This week we pulled out our Thankful Tree, a tradition we started last year. Each night at dinner we write on a paper leaf something we are thankful for. As the month continues the tree becomes full of leaves, so we are in constant remembrance of our blessings. Last year it helped Liam, then three, understand what being thankful means.
I’ve seen Thankful Trees done several ways. I especially love the idea of using a small fallen tree branch placed in a vase or pot. The simple look of the natural branch is inspiring to me. However, since we live in the desert, fallen branches are hard to come by (especially a fallen branch without thorns). So, I’ve resorted to other “branches”.
Last year we used a metal orange IKEA tree; I’ve had this orange tree for several years, and I love it. However, this year IKEA introduced an ornament hanger in their holiday line that I opted to use instead. I love the sleek design!
We keep all the paper leaves strung and ready to write on in a small acorn jar. I simply punch a hole in a paper leaf, loop some string through the hole and drop in the jar. (You can find similar paper leaves here and here.) It took me one Glee show to prepare (slightly time consuming), but hearing the things my boys are thankful for makes it all worth the time. (Liam volunteered he was thankful for hugs for his first leaf.)
While the concept of a Thankful Tree isn’t anything new, it sure has brought a sense of appreciation into our home. What Thanksgiving tradition does your family keep?