40 Underrated Gifts to Be Thankful For This Thanksgiving

Updated on September 5, 2019
MsDora profile image

For Ms. Dora—teacher, counselor, mother, and grandmother—holidays and family make the perfect blend for good times and pleasant memories.

The following people and things do not make the Thanksgiving list as readily as parents, friends, food, and clothing; but they deserve our gratitude just as much for the many ways in which they enhance our lives. When we take the time to appreciate their purpose, we will realize what precious gifts they are.

We are grateful to the people quoted here for making us notice and reflect on some of the underrated gifts. Now it is our turn to whisper our first (or another) meaningful “thank you” for each one. Feel free to extend the list.

1. Authors

Maria Semple, Novelist.  Photo Credit: Kelly O / lettering Mike Force
Maria Semple, Novelist. Photo Credit: Kelly O / lettering Mike Force | Source

I always write authors after I read their books… My mother always taught us to write thank you notes, and if an author puts themselves out there, they like to hear that their book connected with someone. - Maria Semple

2. Brakes

I’m referring to the mechanical systems that literally stop you from plummeting or crashing to your death every single day. Elevators, bicycles, roller blades . . . are all equipped with brakes, and you should be happy about it. - Mélanie Berliet

3. Candles

Thank you, Lord, for . . . candles when we have no light. – Betty Purser Patten

4. Chores

I am thankful for a lawn that needs mowing, windows that need cleaning, and gutters that need fixing, because it means I have a home. – Nancie J. Carmody

5. Closure

Have gratitude for the things you're discarding. By giving gratitude, you're giving closure to the relationship with that object. - Marie Kondo

6. Diversity

The world would be a boring place without diversity. - Amy Morin

7. Elbows

Elbows, because without them our arms wouldn’t bend and macaroni would be a less fun shape. – Amelia Diamond

8. Emergency Personnel

Official U.S. Navy Page
Official U.S. Navy Page | Source

Firemen, EMTs, people that . . . show us there is still good in the world. – Gretchen Riker

9. Garbage Collectors

Photo by Congwingatchalian
Photo by Congwingatchalian | Source

What would a good Thanksgiving Holiday be like with the stench of rotting, maggot-infested garbage? . . . Like I said, I’m thankful for garbage collectors. – Ken Wert

10. Great Genes

I have great genes. Thank you to my mom and dad for that one. – Gloria Estafan

11. Haters

Haters gonna hate. Critics just mean you are doing something worth criticizing. It means you are doing something. . . So give a little thanks to those naysayers. – Susie Moore

12. Heartache

I'm thankful for every heartache that made me stronger than I knew I could be. – Lisa Mischelle Wood

13. Heartbeat

The most important blessing to count is your heart beat. - yel

14. Imagination

Everything in the world from the screen you are looking at right now, all the way up to the aeroplanes in the sky were born in the imagination. – Truth Theory

15. Janitors

Photo by Ranveig
Photo by Ranveig | Source

So many people had a hand in our success, from the teachers who inspired us to the janitors who kept our school clean. - Michelle Obama

16. Leftovers

Thank you, Lord, . . . for day old bread and remade stew; for all these things, Lord, we thank you. – Betty Purser Patten

17. Losses

When you recognize that you will thrive not in spite of your losses . . . but because of them . . . you are grateful for them. – Cheryl Strayed

18. Miracles

Give thanks to Him who alone does mighty miracles. - Psalm 136: 4 NLT

19. Mistakes

What a waste my life would be without all the beautiful mistakes I've made. – Alice Bag

20. Pain

Many things might have caused pain this year. The good thing is that we would not have felt them if we weren't alive. - Assegid Habtewold

21. Plumbers

Photo by Frank Carter
Photo by Frank Carter | Source

Next time you are taking a relaxing bath, using water to brush your teeth or gassing up your car, keep in mind there are plumbers and fitters of all types making these things possible. - Maggie Wirtanen

22. Punctuation

Do you know how hard it would be for us to exchange information and ideas efficiently without agreed upon methods of punctuating sentences? . . . just be grateful you know about grammar and stuff okay! - Mélanie Berliet

23. Readers

I’m thankful for my readers. Specifically, I’m extremely proud of the fact that my community is easily made up of the coolest group of people online . . . You add a ton of value to my life, and hopefully I do the same for yours. – Daddy Doyin

24. Renewal

I’m grateful that I was able to pull myself up from the wreckage of divorce . . . creating something new and better. . . If divorce affords us anything it’s the chance to rewind, reflect, and renew. – Kyle Bradford

25. Revelation

Jesus prayed this prayer: “O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, thank you for hiding these things from those who think themselves wise and clever, and for revealing them to the childlike. - Matthew 11:25 NLT

