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A culture of thanks during the holidays

Joint base Andrews, Md. -- As we continue with the Capital Wingman Culture theme - a "Culture of Thanks" - there is no better time to reflect on this concept than the Christmas holiday season.

Most of us were taught to say "thank you" when someone does something for us. Maj. Gen. Darren W. McDew, Air Force District of Washington commander, says "thank you" to everyone at AFDW every time the opportunity presents itself.

But how many of us really internalize the "thanks?"

I feel McDew is trying to adopt a culture of thanks within AFDW.

In the Small Business Program Office, one of our duties is to attend outreach events where we network with contractors to facilitate business opportunities with AFDW.

This is by far the most rewarding experience, because contractors are so appreciative and thankful. However, we are just doing our jobs. Their gratitude provides us with the energy to continue to do what we love.

There are many ways to show gratitude during the holidays.

Some ways of showing your appreciation are create a hand-written holiday card for your employees, personally calling or visiting each employee to acknowledge them for their unique contributions to your organization, giving time off or allowing time to attend school events for their children and holiday shopping.

Of course, there are rules for time off for both military and civilians employees. Ensuring that we follow them is a must.

Another great way to show gratitude is to give back, and AFDW did this with exceeding their CFC goals!

Most people don't know that you appreciate them until you show them or tell them.
Can you imagine the impact the monetary donations will have on the recipients?

One of my favorite movies is "It's a Wonderful Life." It is usually the last movie I watch on Christmas Eve every year before I go to bed.

The main character, James Stewart, gets a chance to see what life would be like if he was never born and life is not what he expected. He sees the impact his life had on all his love ones and how he affected the world.

I think if everyone could experience this, the world would be a better place.

It's possible that a person you do not know has been impacted by something you said or did, which caused a chain reaction for kindness. Imagine if you could meet them all - the gratitude of thanks would be over whelming.

As you end this year and get ready to ring in the next, make an extra effort to give thanks when thanks is due. By extending your thanks beyond the traditional months of November and December, you will adopt a true culture of thanks.