Gratitude: It's what matters most right now

The stores are all aglow with twinkling holiday displays.

It seems like right after we move the clocks back one hour, we all collectively look for ways to create a sense of light, brightness, and eager anticipation for the holidays, beginning with Thanksgiving.

During a recent shopping trip, I was taken aback by the motifs on housewares for Thanksgiving. Turkeys, colorful leaves, autumnal scenes, toasty baked pies, and even a few renderings of pilgrims stood out to me. They were all a reminder of just how important it is to give thanks.

Thanksgiving offers everyone a moment to reflect and refresh. During this time we celebrate our family, freedom, our community, and more. This also is the ideal time to thank your customers and clients one more time before the year ends.

The easiest thing you can do is craft a beautiful email and send it to each of your customers expressing your gratitude. You could also craft meaningful messages and send them to your greatest sources of referral. I suggest you write from the heart and express how much the recipient means to you.

Another low-cost, relatively easy marketing tactic you can use is to create messaging or branded assets to share on social media to express your gratitude. You can pre-schedule these to run whenever you would like.

It's also time to think about a holiday card. There are just so many great options it might be hard to select the one that feels right for you. Each fall, I struggle to select what I think feels right for the year in consideration, but I always have a lot of fun considering the options. This year, the focus of my practice's holiday card is "Thanks" and I truly hope to share my gratitude with the people I work with during the year. It is not too late to create a holiday card and I encourage you to do so. I see holiday cards proudly presented in so many places I visit, they bring cheer and connection to each recipient.

And once you mail your cards, consider connecting with your closest customers and professional connections. Can you meet them for coffee? Take them to lunch or dinner? Should you offer holiday cheer at a local restaurant and invite a small crowd? Being together carries much value and means a lot to many people. See what you can do to support a local business and host a meal or a cocktail hour or something to bring people together.

And please consider gifts for your best customers or sources of referral. Gifts take many forms and can be fun to select and send. Sometimes fresh fruit or spices make nice offerings. Sometimes a branded item is just the right thing that your recipient will covet. And sometimes dropping off a sweet or a really good book that in some way relates to the work you do together carries gravitas.

More than anything, take a little time this month to reflect on what you are grateful for and then radiate out into your world those good feelings.

It has been a full year, complete with some big ups and some big downs for many people. I'm so grateful to my clients who entrust me with their creative projects. This work is so fulfilling to me, and I am so very grateful to work with smart, ambitious people. It is an honor to support local businesses as I truly feel they are the lifeblood of our tender communities.

I wish you, my gentle reader, a joyous and meaningful season. I'm grateful to you for your readership and for your support.

• Rebecca Hoffman is the founder and principal of Good Egg Concepts, a strategic communication and brand marketing consulting practice serving clients across the Chicago area and nationally.

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