Thanksgiving offers so many ways to express gratitude. From showing your appreciation through making holiday themed food for loved ones (like this harvest blessing snack mix), or deepening your knowledge of our history by learning more about symbols of Thanksgiving, there’s a multitude of ways to say thank you.
As November arrives, make sure you’re celebrating gratitude all month long, not just on the Thanksgiving holiday. There’s so many ways to be thankful this month – from gratitude journaling, to sending your loved ones gratitude quotes, and more!
Nature celebrates autumn with the trees shedding their leaves and entering a dormant season of rest. We can mirror the changes that happen in nature by slowing down this fall, resting, and reflecting with gratitude on everything wonderful in our lives.
National Gratitude Month gives us the perfect opportunity to give thanks for the people and things around us.
Keep reading for a list of ways to practice gratitude this month, the history of how National Gratitude Month came into existence, and information on some other November monthly observances.
History of National Gratitude Month
Though the first Thanksgiving was celebrated in 1621, the entire month of November has only been celebrated as National Gratitude Month since 2015. Gratitude is not a new concept, but its November monthly observance is.
Stacey Grewal, an author and spiritual coach, submitted a request in August of 2015 to make November National Gratitude Month. Her request was approved in September, and the following November was the first ever National Gratitude Month.
In addition to National Gratitude Month, there’s also an internationally recognized day of gratitude as well! World Gratitude Day falls on September 21 and is dedicated to everyone, all over the world, practicing gratitude together.
Ways to show gratitude to celebrate National Gratitude Month
Would you like to celebrate National Gratitude Month in a special way? Try one of these ideas. Each idea below is a way you can express gratitude for the people and things in your life.
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- Get a gratitude journal and start practicing gratitude journaling.
- Give someone a surprise thank you gift. Not because it’s a holiday or birthday, but just to say thank-you for being great. You can even practice gratitude by thoughtfully gift wrapping their present.
- Get some new thank-you notes so you can finishing writing any outstanding thank-you cards.
- Reward good customer service experiences. The next time you go out for drinks, tip the bartender a little extra, or put an extra few dollars in your favorite barista’s tip jar.
- Pay it forward. If you’re headed out to get food from a fast food drive through, pay for the order behind you!
- Get gratitude decor, so you can have a visual reminder to practice gratitude this month, and always!
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If you enjoyed learning about National Gratitude Month don’t forget to share these ways to express gratitude with your friends. Here’s a tweet to get you started:Did you know the entire month of November is dedicated to celebrating gratitude? Head to Always the Holidays to learn more about National Gratitude Month! 🙏🍂💖 #GratitudeMonth #NovemberHolidays Click To Tweet
More ways to express gratitude for this November Gratitude Month
Looking for more ways to celebrate this November gratitude month? Try the ideas below. They’re great ways to show gratitude.
- Support a cause you feel passionate about! National Gratitude Month is a great opportunity to make a monetary donation.
- Donate your time. Maybe you don’t have the extra income to buy a gift, but want to say thank you by performing an act of service, like making a home-cooked meal for a busy new mom in your life, or washing your spouse’s car because they’re short on time. Any little action to show gratitude for having that person in your life.
- Give belongings you no longer need to someone else who would also enjoy them. Maybe you have some gently used clothing you can pass along to a women’s shelter, or books you can donate to a library.
- Connect to your spirituality and offer thanks, in whatever way feels authentic to you – whether that’s sitting down to practice a gratitude mediation, or going to church and offering a prayer of thanks, or any other way you connect to spirituality!
Free ways to practice gratitude to Celebrate National Gratitude Month
They ideas below are great ways to practice gratitude if you’re on a budget! You don’t need to have money to practice gratitude, just a grateful heart.
- Look for ways in your day to day life to say “thank-you” more intentionally. Maybe it’s after someone holds the door for you, or after a cashier gives you your change. Give those words as a gift to someone instead of saying them as merely a reaction.
- Handwrite a letter of thanks to a special person in your life. Maybe it’s to a childhood mentor, a relative who helped you through a hard time, or a friend who offered you support. Make sure to mail it to them; they’ll be delighted to see a thoughtful letter arrive in their mailbox!
- Locate a person in your life that you’re extremely grateful for and give them a hug and thank them for the special role they play in your life.
- Slow down so you can fully take in your surroundings. Take a deep breath and notice all the things you’re grateful for in that moment.
November monthly observances
Did you enjoy learning about National Gratitude Month? Well you’re in luck, November has more than just one monthly observance!
Here is a list of some of the other November monthly observances:
- National Gratitude Month
- National Native American Heritage Month
- National Peanut Butter Lovers Month
- National Adopt a Senior Pet Month
- Sweet Potato Awareness Month
- Aviation History Month
- Diabetic Eye Disease Month
- Epilepsy Awareness Month
- Lung Cancer Awareness Month
- Military Family Month
- National Adoption Month
- National Alzheimer’s Disease Month
- National COPD Month
- National Diabetes Month
- National Family Caregivers Month
- National Home Care & Hospice Month
More national days in November
In addition to there being monthly observances for each month of the year, like National Gratitude Month, there are also national days as well. There are almost 2000 national days in the year and over 150 of them are celebrated in November.
National days are a fun way to celebrate foods, animals and items that you come into contact with. Be sure to check out this national days guide for more information about the history of national days, why we celebrate them.
Be sure to also check out these national days in November:
- National Cranberry Relish Day – Head to this post to get a fresh cranberry relish recipe for your Thanksgiving gathering, and learn some fascinating cranberry facts!
- National Gingerbread Cookie Day – Did you know that Queen Elizabeth I had a hand in popularizing gingerbread cookies? Read this post to learn this story and more gingerbread history.
- National Candy Day – Whether you like licorice, chocolate or candy corn, this sweet national day is for you. It celebrates all varieties of candy!
- National Espresso Day – Take a break from your usual cafe au lait or cup of tea on November 23rd and sip a shot of espresso for this caffeinated national day.
- Apple Cider Day – Head to this post to get a homemade apple cider recipe! There’s so many varieties of apples to celebrate this month, from apple cider and apple pie to caramel apples!
Put your knowledge of national days to the test with a free November word search puzzle of national days. It’s one of the many free printables we have on the site to help celebrate the holidays and national days of the year.
Pin this post on National Gratitude Month for later
Would you like a reminder of this post for National Gratitude Month? Just pin this image to one of your national day boards on Pinterest so that you can easily find these ways to express gratitude later.
About the author
Since graduating from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Jess has been living and working in Los Angeles, CA. She is a freelance writer, specializing in content related to fashion, food and drink and film industry topics. Find out more about Jess here.