Give Back Black Friday

Well, we’ve officially transitioned out of the season of stuffing to the season of stuff. Thanksgiving is over, but it’s always a good time of year to give that thanks away.

Today is Black Friday and before you give your credit card a workout, take a minute to pass some gratitude gravy.

Black Friday can be rough on those who work in retail. Yes, investment bankers, CEOs, and stockholders love Black Friday, but those who are manning (and woman’ning) the stores often bear the brunt of shoppers’ seasonal anxieties, which isn’t always easy.


We all know the horror stories of shoppers trampling each other to get the hot new item of the season. Or yelling at store personnel for being out of stock.

I highly doubt you even remotely fall into this category, but instead of just patting ourselves on the back for not being a complete jerk in life, let’s go the extra mile and start this shopping season by spreading some gratitude during our holiday shopping. 

Gratitude Practice #15

During Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday and will this ever end, Wednesday… thank the elves who help make this season bright.

Gravy Idea 1: take 5 minutes and write a 5-star Yelp, TripAdvisor, Amazon, Google or Facebook review citing the person’s name who helped you and why you appreciated their service. 

Disgruntled customers are more than willing to take the time to write nastygrams on these review sites, so go out of your way to write a few positive ones, acknowledging the help of specific people.

It only takes a minute
When I worked in a hotel, my boss used to photocopy every check-out guest survey that mentioned a thank you from a particular guest. I used to LOVE getting those surveys.

I actually still have them 24 years later.

Never did I think, oh I wish this was embossed in gold or in trophy form or I wish they sent me a bouquet of flowers.

Nope. A quickly jotted thank you on a paper survey was more than enough to make my day (dating myself here, but online review sites didn’t exist back then). 

Gravy Idea 2: take the time, while you are doing your holiday shopping, to genuinely thank each salesperson who helps you. Put down your phone, look them in the eye and let them know how much you appreciated their present ideas or that they looked for other sizes in the back or that they wrapped it all up with care or were patient as you or your child were nearing meltdown mode.

Yes, it is their job, but taking a few minutes to really acknowledge and appreciate everyone we interact with, especially those on the front line of the customer experience, makes a huge difference in our happiness levels. It also pays all this gratitude forward and makes someone else’s day.

Extend this fully present thank you out to restaurants you patronize, your favorite barista, Uber drivers, Door Dash Delivery people. Just take a moment to genuinely thank them before you check your email, answer your texts or run off to your next destination.

Stress and Gratitude

You'll be doing good for others and (bonus!) also for yourself. Because according to neuroscience, your brain can’t actually be grateful and stressed at the same time.

It’s physically impossible as the threatening messages from your amygdala [fear center of the brain] are actually turned off when you’re in “active appreciation” mode.

So don’t be surprised if giving your thanks away this holiday season makes Merry Stressmas and any other holiday stress a thing of the past.

Thank you giving your thanks away all holiday season long!

–Lizzie Larock

Joining late? Need a reminder? No worries!

I'm grateful you're here. Rather than clog your in-box, here are the previous challenges. Catch up on old ones or jump in wherever. There are no rules for #gratitudegravy - just fun! Please feel free to forward to a friend or share the sign-up page. Anyone can join the free gratitude gravy challenge at any time.

Day 1---> Don't let your gratitude be bland (get the most out of gratitude)
Day 2---> Look for the good (3 good things)
Day 3---> The GREATful Outdoors
Day 4---> How to make a grATTITUDE adjustment at work
Day 5 --> It's gratiTWOSDAY (a 2-minute practice with big health benefits)
Day 6 --> The Grateful Bed - the practice that helps you sleep longer
Day 7 --> Give that thanks away - the case for thanking a stranger
Day 8 --> Love on the Little Things - write a gratiku in 2!
Day 9 --> Gamify your gratitude (read before Thanksgiving/Friendsgiving)
Day 10 -> Gratitude goes Prime Time (10 ways to practice long past leftovers)
Day 11 -> Grateful grace and the gratitude gravy chain
Day 12 -> What to do when you feel ungrateful
Day 13 -> The gratitude visit
Day 14 -> Talk turkey to me

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