15 People You Should Thank This Thanksgiving

this Thanksgiving

By Jackie Pilossoph, Founder, Divorced Girl Smiling, the place to find trusted, vetted divorce professionals, a podcast, website and mobile app.

Thanksgiving is a holiday favorite for so many people…until you get divorced. Then Thanksgiving can become stressful and depressing and awful, especially that first year. If this Thanksgiving is your first Thanksgiving being separated, please know that you can still enjoy family and friends. What else can you do this Thanksgiving to make it a good holiday? Thank other people

What I mean by that is, this Thanksgiving, why not take thank you a step further — a step beyond turkey, pumpkin pie, a day off of work, and family and friends? Think about thanking the people in our daily lives who deserve recognition.


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Here are 15 special people you might want to thank, either verbally or with a card or a gift this Thanksgiving:

1. Thank police officers. 

These people have had it rough. Men and women who put their lives at risk every day to keep our streets and communities safe deserve to be told how much they are appreciated.

2. Thank firefighters. 

These wonderful people also put their lives in danger almost daily. They deserve to be told how appreciated and respected they are for their courage and dedication.


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3. Thank men and women in the military. 

Whenever I see a soldier in uniform — usually at O’Hare — I thank them for their service. I get tears in my eyes every time because I’m in awe of their courage and commitment to our country.

4. Thank those who are caregivers.

I’m not sure most people understand how difficult it is to be a caregiver, either to an elderly person or to someone with special needs. A caregiver will appreciate being thanked so much more than you can imagine.

5. Thank nurses and other healthcare workers.

I find that nurses and other staff members in the healthcare industry tend to be kind, warm, committed and loyal to the care of their patients. It’s beautiful to see and they deserve to know that their devotion is appreciated.

6. Thank your ex if you are divorced.

For some, this is a toughie, but if your ex is doing a good job co-parenting, why not say thanks? Not only will it help your relationship with your ex, but it will make you feel really good.

7. Thank your kids’ teachers and coaches.

These are the people who play a big role when it comes to the future of your kids.  Most do the job because they love and care about kids, which is why they should be thanked.


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8. Thank your garbage collector, mailman and delivery people.

Think about these men and women in the winter months when it’s negative 10 degrees outside and they are trudging through a foot of snow. Oh, and then add in 30 mile an hour winds.

9. Thank your girlfriends.

They know you love them, but telling your BFF that you appreciate her will make her feel great. And, I bet she says it right back to you!

10. Thank volunteers.

Everyone is busy and has so little free time, which is why volunteers deserve recognition. Spending time volunteering is a selfless and kind act, which is what you could say when you thank one.

11. Thank givers.

In life, there are givers and there are takers. You know who they are. Takers are not bad people, but givers are amazing. They are constantly there for you, and they don’t ask or expect anything in return. I bet if you thank one, he or she will respond, “Oh please, it’s nothing!”

12. Thank your loved ones.

That means your parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins and yes, your weird uncle. Because if you think about it, no matter how much some of them drive you nuts, if you really needed them, they’d have your back.


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13. Thank your kids.

As a parent of teenagers, I constantly find myself saying, “Did you do your homework?” “How are your grades?” and “Will you empty the dishwasher?” While this is OK, they also need to hear, “Thank you for working so hard in school,” “Thank you for being the best kid I could ask for,” and “Thank you for being you and please don’t change.” Also, don’t forget to thank your dog for his or her unconditional love.

14. Thank your spouse (if you have one).

Healthy, happy relationships are those in which both partners say thank you frequently. Feeling appreciated prevents resentment, sparks attraction and sustains commitment.

15. Thank Yourself.

Thank yourself for all the wonderful things you do for your kids, your family, your friends, and others around you.



Have you ever thought about the impact saying thank you has on someone? When a person is thanked, not only does he or she feel appreciated, respected, loved, cherished, or adored, but hearing words of praise can:

1. Make a person feel proud and confident that what they are doing is the right thing, and that it is making a difference in bettering the world or bettering someone’s life.

2. Motivate a person to continue doing what they do and feel excited and happy about it.

3. Help a person avoid feeling tired and burned out.

But saying thank you does something else, too: it benefits the thanker. When you thank someone, it makes you feel like you just did a really good thing. In essence, you gave that person the well-deserved gifts of validation and self-worth. You might have inspired that person, or you might have counteracted others who have never taken the time to say thank you to them. Remember that it is never too late to thank someone, and the best words of thanks are those which are unexpected.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Like this article? Check out, “Alone on Thanksgiving? Tips to Making it a Great Day”

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    Jackie Pilossoph

    Editor-in-chief: Jackie Pilossoph

    Jackie Pilossoph is the Founder of Divorced Girl Smiling, the media company that connects people facing with divorce to trusted, vetted divorce professionals. Pilossoph is a former NBC affiliate television journalist and Chicago Tribune/Pioneer Press features reporter. Her syndicated column, Love Essentially was published in the Chicago Tribune/Pioneer Press and Tribune owned publications for 7 1/2 years. Pilossoph holds a Masters degree in journalism from Boston University. Learn more at: DivorcedGirlSmiling.com

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