13 Truly Impressive Ways to Say “Thank You” That People Won’t Forget

cookies and coffee with thank you note

One of the most powerful phrases in the English language is “thank you.”  While saying the words is always appropriate, sometimes we want to communicate something a bit stronger than with just words.  Here are thirteen creative ways to say thank you that will make a big impression, no matter who you are thanking or what prompted the gesture.

Why Should We Say Thank You?

Expressions of thanks have the power to make someone’s day infinitely brighter. With just those two little words, you can express honest appreciation for a kind word, a meaningful gesture, or an action that someone has taken that benefits you. It’s a way of repaying kindness with kindness.

Thank you for the birthday gift.”

 “I really appreciate the ride to the airport. Thank you.” 

“Please pass the potatoes. Thank you.”

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bouquet of pastel flowers along with the words "13 creative ways to say thank you"

Two little words.  We should all work those words into our everyday vocabularies just as often as we can. And often, those two words are all that’s needed to express our appreciation.

But what about those times when a simple “thank you” doesn’t seem to be enough? 

There are so many ways to express thanks beyond just speaking the words. When the occasion calls for it and you want to go the extra mile in expressing gratitude, try one of these thirteen ways to say “thanks.”

“Appreciation can make a day, even change a life. Your willingness to put it all into words is all that is necessary.”

Margaret Cousins
21 simple steps to a happier life - free guide

Thirteen Creative Ways to Say Thank You

1. Smile – The Easiest Way to Say Thank You

Express your gratitude with a genuine smile and the other person will almost always smile back.

Smiling releases endorphins and serotonin, natural chemicals that are proven to elevate moods, relax the body, and reduce physical pain.  It’s almost as if smiling is a natural drug!  Imagine the impact your smile of thanks could have – you just might change someone’s whole day around!

2. Send a Note 

Sometimes a handwritten note seems the best way to say thank you. 

Because most people fire off a quick text or email, a handwritten note sent via post is so much more treasured. It doesn’t need to be lengthy or formal – simply write a short note expressing your gratitude. Not sure what to say?  Be straightforward – “Thank you for _______________.  I appreciate it because __________.”  Your heartfelt words will mean more to the recipient than the most beautiful prose or poetry.

3 bright envelopes each with a thank you note inside, creative ways to say thank you

3. Make a Phone Call  

A simple phone call may be just the right way to get your message across.

We’ve all become so accustomed to texting that we sometimes forget to use our phones to actually make a call.  But it is so much more personal.  In addition to a phone call to say “thank you,” call on a regular basis to just to see how they’re doing.  Let people know they matter to you and that you are thinking about them. 

Even a call that lasts just a minute or two can have a significant impact on how someone else feels.  Offer your friendship.  Be genuine.

4. Offer a Unique Gift 

Look for a small item that you can give as a token of your appreciation.

Let their interests guide your choices.  If you’re unsure of what to get, try buying them coffee or sending them chocolates or a fruit basket, which are appreciated by almost everyone.

hands tying a bow with pink ribbon on brown package, creative ways to say thank you

5. Add a Personal Touch

Say “thank you” with a homemade gift.

The person will recognize your thoughtfulness and appreciate the extra time and effort you put into handcrafting a gift uniquely theirs. Create something sentimental that truly shows your appreciation.  Not the crafty type?  Why not put together a photo slide show or use a computer program like Canva or Adobe to help you out?

6. Bake Some Cookies

Another creative way to say thank you is to bake cookies.

Or banana bread, or muffins, or whatever your specialty might be.  Don’t like to bake?  Pick up a special treat from a local bakery, and give them a sweet and tasty thank you.

cookies and coffee - one of 13 creative ways to say thank you

7. Take Them Out on the Town  

Say “thank you” with a meal (homemade or at a restaurant), or time together doing something fun that you both enjoy. Dinner is fine – but lunch or brunch can be special, too.  Make it a treat for them.

8. Share Their Story 

Let others hear about the act of kindness you received. 

Be sincere but profuse in your praise of the person who helped you out.  Share the information with friends or family members you have in common, and your praise will most likely be relayed back to the person you want to thank.  They will understand how appreciative you truly are when they hear about your kind comments.

3 women looking at phone, telling stories about creative ways to say thank you

9. Offer to Return the Favor 

Tell them you’d like to repay their kindness in kind. 

This is especially good when someone has helped you in some way, such as a ride to an appointment or pet sitting.  Offer to do the same for them when needed, or let the person choose what kind of favor they’d like from you. A small favor can often help someone out in a big way.

10. Find a Fun Event

Find a local concert or show that they would enjoy and buy them tickets – one for them, and one for a guest of their choosing. Go with them, if they ask you to.  Use the time together to cement your friendship.

purple and white concert tickets, creative ways to say thank you

11. Contribute to a Charity  

Is your friend passionate about a particular issue, such as children’s education or health research?  If they seem uncomfortable with a personal thank you gift, make a donation to an appropriate charity in their name. 

12. Give Them a Gift Subscription

For someone who’s always doing nice things for you, consider a monthly gift subscription.  There are so many subscription boxes available, from specialty foods to wine to sustainable products, that you can surely find something they will enjoy receiving. 

13. Give a Gift Certificate

If you’re having trouble figuring out the perfect thank you gift, consider a gift certificate to a local or online store that sells a variety of different merchandise. That way, they can treat themselves to something they like that they might not purchase otherwise.

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Final Thoughts on 13 Truly Impressive Ways to Say “Thank You” That People Won’t Forget

It’s easy, and so meaningful, to say thank you, either by word or by deed. The only limit is your imagination.  If you go the extra mile to show someone you’re genuinely grateful, the gesture will be remembered for a long time to come.

A sincere expression of appreciation will strengthen the significant relationships in your life.

Choose one of the creative ways to say thank you above, or come up with your own, and say “thank you” to someone special in a meaningful way. You will both be glad you did.

13 creative ways to say thank you.  pictured:  hands holding tiny gift, cup of coffee, stack of cookies, and bouquet of pastel flowers

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