Thankful Tree

It's November, the month of Thanksgiving- one of my favorite holidays! I love everything about it- being with family, eating yummy food, and reflecting on what I'm thankful for. But why should we only reserve that for one day a year?

I started a 30 Days of Gratitude tradition a couple years ago. Each day, we talk about what we are thankful for as a family and L writes down something she is thankful for. I think it's important that we always take time to reflect on being grateful, and it's important to me to instill this in L while she is still little.

Our first thankful tree was little, but it had little lights on it, which was a big hit with little4 year-old L. I cut freehand leaf shapes out of cardstock and each night L would write down something she was thankful for. Then we would put it on the tree, and we would light it up.

image.jpg

Last year, 5 year-old L was in kindergarten and working on her printing, so I decided to swap out the tree for poster board that she could have a lot of space on which to write her list. And, um, embellish. Because, kindergarten!

image.jpg

This year, I wanted to bring back the tree idea, but knew we would need a bigger tree. I would have loved to have used real tree branches, but  I couldn't find the right ones. As an alternative, I decided to use several decorative branches from the craft store, along with one of my glass vases, and some rice from the pantry to anchor the branches. Instead of cutting out leaf shapes, I opted for very simple strips of cardstock. Every day, L thinks of something she feels thankful for, writes it down, and we attach it to a branch. I'm loving how our makeshift 'tree' looks after just one week!

image.jpg

This one, the first one she wrote this year, might be my favorite. :)

image.jpg

I love this tradition and plan to continue it every year, in some shape or another. My own mom was a big believer in gratitude and taught me that even in the worst of times or circumstances, there is always something to be grateful for. Sadly, she is no longer with us, and although L never had the opportunity to know her, I am happy to pass down this lesson on to her, and hope she will carry it with her throughout her life.

I can't wait to see these branches filled with gratitude at the end of the month!