The act of being grateful is one of the kindest and most caring things you can do, and it is so simple that you can do it every day without breaking the bank. Sure, gifts are fun, especially if they are not expected, but you can show gratitude in non-material ways.

Oftentimes, these small gestures are the ones that have the biggest impact and that your loved ones will remember for years to come. Consider these five ways to show your circle how much you love what they do for you.


1.Creative Kindness

Using your own creativity not only gives you time to relax and enjoy the time as you craft some kindness, but it also signifies that you care enough to create something special just for your loved one. You can draw a picture of an event you shared, create a scrapbook of special memories, or craft a thank you card with photos that bring you together.


2. The Written Word

Writing their story, as a poem, an essay, or even a song, shows that you are very grateful for all they do by devoting time to its creation. This written acknowledgment becomes a part of your relationship history, and can be referred to at any time: when someone needs a pick-me-up, when remembering a friendship, or just because being grateful was on the agenda that day.


3. Public Praise

Public praise can be tricky, as it has to be used for the right person in the right way at the right time. It can be as easy as a quick post on social media, being grateful for help or a kind act, or sharing a memory that brought a smile to your face. One key to showing gratitude is the element of surprise. Not shock and awe, but creating that “lump in the throat” of the person you are acknowledging, because they weren’t expecting it.


4. Sharing the Details

Sharing details can be done in public praise, as long as it’s appropriate and not too intimate. However, it can have just as much, if not more, impact when you share in a one-on-one setting. The element of surprise may again be significant, as the person realizes how much you care by the particulars you provide. Perhaps by being grateful, you are helping them realize the power of their personality and that they do make a difference.


5. Time

Being grateful is as simple as one word—time. Our breakneck lives can cause us to accidentally neglect those who have done or still do so much for us. Take the time to share a cup of coffee, have lunch, spend a night, or even an entire weekend with them. Make it QUALITY time by being fully engaged, even if it means just sitting in silence so that they have company. Time is such a precious commodity because you never know when it will be gone.

It is never too late to start being grateful. The beauty of gratitude can truly change the world.