This season is a terrific time to look around and see who deserves our thanks. There are many whose actions often go unnoticed and unappreciated. Let’s change that! How many people can you think of to thank this week? We compiled a list, in no particular order, of people you might not think to thank . . . and included a few words to help you get started.

Hint: Grumpy people probably need thank you’s even more than happy ones, so if you can legitimately thank Mr./Ms. Crankypants for something, go for it. It might change their whole day.

1.  Sanitation Workers
Dear Garbage Collectors, I don’t know what I’d do without you. Seriously, I don’t. If you didn’t haul off all our trash every week where on earth would I put it? Thanks for keeping our homes and neighborhood clean(er).  

2.  Teachers
Dear Ms./Mr. ____, You have a thankless job most days, but not today: thank you. On the days when you want to run screaming out the door—we all have those days occasionally, right?—remember that what you do matters. And that Christmas break is coming.

3.  Barista 
Dear ____, you bring such joy to my life. Because . . . coffee. Every day you have to deal with crabby people who need their caffeine shot and still you come back to work the next day. You’re amazing. Thanks for all the times you got my order right.

4.  Mail Carrier 
Dear ____, Thanks for delivering my stuff, especially all those packages I ordered. You show up even in the rain (and wind and snow and all the other weather in that poem). It’s unfortunate that you have to deliver bills, too, but I know that’s not really your fault. Stay warm/cool/dry/whatever you need to be.

5.  Handy(person)
Dear ____, thanks for fixing all those things I can’t/won’t fix myself. And thanks for fixing the things I tried to fix but (for some mysterious reason) still needed fixing.

6.  Police, Fire, EMT 
Dear ____, thank you for keeping us safe. I don’t always say thanks—especially when I

[get busted for speeding / set my oven on fire trying to bake a pie / trip and break something—like a bone / whatever] but I really do appreciate what you do. (Most of the time. Except for that unfortunate speeding incident.)

7.  Favorite Author
Dear ___, If my handwriting is bad it’s because I can barely stay awake after being up half the night reading your book. Totally worth it. Please don’t stop writing. As soon as I’ve rested up I’m going to need something else to read.

8.  Family Doctor
Dear Dr. ___ & Staff, I’m generally sick when I see you so I’m not always functional enough to express my appreciation to you for getting and keeping me well. I’m grateful. Don’t take this personally, but I hope I don’t have to see you again for a good long while. Unless it’s at a party or something. 

9.  Help Desk/IT Professional
Dear ____, I just turned off my computer and turned it back on. And I checked and . . . yes, it’s plugged in. See? I was listening! Thanks for all the times you’ve saved the day when my thing didn’t work right and the whatsit was messed up and I couldn’t get to my files on the doodah.

10.  Church Staff 
Dear Assistant, thanks for organizing everything. We all know who really keeps things running smoothly. Dear Janitorial Staff, thanks for cleaning the bathrooms. Especially the ones the little boys use. Dear sound/tech crew, thanks for helping us see and hear in the service. If we don’t like what we see or hear it’s not your fault.

For additional ideas on writing thank you’s check out these Thank You Note FAQs from The Emily Post Institute.