How to show appreciation for your friends and family

JamieTurner Mar 1, 2008 Other
Aristotle said friendship is the thing most necessary to life. We long for the affection of others. One of the measures of how we are managing from day to day is the way others feel about us. We care when our friends are fine and we worry when they are not. In order to communicate that we care, we often have to actually do something, to take action. There are so many wonderful ways to express our warm feelings and show appreciation toward others. By giving and sharing and serving, we can create and maintain those meaningful personal relationships we have with our friends and family.

Things you’ll need

  • Gift baskets
  • Photo albums
  • Blank writing journals
  • Last month’s catalogues and magazines
  • Recently read paperback books
  • Personal care items

Procedure Steps

  1. Don’t throw away old catalogues and magazines. Offer them to a friend, your hairdresser, a charity or a hospital. Let others enjoy them.
  2. Create a pretty “emergency” gift basket for the office or church where everyone can come and help themselves. Fill it with hand cream, needle and thread, stockings, spot remover, packages of chicken broth, a small pepper grinder, lipstick, cologne, a silver spoon, a plate, some colorful paper napkins, a cup and saucer, drinking glasses.  
  3. The next time you read and like a paperback book, buy an extra copy and give it to a friend, someone you know will enjoy it. Add a personal inscription from you to them.
  4. Write thank you notes immediately! One line promptly sent will be eagerly received. “I’m sorry I haven’t written sooner” isn’t good enough: we’re all busy.
  5. Give a party in appreciation of a friend or family member completely out of the blue.
  6. Make a special birthday scrapbook of photographs and memorabilia for someone you dearly love. If you can’t find the negatives, a color lab or computer scanner can be used to duplicate positive pictures.
  7. Give a parent or an elderly friend a year’s supply of flowering plants that arrive once a month.
  8. Buy a blank writing book for a friend you know wants to begin a journal but has trouble getting started.
  9. Send a love letter through the mail to your spouse or child, someone who lives at home with you. It will come as a surprise. Leave little love notes around the house where you know they will be found.
  10. No matter how old your children are, when they are living at home always have them come say goodnight after they get home from a date. Never miss an opportunity to share their experiences.
  11. Make an “I care” basket for a friend who is bedridden. Line the basket with a pastel linen napkin or guest towel; fill with talcum powder, body cream, soap, a lemon, lime apple and orange. Include a few small inspirational books, some magazines you know they’ll enjoy, a tin of hard candies, a handkerchief, a pretty note pad and marbleized pencils. Decorate the handle with a bow.
  12. For a child’s birthday, play hide and seek with each of the presents you have for them. On each of the wrapped gifts, attach a little note with a simple riddle about where they can find their next present. You can take a picture as they tear off the wrapping paper, then watch as they figure out where the next gift and accompanying riddle can be found.
  13. Psychological tests prove that when you are smiling you feel better. You are giving happiness to others when they see you happy. Smiles are infectious. So, smile! 


  • Friends and family make our lives. Being someone’s friend is a gift—we give back to a friend our own friendship.
  • The amount of actual time we share with our friends and family has little to do with the quality of our caring.
  • Mutual interests and pleasures help to sustain challenging, sharing relationships.
  • We all love presents. Traditionally we’ve grown to expect a birthday or an anniversary present, but we are especially touched when we receive something out of the blue. Think of your sudden gift-giving as bringing an unexpected pleasure to someone with no particularly good reason at all!
  • Keep small and large decorative boxes tucked away on a shelf for those times when you discover something that you’d like to give to someone special.
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  • Last Updated : Mar 1, 2008