As we get closer to the season of giving thanks, expressing gratitude seems like a natural thing to do. After all, many of us have fond memories of going around the table each Thanksgiving and sharing what we’re thankful for.
Wouldn’t it be nice to take that spirit of gratitude and extend it to last all year long? To intentionally set aside time in our day to feel and express gratitude for what we have? Remembering the things we’re grateful for can bring us hope, help reduce stress and even make us smile when it’s needed most.
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To help with that year-round attitude of gratitude, we’ve created these free printable cards. They’ll help you take a moment to feel grateful—and to share that gratitude with the people in your life. Maybe you’ll even learn a thing or two about each other. The cards encourage you to stop and think about the good things in your life, from unexpected kindnesses to the little things that make each day just a little better.
Here are a few of our tips on how to use these cards. Do whatever works best for you and your people.
These cards are great for starting conversations and adding meaning to gatherings. Try bringing them out at mealtimes or the beginning or end of each day, or take them along on a road trip or carpool.
- Choose one card—or let everyone draw their own—then take turns sharing your answers.
- Keep gratitude on your mind all day by choosing a card or cards when you wake up each morning, then share answers that night.
- At Thanksgiving, use the cards as place cards for your table setting and answer them during the meal. Or ask each person to write their answer on the back of their card, then save the cards to read aloud next Thanksgiving. (This could be the start of a really special yearly tradition.)
To share your gratitude with the world, consider going digital.
- Use a card as an icebreaker in your next online meeting or class.
- Post a pic of a card once a week (or even daily) and ask your friends and followers what their answers would be.
- Text a pic of a card to a loved one, add your answer and ask for theirs.
- Share the cards onscreen at a virtual Thanksgiving gathering to start a “what are you thankful for” conversation. Or ask each member of your family or friend group to record a short video of themselves answering a few of the questions, then compile for a meaningful keepsake.
Put even more gratitude into the world by taking action after you answer the questions. If a conversation card makes you think about a certain person in your life…
- Send a simple thank-you card and let them know you appreciate them.
- Snap a pic of the conversation card and text it to the person who came to mind, along with a quick message of thanks.
- Call them and express your gratitude.
Don’t need the cards? Here is the full list of our conversation starters:
- What’s one nice thing you did for someone today?
- How has someone helped you lately?
- How have you helped others lately?
- What was the most delicious food you ate today?
- What’s the best gift you’ve ever received?
- What is something that makes your life easier?
- What is something you use every single day?
- What is your favorite item of clothing or jewelry?
- What invention are you grateful for?
- What’s your favorite space in your home?
- What book did you love reading?
- What’s one nice thing about today’s weather?
- What’s the best thing that happened today?
- When did you feel peaceful today?
- What is something beautiful you saw today?
- Who made you smile today, and why?
- What’s something that makes you laugh?
- What song makes you happy when you hear it?
- What cheers you up on a hard day?
- Which movie or tv show always makes you happy?
- Talk about a memory that makes you smile.
- How do you show gratitude for your friends?
- How can you show your family you’re grateful for them?
- What do you like most about your family?
- Who makes you feel loved, and why?
- What’s your favorite thing to do with your family?
- What is your favorite outdoor activity, and why?
- What do you like most about your school or job?
- What is something you’re good at?
- What new thing have you learned lately?
- What’s your favorite day of the week, and why?
- What helps you relax?
- Talk about a wish you made that actually came true.
- Which holiday are you most thankful for?
- What is an accomplishment you’re proud of?
- What are you looking forward to right now?
- What smell makes you feel happy?
- What makes you feel the most cozy?
No matter how you choose to use these cards, you’ll be grateful for all the shared moments and conversations they’ll spark with the people in your life.
Many of us in the United States have celebrated Thanksgiving through the years without knowing its origins, perhaps h...