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While our family may still find a little time to do some joy journals, a thankful tree is a simple activity that can be used to collectively show thanks as a family. How to make a thankful tree? Hang on a sec. You have to know the backstory.
I have to admit- I got a little grumpy in the past week because that brand new dishwasher I’ve been thanking God for since late last winter decided to stop working.
I loaded it to the brim with dirty dishes last week around 8:30 pm, breathed a huge sigh and then… nothing. No lights and no action. It simply would not come on.
I’ve been carrying a grudge over the thing and now, today it has been repaired.
Needless to say, we began a thankful tree tonight. Though it may have helped this mama’s attitude a bit more if we had started it last week when the dishwasher delivered not even one clean fork.
You simply write down items or ideas or praises of thanks on a leaf and hang it on a tree. The cool thing is there are all different kinds of ways to do this and you can start any time. But if you begin now, you’ll have a full tree and fun decoration for Thanksgiving Day.
My niece was kind enough to share her trees with me to show you a few ideas.
Here’s her family thankful tree from last year:
And here is hers from this year:
Then our awesome reader, Kim, was kind enough to send a photo of hers too! Looks neat on the window:
My personal favorite of thanks on this tree is “Caleb going pee on the potty.” Just keeping it real!
Then I thought I would show you the endeavor our family just began tonight. I had it prepped to begin earlier, but well, you know, we’re flexible. And just so you know, we’re not typically fancy folks. But I was leaving the paint store last week and they had a 90% clearance section. This vase was waving at me for $2 and somehow I only paid $.60 for it. Ok, total sidebar. Moving on.
The kids gathered the sticks from the yard for me; I just gave them a gauge for the length…
And here we have it:
So what kind of instruction can I give you on how to make a thankful tree?
1. Decide what you’d like to use for a trunk.
Whether paper or a vase and sticks or you could use felt or a poster board.
2. Choose leaves that are easy to write on.
Here’s a close up of the leaf we’re using.
I would have printed it on color paper, but I had none. We could have colored them but we didn’t have time. 🙂 See what I mean about flexible?
I love the printed paper Kim used in the example above!
In case you need leaves, here’s a simple free printable sheet of the ones we’re using.
3. You can use one leaf per person or pile all the thanks on one leaf like we did.
Bonus points to my husband saying he’s thankful for me on the first night of the thankful tree. He didn’t even know this was going on the blog.
4. Have fun, use your own things without rules, and just write down your thanks.
If you have any more ideas you’d like to submit or if you get crazy and decide to start your own, we’d love to share the pics! Just send them to rachel (at) rachelwojo (dot) com.
See you tomorrow!