26. Scent of Rain

Sometimes we should express our gratitude for the small and simple things like the scent of the rain. - Joseph B. Wirthlin

27. Shadows

Let us give thanks for our shadows for they are there in the first place because of the presence of light. - Kamand Kojouri

28. Shady Trees

And the Lord God arranged for a leafy plant to grow . . . shading him from the sun. This eased his discomfort, and Jonah was very grateful for the plant. - Jonah 4:6 NLT

29. Singleness

Think of how much independence you have. - Lindsay Holmes

30. Sleet and Snow

The wintry winds they need to blow, we need sleet, and we need snow; there is no other way that spring could all its joy and gladness bring. – Wesley Yonts

31. Soldiers

Photo by Ryan Morton
Photo by Ryan Morton | Source

As governor, when I visited our troops in Kuwait and Iraq, I served them Thanksgiving dinner. It was a small gesture compared to their sacrifice. - Jennifer Grantholm

Appreciation Poll

In your opinion, who among the following groups receive the lowest level of appreciation in comparison to what they deserve?

See results

32. Struggle

I am thankful for my struggle because without it, I wouldn't have stumbled upon my strength. – Alexander Elle

33. Stubbed Toe

Every once in a while God allows you to stub your toe as a kind reminder to be grateful for the miraculous body attached to it. – Richelle E. Goodrich

34. Touch

The smallest act of touch can . . . communicate love and acceptance. . . Don’t underestimate the power of your touch. – Gary Smalley and John Trent

35. Tough Times

If you look hard enough, you will find that even tough times offer pearls worthy of gratitude. – Richelle E. Goodrich

36. Truth

It keeps the world balanced and honest. – Gretchen Riker

37. Ups and Downs

Thank you for life, and all the little ups and downs that make it worth living. - Travis Barker

38. Waiting

Consider waiting a mental ping to take a few meditative breaths. . . and you’ll (hopefully) start to find it calming versus frustrating. Now I’m happy when there are two people in front of me at the bank! Inhale, exhale, my friend. – Susie Moore

39. YouTube

YouTube, for whenever you need to troubleshoot your car or computer, and especially when you need a laugh. – Daniel Dowling

40. Zippers

Remember having to button up your Levi jeans? I LOVE zippers! – Ken Wert

Questions & Answers

    © 2017 Dora Weithers


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      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        3 months ago from The Caribbean

        Devika, we should at least know the janitor's name so we can greet him or her as we would a friend. Some people don't even look at them; but janitors are noble family members and work teammates that we could imitate.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        3 months ago from The Caribbean

        Patricia, I like the quote you chose. Sometimes, I also say, "Thank God, for the mistakes I did not make."

      • profile image

        Devika Primic 

        3 months ago

        These quotes are true and I think Janitors aren't appreciated in society leaving them with poor choices of gifts or none.

      • profile image

        Patricia Scott 

        3 months ago

        The quotes are all spot-on but this one is my favorite: What a waste my life would be without all the beautiful mistakes I've made. – Alice Bag

        So much truth lies within those words. thank you for sharing and for reminding us of so many more reasons to be thankful every day. Angels are headed your way this afternoon. ps

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        3 months ago from The Caribbean

        Shannon, I'm glad that you're getting an opportunity to promote an author. They all deserve our thanks, especially those who write for the children. Thanks for your kind comment.

      • shanmarie profile image

        Shannon Henry 

        3 months ago from Texas

        These are great Ms Dora! Haters, tough times, struggles...Love it because you do find your strength if not during, then after those times. I love the idea of sending authors thank you notes, too. I'm hoping to do an interview with an author soon that wrote a book my daughter read in school. She told me to read it because even though it's more middle grade and she reads way past that level, she loved it. She was right. I was not disappointed. It's a story of love and family, faith, and redemption...can't go wrong there. The author was thrilled when I wrote her about it. :)

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        3 months ago from The Caribbean

        Alyssa, we all have haters, some we don't even know about, but we can be thankful for those who let us know by their criticism and other misdeeds. They give us opportunity to reveal our true character. Thank you very much for your input.

      • Alyssa Nichol profile image


        3 months ago from Ohio

        This is such a great list and a good reminder for us all! I particularly like how you added Haters. haha! It's true that we should be thankful for our critics. Sometimes the criticism can help us better ourselves, other times it's nothing more than chatter. I love these quotes about this exact instance: “You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life.” credited to Winston Churchill and "There is only one thing in life worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about." - Oscar Wilde


        Thank you again for this awesome reminder! Have a wonderful week!

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        4 months ago from The Caribbean

        Lora, you added much to the list of things we have to be grateful for. Thanks and Happy Thanksgiving every day.

