Small Thank You Gifts to Show Gratitude and Appreciation

A candle on top of a stack of books next to a plate of cookies and a vase of flowers

You don’t have to spend a lot to bring a little joy to somebody’s day.

Research has shown that a little gratitude can go a long way, but finding a way to express it can be a little tricky. You don’t want a thank-you gift to be too over-the-top that it feels awkward, but you want to get your expression of appreciation across to the recipient.

Whether you’re a leader at work or simply saying thank-you for a favor from a friend or neighbor, a small thank-you gift is a great way to express that gratitude. 

A natural place to start is with a card. When pairing with a gift, you’ll want to add a quick message to show why you’re thankful. Great thank-you messages are heartfelt and leave the recipient knowing how much you care. Craft a message that is to the point but clear: 

  • “Thanks for all the work you put in on our recent project! You really made a difference.”
  • “I couldn’t have done ____ without you! Thanks for being there when I needed it!”
  • “You may not realize it, but your help has made such a difference in my day. Thank you!” 
  • “I’m so grateful that you went out of your way to help me.”

Add as much detail as necessary and attach it to the gift. Sometimes a message can be just as impactful as the gift itself, so don’t think it’s excessive or unnecessary. It adds just the right personal touch to any thank-you gesture.

As for gifts, don’t feel the need to go too big. If you’re really stumped, first think about what would make you feel appreciated if the tables were turned. We often get caught up in what we think will adequately show our appreciation and what will come off as too much, but the truth is that, for most people, it doesn’t take a lot to let them know how thankful we are. 

It really is the thought that counts!

Here are some of our favorite small thank you gifts for coworkers, friends, and family.

Thoughtfulls pop-open cards

If you really want to tell somebody how awesome they are, say it through a collection of pop-open cards for their desk. The set of 30 colorful cards are full of heartfelt and inspiring messages, and on the back is a space to write a personal note or an address so they can keep on sharing the sentiment. This little bit of praise will brighten their day and keeps on giving!

Inspirational coloring book

Some time to relax is such a thoughtful way to say “thank you” to most anybody in your life. What better way to spend some time unwinding than with an inspirational coloring book? Coloring books are proven to help people feel happier, more creative and less stressed. A package of colored pencils or gel pens elevates this gift a notch, too. 

A scented candle

Smelling gratitude is almost as good as feeling it. A scented candle, especially one with a thoughtful message, is perfect for anybody in your life that needs a little pickmeup. Whether it’s a thank-you gesture for working a long shift, finishing a project or even a neighbor who helped out, there are few gifts that match both the simplicity and thoughtfulness of a great scented candle. 

A notebook for any occasion 

Around here, we are big fans of notebooks (obviously!), so it’s no surprise that the ultimate gesture of gratitude would be a new spiral notebook of high quality paper that makes taking notes or doodling a joy. Being that this Japanese-designed notebook only sells at one retailer in the U.S., you’re guaranteed to give a unique gift.

Mini coffee syrup set

Elevate your gratitude from the typical afternoon cup of coffee. A gift that takes the regular office cup of joe to something a little more indulgent, like a mini coffee syrup set, is a great way to say you appreciate them. It goes further than you picking up a latte tab, so they’ll surely feel the gratitude for many, many cups. 

Cute desk stationary 

Sometimes it really is the simple things that are the most powerful ways of showing gratitude. This faceted foil notepad is just that! Perfect for sitting by the phone or pulling out of a bag when in need, an unlined notepad is both practical and fun to use.

A cozy conversation-starter card game

There are nothing but cozy feelings with this hygge-themed conversation starter card pack. Hygge is the Scandinavian word for a general feeling of coziness, like a warm blanket or a hot tea on a cold day. This gift is a fun way to bring people together, whether it’s in person or on the internet with far-off friends. 

A potted plant 

Just like plants wouldn’t grow without water and sunshine, we wouldn’t grow without a little help from the people around us. Gifting a potted plant is a little like gifting flowers, but way less formal and more practical. Pick something small and in a cute pot. It’ll look great on any desk or countertop. Plus, adding greenery to any personal space is a great way to promote serenity.

Calming aromatherapy oils 

Oftentimes we express our appreciation when somebody has gone out of their way to help us, and that can sometimes be stressful! In those scenarios, give something calming. An aromatherapy oil set helps center and soothe as well as energize. Just a few dabs on the wrist or drops in a diffuser can jumpstart the day or help set a relaxing atmosphere, whatever they see fit!

Gratitude journal 

Pass the gratitude on with this gift. A gratitude journal not only shows your appreciation, but encourages the recipient to harness their own. Afterall, studies show that gratitude is contagious, so spread it as far as you can. This award-winning gratitude journal features 60 blank daily entries and 10 weekly prompts, so there won’t be any shortage of joy and happiness.
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