Memorial Day: 10 Ways To Show Your Gratitude

Our soldiers and veterans have sacrificed greatly for our country.  While we should always show our gratitude for their service, Memorial Day is a great time to do something a little extra special for our brave and faithful soldiers.

1.  Reach out to a military family in your community  

Invite them over for dinner or bring them a meal.  Something as simple as running an errand, taking a walk with them, or watching children for a few hours can mean so much to a family who has a deployed spouse.

2.  Visit an older or wounded veteran

A happy visit can brighten a day and help a veteran to know they are not forgotten.  Contact your local nursing home or VA hospital for guidance on who you may visit.  Need some inspiration?  The Walter Reed National Military Center provides plenty of creative ideas on their Facebook page.

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3.  Make patriotic cookies

A thoughtful treat and a heartfelt “Thank You” goes a long way.  You can pick a local veteran or speak to your local nursing home about passing them out to the veterans in their care.

Memorial Day Cookies

4.  Offer to do yard work or home repairs

Having a spouse or parent deployed overseas is stressful for families.  If the children are young, this time can be especially difficult for the parent at home.  Mowing their lawn, repainting a fence, helping out with home maintenance, or planting flowers will not only help the family tremendously, but can also give the deployed solider peace of mind that their family is being cared for.

5.  Volunteer to place flags on grave sites

Contact your local American Legion or VFW organization to volunteer your time.

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6.  Send a letter

AMillionThanks.org will help match you with a soldier.  Even a gesture as simple as a letter expressing your gratitude and support can brighten a soldier’s day.

7.  Grant a wish

WoundedSoldiersWish.org gives you the opportunity to help grant the wish of a wounded soldier.

8.  Fund a scholar

The Armed Forces Children’s Education Fund is a non-profit corporation that financially assists the educational needs of the surviving children of the U.S. Military men and women who lost their lives.

9.  Adopt a soldier

Why only show your gratitude on Memorial Day?  Adopt a soldier and show your support during his or her deployment.  SoldiersAngels.org will match you up with a soldier that would love your support.

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10.  Never Forget

We often view Memorial Day Weekend as a kick-off to our summer.  Beach trips, camping, and backyard barbeques will soon fill our warm summer days.  However, the real reason behind this holiday weekend is to honor, remember, and show gratitude to America’s fallen heroes.  We must never allow ourselves to forget!

Top 10 Fun Ideas For The Thanksgiving Season

With Thanksgiving around the corner, we are reminded to be thankful for the good around us.  We needn’t wait for a holiday to celebrate the things we’re thankful for.  Gratitude is good for you, so surround yourselves with your loved ones and start celebrating!  What can you do?  Here are a few fun ideas to get you started.

RAK jarCreate a RAK Jar (Random Acts of Kindness)

Every day, randomly do something kind for someone else.  Write it on a strip of paper and place it in a jar.  By the time Thanksgiving arrives, your family will be brimming with happiness.  Bring the jar out on Thanksgiving day and read the random acts of kindness together.   If you really enjoyed this, try it for a full year.  It’s amazing how much happiness you’ll find when you’re actively being kind or helpful to others.

 

bake memoriesBake Up Memories in the Kitchen

Make a little party or play date out of it.  Everyone brings their favorite Holiday cookie recipe and you make a day of baking, laughing, and loving.  Everyone goes home with a plate of delicious holiday cookies.

 

 

Toasty FireGet Toasty by the Fire

Do you have a fire pit on your patio?  Curl up in warm blankets in front of the fire, sip on hot apple cider or hot chocolate, and roast marshmallows.  Enjoy the last bits of autumn outside.  Too chilly?  Enjoy the fireplace inside!

 

 

Thanksgiving TableclothThanksgiving Celebration Tablecloth

Want a great way to record what you’re thankful for each year?  Buy a plain tablecloth and provide fabric markers for your guests to write what they’re thankful for.  Ask that they sign and date each message.  Use this tablecloth year after year as a family tradition.

 

 

Thank a heroShow Your Gratitude to an Unsung Hero

Get together with your family and decide on a person or a group in your community who could use an extra pat on the back, ie. firefighters, soldiers, police officers, volunteers. Put together a special plate of goodies and deliver it (or pack it up for shipping) as a family.

 

 

Famer marketVisit the Craft Shows, Farmers Markets, and Parades

Plenty of family fun can be had locally.  You can find a list of many events in the Chicagoland area on our Event Calendar.

 

 

VolunteerVolunteer

Spending a holiday with people who are less fortunate tends to remind us to be grateful for all that we have. It’s truly rewarding to help others in need.  HandsOn Suburban Chicago is a great site that helps match those that want to volunteer with opportunities to serve their community.

 

 

Gratitude JournalKeep A Family Gratitude Journal Throughout the Year

Each night, a family member can share something that they are thankful for. Share the highlights of this family tradition at the dinner table on Thanksgiving Day.

 

 

GobbleStart an Exchange with Your Friends, In Your Neighborhood, or at Work

Who doesn’t like a little surprise?  You’ve Been Gobbled! is a fun little exchange where you secretly leave a treat on the doorstep of a neighbor along with the Gobble, Gobble poem that gives simple instructions to keep the game going.

 

 

Thanksgiving GamesPlay a Game

Enjoy a little laughter with your friends and family by playing a fun game.  Turkey Feathers is a fun game the adults and children can enjoy together.  Need more?  Here’s a great list to get you started