Years ago, Michael Masterson posted this tip on the site Early to Rise.


Being the day before Thanksgiving, I have a 30-minute “task” for you that will make you feel good and bring you many future blessings.

Step One: Take out five sheets of paper. Nice stationery, if you have it.

Step Two: Think about the people in your life who help you. And not just in the obvious ways. For example, think of someone who:

• makes you laugh
• inspires you
• you can count on, no matter what
• has taught you a valuable lesson
• you love

Step Three: Handwrite a thank you note to each of them. It should take no more than two or three minutes per person. Ten to 15 minutes to write all five letters.

Step Four: Address five envelopes.

Step Five: Take them to the post office and mail them.

Question: Do I have to write them on paper and post them? Won’t e-mail do just as well?

Answer: No.

Problem: I’m not good at writing letters. This will take me all day!

Solution: The letters don’t need to be long, perfervid, or poetic. Just two, three, or four sentences that express what each person means to you. Be brief, but be specific. Identify — as simply, truly, and precisely as you can — the reason for your gratitude.

To make it extra easy, you can use this as your template:

Dear Harry,

I was thinking of you this afternoon and found myself grinning in public. It occurred to me that you have always brought a smile to my face. I wanted you to know that I am grateful for it.

Your friend,

Michael Masterson

As I said, you will get two benefits from this exercise. You will have a good, warm feeling when you write the letter. And you will be encouraging and deepening a relationship that is good for you.


Me again.  I like this idea.  I don’t do it, but I am going to start.

For now, I am simply going to thank you.  Many of you respond each time I send out a ‘Tip of the Week’.  You often tell me that you appreciate the weekly emails I send.

Today, I am flipping that around.  I am here to tell you that I appreciate you.  I am thankful that you read what I write.  It means a lot to me.  You inspire me to keep going.

I hope all of you have a Happy Thanksgiving Day!