      • Lora Hollings profile image

        Lora Hollings 

        4 months ago

        Yes, a wonderful list of things that we so often take for granted! What would we do without them? So many things that we aren't thankful for. When our electricity goes out, we have a hard time coping with that- not thinking about people in earlier times who didn't have this convenience! And what about all the other technological advances that we have made? And the gift of having a sun that rises and sets everyday and the beautiful moon in the sky. And what about our animal friends who provide so much companionship to many of us and our families and friends? Seems like there are so many things to be grateful for! The gift of life that we often take for granted and that can pass so quickly if we don't grasp it. Thanks Ms Dora for reminding us of all the blessings we have and to be thankful for them in our hearts each and everyday.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        4 months ago from The Caribbean

        Thanks for sharing your "thank you" sentiments toward plumbers like your father. We surely need them. Authors are special too.

      • PAINTDRIPS profile image

        Denise McGill 

        4 months ago from Fresno CA

        These are all good reminders to be thankful for the little things. I was especially moved by authors and the idea of sending thank you cards to an author. I never thought of it but it's a great idea. My father was a plumber and would come home smelling REALLY BAD. I'm so thankful for his work. Without it we would all be hip deep in sludge smelling REALLY BAD.



      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        5 months ago from The Caribbean

        Good point, Mona. Sometimes we're too busy to notice, and consequently, to express gratitude. Let's pace ourselves.

      • grand old lady profile image

        Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 

        5 months ago from Philippines

        This is such a beautiful and inspiring list, Ms. Dora. It makes me realize how little I actually see in a day. God bless!

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        2 years ago from The Caribbean

        Tamara, thank you for being a part of my HubCircle! Firefighters and Police are definitely are group of public servants who deserve more gratitude than they receive. We should always include them!

      • profile image

        Tamara Moore 

        2 years ago

        Also, I love Firefighters and Police Officers...

      • profile image

        Tamara Moore 

        2 years ago

        This article is sublime in its appreciation for the more precious gifts in life, Dora.

        The gifts you have listed are, indeed, things to be most grateful for, even more so than Chocolate or Gum Drops:-)

        Your posts are always lovely, and filled with great wisdom, soothing peace, and tranquility.

        I am blessed to be part of your Hubpages friends.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        2 years ago from The Caribbean

        Thanks, DDE. Without the servers, our lives would be less productive. They deserve our thanks.

      • profile image


        2 years ago

        You share the amazing titles and interesting too. Sometimes we don't think of those who serve us.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        2 years ago from The Caribbean

        Word, I'm extremely happy to see you here. Thanks for checking me out, and I'm glad that you still find pleasure in my work. Hope all is well.

      • word55 profile image

        Al Wordlaw 

        2 years ago from Chicago

        Hi Dora, it was a long measure of pleasure in reading this article today. I hadn't been here for a couple of months or so, so after coming on the site I had to see what your latest article might be about. It was a great one with so much consideration. Thank you. I'm so gratified. I'm glad you never run out of fresh ideas to write about. Be back soon...

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        2 years ago from The Caribbean

        Kyriaki, next time it happens to me, I'll remember you too for relating to a predicament we share. I appreciate your input.

      • Kyriaki Chatzi profile image

        Kyriaki Chatzi 

        2 years ago

        Honestly, this is the first time it occurred to me that stumbling my toe may be a good thing. :)

        Next time I do (and I am sure it'll be very soon because I am terribly clumsy), I'll definitely remember you, Ms. Dora and smile rather than scream and get angry.

        Thanks for the insightful perspective!! As always.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        2 years ago from The Caribbean

        Edward, thanks for your encouragement. Kind sentiments like this are on my gratitude list.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        2 years ago from The Caribbean

        Thanks Alicia. I appreciate your encouraging input.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        2 years ago from The Caribbean

        Thanks, Bill. The topic of gratitude never gets dull. Reminding others, I remind myself.

      • Edward J. Palumbo profile image

        Ed Palumbo 

        2 years ago from Tualatin, OR

        Ms. Dora, I enjoy the wisdom of your Hubs, and I thank you for reminders...for the often-overlooked reasons to count my blessings. I look forward to your writing for good reasons. Be safe, and continue to bless your readers with this food for thought.

      • AliciaC profile image

        Linda Crampton 

        2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

        There are so many excellent quotes and reminders in this article. Thank you for sharing them. Appreciating gifts and expressing gratitude are important activities.

      • billybuc profile image

        Bill Holland 

        2 years ago from Olympia, WA

        That was a lovely list, Dora, and so true. We have so many things to be thankful for. Thank you for the reminder.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        2 years ago from The Caribbean

        Shauna, we should never be bored. Whenever there's a spare moment, juts begin a "thank you" list. Hope you like how the picture fits under the author's banner. Thanks, again.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        2 years ago from The Caribbean

        Denise, simple but absolutely necessary are some of things we take for granted. We all need the reminders. Thanks for your input.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        2 years ago from The Caribbean

        Peg, that quote about authors is partly responsible for this article. Your Dad's saying was funny and serious all at once. Thanks for sharing.

