Thanksgiving isn’t typically a holiday that you would think should revolve around your spouse, right? Well, admit it, your true love deserves your thanks more than anyone else at this Thanksgiving time. So take time to be grateful for your spouse. As you allow gratitude for your very best friend - your spouse - to fill your heart, you will notice that love is there right alongside it. A deep kind of a love. A selfless kind of love. A vulnerable, interdependent, “I forgot how much I need you,” kind of love. So, let that gratitude and love work in you, and try one of these ideas to let your spouse know that this Thanksgiving (and always) you are grateful for him or her.
1. Just say it.
Just say, “Thank you.” You should say it in your own words and in your own style, but just make sure you say it. Oh, and be specific. Specificity always earns you bonus points with your spouse, right? You may want to express your gratitude by filling a notebook with things you appreciate about her, or get creative and write the things you appreciate about him on a roll of toilet paper (you can think of 260 things, right?). Sticky notes left all over the house or office are also a brilliant (and fun) idea for expressing gratitude - especially if they form the shape of a "thankful tree," on the wall. Or you could write her a song (or a poem), or text him a picture of you holding up a little "thank you" note. Finally, there is always the ever-romantic handwritten thank-you note (smothered in perfume, or covered in kiss marks, of course). In all of your expressions, just make sure to keep it real and to express the deepest feelings of your heart.
2. Find a meaningful way to serve.
Show your gratitude by doing something that will make your spouse’s life a little easier. You could pack her lunch, do the dishes, clean his car, or surprise her with breakfast in bed or a romantic dinner at home (we like to call it the Cozy Corner Cafe).
Or, tell your spouse that you are theirs for the day - their wish is your command. They can put you to work on all those projects they have been dying to jump into, like cleaning the basement, organizing the family photos, raking the leaves, etc.
3. Pampering is good for the soul.
Make or buy a gift your spouse would love. A gift that literally screams, “Thank you for all you do and all that you are! Now go and relax!” They will be thrilled. It might be a golf trip for the two of you, or a mani/pedi for her. Maybe pre-order that new gadget he has been eyeing, or get a gift certificate to that restaurant she has been talking about. Flowers for her (sent with a thank-you card) may be the perfect thing as long as they arrive right around 1:00pm - exactly when she is at her wit’s end because the 2-year-old is throwing a tantrum and fighting his nap.
4. A hug speaks volumes. (So does a nap.)
Pull your spouse in close, hug him or her tight for at least one minute, rub your fingers up and down their back, and then whisper in their ear something very specific like, “I’m so thankful for your patience," (don’t add: “Especially when I’m consistently late getting home from work and you don’t chew me out first thing when I walk in the door.”). Generic always goes over well, too. Something like, “I thank my lucky stars each day that God gave me you.”
Other great ways to express gratitude include letting your spouse take a nap (better yet, take a nap with them and snuggle!), giving her a foot-rub or massage, or using your finger to spell the letters “T-H-A-N-K [pause] Y-O-U,” into his palm.
Then there is always the 100 kisses. Run your fingers through his hair, stroke his cheek, and put your fingers on his lips to get his attention. Proceed to tell him that 100 kisses from you = one big fat thank you for all that he does and for who he is. Then kiss him all over.
5. Give of yourself.
Devote a whole day to your spouse. Take off work, get a sitter for the kids, and spend the whole day with your spouse - this day could include a picnic breakfast, laser tag, a little shopping, watching a Broadway show, or going on a sunset dinner cruise. Whatever you choose, plan it well in advance, and then make sure to express gratitude for your spouse throughout your kind-of-extravagant day-long date.
Give of yourself by spending your time listening and laughing and flirting. Make sure and try the 36 Questions To Help You Fall in Love With Your Spouse again, too. This is a day to say "thanks," to your spouse by being there for your spouse, and soaking up the time you have together, just the two of you. Just enjoy each other. Hold hands. Talk about everything. And just nurture your love.
photo credit: Caitlinn Mahar-Daniels
You may also like 16 Love Texts Your Husband Needs Throughout the Day or 50 Ways to Show Love.
“A great marriage isn’t something that just happens; it’s something that must be created.”
- Fawn Weaver
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