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All images ©Rebecca Ellison Photography www.rebeccaellison.com The year is winding down, the holidays are revving up I am getting excited for the season of families and a time of reflection. This is the first year where 10 month Scarlett will be here for the holidays and our family is complete. Makes me think on all the people who have made an impact on my life in the past year.

Maybe this is your first holiday season as a married couple, first Thanksgiving with a new baby , first fall in a new house. Or maybe your firsts a are long gone..

I find there is always a reason to stand back and think on all the things, people, and experiences you've had this past year where it impacted your life and your are grateful for it.

November is a month of gratitude. Thinking of it, appreciating it, and most importantly showing it...

Which has gotten me thinking on how sending a thank you note is an often overlooked art these days.

I'm talking about the thank you notes written by you and sent to the person or business that made a difference in your life this past year. Where posting a quick note on Facebook has become the norm, I feel it has elevated the value of a true and honest hand written note. It shows you took a couple minutes out of your life to think on the impact someone has had on you, and the kindness to sit down and write something. Knowing it will not make much of a difference in your life to do so, but it could mean the world to the person you are writing the note to.

 I challenge you to think of 5 people or businesses that you are grateful for and sit down a write a note to each of those people to tell them just how they've impacted your life. Then send it to them via snail mail.

It might take you 20 minutes and a couple stamps to complete, but I guarantee you will feel better for it, and the person who gets the note will have their day elevated too!

Here are some ideas: - Are you recently married? While you probably thought of all the guests who came to your wedding and sent them a thank you for attending. Did you think to thank the planner who worked tirelessly on making the event perfect for you? The dj who kept the dance floor packed all night? The photographer who captured all those important moments? The venue ? The florist? While these were all paid vendors to be at your wedding, and actual thank you card written showing your gratitude for their influence on your day goes such a long way and is surprisingly often overlooked. A simple, thanks for making my day XY&Z can really make a difference to your vendors.the value of a thank you card - gratitude month

-Do you have a friend who always seems to plan all the fun things your group of friends do? Send them a note saying thanks for all that they do. It shows that you care and are thinking of them .

-Did you recently have a baby? Maybe your doula, your l&d nurse or OB office would appreciate more than just a birth announcement. A thoughtful note on how their presence made the experience better/easier for you will truly make their day better and encourage them to keep giving that amazing service because they know it's appreciated.

- Did you have an issue at your bank and the teller went out of their way to help you out? Let them know what that meant to you and drop it off to them the next time you are at the bank.

-Did your coworker cover for you at the meeting last week when you had been sick and couldn't finish the job you were supposed to do? Take two minutes to honestly let them know.

-Did you buy a house? Maybe your realtor took you to twenty houses before finding the one you fell I'm love with?

-Did your son do a great job at his chores last week with you having to nag him? Write him a little note about how much that means to you, and it will encourage him to do it again the next time.

If you take a moment to look around at your life and the people and businesses that you interact with, there are countless places where a quick note of gratitude will definitely go a long way! Especially if you had a big life event in the past year.

All images ©Rebecca Ellison Photography www.rebeccaellison.com

It's usually the people who are least expecting this note from you that will appreciate it the most. Now my challenge is for you to take those couple of minutes and jot down those thoughts of appreciation and put them in the mail.

Did you have a recent experience where someone unexpectedly went the extra mile to thank you? If so tell me about it in the comments:) How did it make you feel?

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