maker. Thanks for these ideas!!

  2. Karen Grosz says:

    Wow, wonderful list. I am doing a Gratitude Challenge right now and I will be sharing this blog post with the challengers for them to read.

  3. What an exhaustive list! You’ve included so many ways to express our gratitude, Deb, and they are all excellent.
    Thank you for blessing me today!

  4. What a useful and practical list, Deb! This has given me sooooo many ideas. Can’t wait to put them into practice! <3

  5. Wow, this was such a great reminder on how to show gratitude. I’ve seen some of those stats from “if the world were 100 people” before but each time I read them, different things stand out to me. The food one really hit me today…so sad.

  6. We are most blessed, aren’t we, Deb!
    What a fabulous list.
    I thank my God upon my every remembrance of you!
    You bless me~

  7. Wow! What an eye opener, Deb, to think of the world’s population in terms of 100. Thank you for these ideas and the reminder to show gratitude!
    Blessings and smiles,

  8. This is amazing! What a way to put things in perspective!

  9. Charlotte Easley says:

    Thank you for such a wonderful list. You bless me!!

  10. Deb, this is a powerful post. I am printing out the If the World Were 100 People and using it as a grumble-controlling method with my family. Thank you so much for sharing it!

  11. Kristen Whiting says:

    Feeling blessed by this… I’ve definitely got to be more intentional about being thankful for the things I take for granted every day. It’s so easy to get depressed about all of the hard things. But I guess the majority of the world is going through those things. And God still tells us to be thankful, that that’s His will for us. I pray He will continue changing our perspectives on blessings and our circumstances.

    1. I think it’s something we all struggle with, Kristen. Life seems to move so fast and we’re all rushing from one thing to another. It’s why I need to remind myself often to slow down and be grateful … both to God for all He has done and to the people He has graciously placed around me. I’m so glad it blessed and encouraged you! Thank you!