Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Thankful Tree 2011

I just realized that I posted about this very same thing last year, but I'm a year older, pregnant and don't remember anything so you'll forgive this similar post, right?

And I'm happy to say that I managed to finally get this done a full week and one day before Thanksgiving. That makes me one day ahead of where I was last year! I'll take it! :)

So, the Thankful Tree? Chances are you've heard of this before, but in case you haven't, the Thankful Tree is just a tool to help us maintain hearts of thankfulness through the Thanksgiving season. The ideal is to start at the beginning of the month. I am not the ideal, but you're reading this must be ok with that. ;)

It's a pretty simple project and great to do with kids. My boys really got into it this year. Here's how we do it:

I usually find some leaf clip art that I cut out and the boys color. When we're done, I punch a hole in the end and then tie some ribbon in the end to make a loop for hanging.

Here's where it gets fun. We sit down and I ask the boys to tell me what they're thankful for as I write each thing on the back of a leaf. I'm always hoping they'll name things like food, shelter, warmth, Jesus dying to take our sins away, etc. You know, deep, spiritual things.

This year I managed to get "myself" ..... from both boys. Oh, and Manny threw in "my head" and "my hair" (he really does have senator hair). So, while they were feeling very thankful for themselves, I prodded us to consider just a few more things they left out. We'll keep working on that.

We had already gathered some branches from outside and put them in a vase so now we hang the leaves on the tree.

The overall goal for us is to take a leaf (or a couple) each day and thank God for what we wrote on it. I put our tree in the niche with some burlap underneath and a few decorative things I had laying around and there you have it!

I'm thinking that in December I'll spray paint the branches white or silver and make it a Jesse Tree. We haven't done that before and I'm pretty excited about it. One of my favorite bloggers, Ann, tells you how to do it in her ebook here.