      • bravewarrior profile image

        Shauna L Bowling 

        2 years ago from Central Florida

        Dora, this is a wonderful list. I've always felt that the ups and downs of life make us who we are. However, there are some items in your list that really made me stop and think. There really is so much more to be thankful for than we realize!

      • denise.w.anderson profile image

        Denise W Anderson 

        2 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

        I recently read a historical novel set in the time when people who immigrated to America lived in tenement houses. This was before there were civic services such as garbage collection and sewers. Even though the descriptions were short, the sites and smells they brought to mind made me grateful for the cleanliness and order of the place where I now live. Thanks for the reminder that without these simple pleasures, life would be meaningless indeed!

      • PegCole17 profile image

        Peg Cole 

        2 years ago from Northeast of Dallas, Texas

        I love that your list starts off with authors. Hooray for authors! Gratitude is the key to our own happiness and your list of things to be thankful for is wonderful.

        My Dad used to say he was grateful for every day that he woke up and didn't find his name in the obituaries. That one always made me laugh.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        2 years ago from The Caribbean

        Thanks. Mary. I'd say you have the right take on gratitude. If only we, including me, could apply it more often!

      • Blond Logic profile image

        Mary Wickison 

        2 years ago from Brazil

        Brilliant list and well formatted for easy reading.

        Gratitude costs us nothing and gives us peace of mind and a happy heart. I would say that is a good deal!

        Number 17, about losses, really resonated with me.

        I also love the idea of sending an author a personal message.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        2 years ago from The Caribbean

        Bill, I try. Thanks for your encouragement and know that you are on my list of blessings.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        2 years ago from The Caribbean

        Lori, God knows we're grateful. It just helps us sometimes to mention the little things we appreciate. See, by naming your blessings, someone else will relate and join you in thanksgiving. Thanks for your input.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        2 years ago from The Caribbean

        Jodah, "well done" from you means the world to me. Thank you.

      • lifegate profile image

        William Kovacic 

        2 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

        You always pick such unique topics for your hubs, Dora. Love it! There's so much we take for granted.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        2 years ago from The Caribbean

        Thanks, Sally. You encourage me. I'll keep at it.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        2 years ago from The Caribbean

        Thanks Jackie. That's one of the reasons I love HubPages. There is so much good that we share with each other. I'm grateful for all of you, too.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        2 years ago from The Caribbean

        Thanks, Whonu. I think that we offer inspiration to each other, which helps all of us who constantly share by writing. I appreciate and pray blessings on you, too,

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        2 years ago from The Caribbean

        Thanks, Hari. I like your thinking. If we remain grounded, chances we that we will realize our debt of gratitude to others.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        2 years ago from The Caribbean

        So true, Flourish. We expect some things to be there even though we never expressed appreciation. Hope we'll become more aware of our need to say thanks. We all need reminders.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        2 years ago from The Caribbean

        Eric,thanks for your constant example of love and gratitude. You please God, and you encourage me.

      • lambservant profile image

        Lori Colbo 

        2 years ago from Pacific Northwest

        My rear brakes are shot so yes, brakes are something to be thankful for. Breathing is a great, taken for granted blessing, and all the hard times, pain the like I am grateful for what they taught me. Great write, Dora. As always.

      • Jodah profile image

        John Hansen 

        2 years ago from Queensland Australia

        MsDora, all of these deserve thanks and gratitude. We often take too many things for granted. Well done with this hub.

      • sallybea profile image

        Sally Gulbrandsen 

        2 years ago from Norfolk

        Pretty cool list of ways to express our gratitude. It certainly is a gentle reminder to all of us to show our appreciation for those everyday things in life which we don't always notice. I love how your writing is evolving Ms Dora.

      • Jackie Lynnley profile image

        Jackie Lynnley 

        2 years ago from the beautiful south

        Whonu is right, you really are an inspiration. So full of good and valuable knowledge and such a pleasure to read. God blesses you and you bless us.

      • whonunuwho profile image


        2 years ago from United States

        Nicely done my friend MsDora. You are an inspiration to us all. Blessings. whonu

      • shprd74 profile image

        Hari Prasad S 

        2 years ago from Bangalore

        Awesome hub. A great reminder list to be grounded.

        - hari

      • FlourishAnyway profile image


        2 years ago from USA

        This was simply marvelous. Many of us don't stop to express the simple gratitude in our lives that is due to other people and we assume that some things will always be there.

      • Ericdierker profile image

        Eric Dierker 

        2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

        Really cool. Most days I thank the Lord that I am grateful. I reckon I could be surrounded by all this love and not be.


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