What (and When) Is World Gratitude Day 2022?

Updated

It’s fun to celebrate those random national designation days that pop up on your social media feeds. After all, who doesn’t love National Ice Cream Day? Or National Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day? And shouldn’t sword swallowers be celebrated on World Sword Swallowers Day?

As fun as these special days are to celebrate and share on social media, one holiday, in particular, deserves attention – World Gratitude Day. 

Jump ahead to these sections:

Let’s take a look at this international holiday. We will tell you when it is, discuss its origin and purpose, and give you ideas on how to celebrate World Gratitude Day in your community.

What Is World Gratitude Day?

World Gratitude Day is a day designated for the entire world to express gratitude and appreciation. It’s an international day of thanksgiving when both communities and individuals take time to express appreciation for their gifts and blessings.

Origin

According to the “Days of the Year” website, the idea of World Gratitude Day originated in Hawaii in 1965. An international gathering came up with the idea of designating one day a year when the worldwide community would be encouraged to express gratitude and appreciation. As a result, September 21st was selected for the holiday.

Purpose

While the official purpose of World Gratitude Day wasn’t recorded, we can assume that it is to encourage people in every walk of life to enjoy the emotional and physical benefits of having a thankful heart. It’s a celebration of what’s good about life that crosses international, cultural, and religious boundaries. 

When does World Gratitude Day take place every year?

World Gratitude Day is celebrated each year on September 21.

How to Celebrate World Gratitude Day: 6 Activities

Are you looking for ways to celebrate World Gratitude Day? Here are some activities for you, your family, your coworkers, or your community.

1. Write in a gratitude journal

It is far too easy to think about the annoyances of life. In fact, how many times have you become irritated within the last hour? Maybe your jeans feel too tight, your teenagers are too loud, and your bills are too high. Factor in real-world problems, such as violence, inequality, and substance abuse, and you have a recipe for anxiety and depression.

However, if you schedule five or 10 minutes each night to write about something or someone you encountered each day that gave you joy, your life will change. Instead of ruminating on the annoyances of life (or the big problems with the world), you’ll be encouraged to look for good things as you go throughout your day. And you’ll need to remember that good thing long enough to record it in your journal that night.

Maybe instead of writing about your too-tight jeans, you will express gratitude for the delicious meals you recently enjoyed on vacation. Instead of focusing on your loud teenagers, you can express gratitude that your kids have healthy lungs and outgoing personalities. Finally, instead of worrying about bills, you can give thanks that you have the funds to cover your debts – at least for this month.

2. Create a gratitude tree

Gratitude journals are great, but your gratitude attitude won’t spread unless you share yours. Encourage those around you to think about their gifts by creating a gratitude tree.

A gratitude tree can be made out of natural branches that you cut, bring inside, and arrange artfully. Then create ornaments (perhaps in the shape of leaves) to record the things you are grateful for in life. 

One benefit of a gratitude tree is that it is a great group activity. When everyone in your home, classroom, or office is looking for gifts to celebrate, it makes it easier for you to do the same.

Another version of a gratitude tree is a gratitude jar. Encourage your family, coworkers, or any other group to place their notes of gratitude in a designated “jar” and share them periodically. 

Creating a gratitude tree or gratitude jar is an excellent activity for World Gratitude Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, or a Tuesday afternoon in March. Gratitude and thankfulness shouldn’t be designated to one holiday season or time of year.

3. Change your inputs

Think about the novels you read, the podcasts you listen to, and the TV shows you watch. On World Gratitude Day, put the negative content away and replace it with a book, podcast, or show that is inspiring. Here are some books about gratitude to consider. Or, better yet, consider unplugging on September 21st to focus on the non-technological gifts of life.

4. Write letters of appreciation

Tell others how much you appreciate them by writing letters to family members, friends, and your partner on World Gratitude Day. Spread joy by writing a letter to your favorite high school teacher, a neighbor who was kind to you during your childhood, your teen’s youth pastor, or first responders living in your community.

