It is very important to me that my boys don’t grow to be entitled little snots. We do a number of things in our attempt to counteract the “titled-ness.” One thing we started this year and will become a family tradition is this thankful tree.
I searched for weeks trying to discover the best way to do execute this “thankful” activity. Let’s just say, Amazon does not have an adequate selection of thankful trees. I checked Joann’s and Michael’s and came up empty-handed. Then one beautiful, blessed day I found this gorgeous gold tree in the jewelry section of the beloved Target. It was exactly what I was looking for, pretty and durable. I mean the thing has to last me a good 20 years.
I finally had the tree I wanted, now for the leaves. I wanted small fall color leaves. The idea is that as a family we each take a leave, declare what we are thankful for, put it on the tree and then on Thanksgiving have a brief discussion about how fortunate we are. The tree will act as a visual representation of all that our family is grateful for.
So the “find the perfect fall leaves” mission ensued. I went again to Michael’s and JoAnn’s and was pissed to find nothing by Christmas shit everywhere. Honestly, there was not a single leave to be found in the entire place. Ok, that’s a lie I found a small pack of green leaves at JoAnn’s, but who wants green leaves for a thankful activity that takes places in the fall? To answer the question, not me.
Next year around August, I will find a permeant solution to my leave dilemma. For this year, I pulled out my Silhouette machine and graphic paper. I picked four styles of paper that looked good together, then created a four-leave template and printed like 100 leaves. Ok, it was about 30. I strung a ribbon through each leave and voila, the thankful tree was born.
When we are finished with dinner and after the boys put their dishes in the sink; we have “thankful tree” time. Everyone picks out a leave and on the back, we write something we are grateful for. Liam’s first leave has “dinner” on the back of it. What can I say? The kid loves to eat. Since then he’s added; his family, school, and his bed to sleep in. Jaxson’s has “family” on his first leave. When I asked Jaxson, let me remain you he’s 2 ½, what makes him happy he said, “Mommy and Daddy and Liam.” Ya, he’s the sweetest kid. He has added food, school, and our house.
After Thanksgiving, I plan to take these paper leaves and put them in an envelope. When our boys are older, in high school or maybe in college, I want to bust out these original leaves from the first Thanksgiving with the thankful tree. We will read them together as a family and remember when Liam was 4, Jaxson was almost 3, and we were living in the good old days.
There is so much in this life to be thankful for.