with thanksgiving just days away, hopefully you are not only getting excited about eating three times the caloric recommendation but also taking a moment to express gratitude.

“thanks” and “giving” are both vital pieces to marriage and really all relationships. in fact i would go so far as to say that thankfulness and giving are essential to a healthy soul. we should be striving to express thanks to our partners often. i interpret ‘giving’ as giving your full self to the relationship as well as giving your time and money to those who need it.

here are 5 fun ways to express gratitude in your relationship

  • send a letter

handwritten notes are becoming a lost art and yet most of us get super excited when we see our name scrolled across a card when venturing to the mailbox. take the time to pick out a sweet card and actually mail it to your spouse. another fun thing my husband does is sends me postcards from the different places he travels for work.

  • cheers!

while not everyone loves to be the center of attention, a brief “toast” or “cheers” when you are out with mutual friends or family is a fun way to express gratitude to your spouse! keep it brief  and heartfelt – while he or she may be taken aback for a few moments, chances are they will appreciate being publicly recognized. if that feels like too much, even complimenting your spouse in front of others can make them feel great!

  • tuck in a gift or a note

i like to tuck a surprise note in my husband’s luggage when he travels and he likes to bring me home a sweet treat when he returns. think about including a love note or small gift in your spouse’s laptop bag, lunchbox or purse. people like to know you are thinking of them.

  • mix up the routine

if your spouse is always the one to cook or take out the garbage, mix things up! take over a task or a chore that they usually do. when they express, “oh, i usually do that!” simply say “…and i’m grateful you do – this time it is on me!”

  • use your words

when your spouse opens your door or pays for dinner (even if you share money), say “thank you.” don’t lose this aspect of your relationship because gratitude will enhance your relationship. of course our actions speak loudly so be sure to do the above as well but words are powerful so let’s use them to give thanks regularly to our spouse!