Use the excuse of World Gratitude Day to send a card to your boss and coworkers. And don’t forget to give a shout-out to your favorite barista who always gets your order right.

5. Volunteer

Take the day off work and give back to your community on World Gratitude Day. Are you not sure where/how to volunteer? Find a need and fill it! 

Sharing your gifts with others is one great way to show gratitude to God or the universe.

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6. Post on social media

How did you hear about World Gratitude Day? Share the message with others by writing a post on Facebook or Twitter. Share this article to encourage others to send positive messages of thankfulness out into the world.

What to Say on World Gratitude Day: 15 Message Ideas

Some people use the month of November to share daily messages of Thanksgiving. Do something similar on World Gratitude Day. Does your list sound like everyone else’s? Try to be as specific as you can when creating your gratitude list

Here are some messages and quotes to share on World Gratitude Day.

1. It’s World Gratitude Day! How will you celebrate?

Chances are that most people on your friend list have no idea that World Gratitude Day exists. Spread the word! Give others ideas on how to celebrate.

2. “I don’t have to chase extraordinary moments to find happiness – it’s right in front of me if I’m paying attention and practicing gratitude.” – Brene Brown

We love this quote by Brene Brown, author of The Gifts of Imperfection.

3. “Gratitude turns what we have into enough.” – Unknown

Your life will change when you become content with what you have.

4. “He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has.” – Epictetus

Gratitude isn’t a new or difficult concept, but it is a virtue that is often overlooked.

5. “There is a calmness to a life lived in gratitude, a quiet joy.” – Ralph H. Blum

We love this quote. Think of how comforting it is to be around a calm, content person and strive to be that person for others.

6. “‘Thank you’ is the best prayer that anyone could say. I say that one a lot. Thank you expresses extreme gratitude, humility, and understanding.” – Alice Walker

Alice Walker is the author of The Color Purple.

7. “At times, our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.” – Albert Schweitzer

Use World Gratitude Day as an excuse to thank the person who rekindled your spark.

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8. “Gratitude is an antidote to negative emotions, a neutralizer of envy, hostility, worry, and irritation. It is savoring; it is not taking things for granted; it is present-oriented.” – Sonia Lyubomirsky

We love how the word “savoring” is used to describe gratitude in this quote. 

9. “Today I choose to live with gratitude for the love that fills my heart, the peace that rests within my spirit, and the voice of hope that says all things are possible.” – Rabbi Harold Kushner

Feelings of gratitude may not come easily – especially if you have problems with your health, relationships, or finances. Living with gratitude is a choice.

10. “Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.” – Melanie Beattie

Think about how your life could change when you learn to approach others with gratitude instead of mistrust.

11. “We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude.” – Cynthia Ozick

Are you reading these words with two healthy eyes? Do you have a place to call home and food in your pantry? Even at our worst, we have a lot of gifts that need celebrating.

12. “When you view your world with an attitude of gratitude, you are training yourself to focus on the good in life.” – Paul J. Meyer

View World Gratitude Day as a training day for the rest of your life.

13. “Gratitude is the healthiest of all human emotions. The more you express gratitude for what you have, the more likely you will have even more to express gratitude for.” – Zig Ziglar

Are you interested in learning more about the power of positive thinking? Read books by Zig Ziglar. 

14. “Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” – William Arthur Ward

Writing in a gratitude journal each night is a wonderful, healthy practice. However, if you want to change the world – express appreciation to others in your life.

15. “We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.” – Thornton Wilder

Thornton Wilder was a playwright best known for authoring Our Town.

How Will You Celebrate World Gratitude Day?

We’ve given you some general ideas on how to celebrate World Gratitude Day on September 21, but it’s time to make specific plans.

How will you give back to your community on that day in September? Who will receive your letters of appreciation? What will you read, watch, or listen to on that day? How will you encourage your kids to celebrate?

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