There are so many things I am grateful for in the Fall. Pumpkin patches, apple orchards, colorful leaves, crisp morning air, apple cider, chai tea, bonfire weather. Oh my goodness. I could go on for days!
Some of our favorite family memories started with one (or all!) of these things. I just LOVE Fall!!
I have to say one of my favorite traditions is our Thankful Tree. Each year, my girls and I scavenge the yard for the perfect “Thankful Tree” sticks. We then take time reminiscing about our year and the life the Lord has blessed us with and all of the things we are grateful for.
One year in particular, my youngest was home sick from school. Even with her nasty cold and her raging fever, she crawled into my lap and asked if she could add a leaf to her branch. What in the world could she be thankful for when she felt so poorly?? Her response – “Extra snuggle time with my Mama…and comfy pj’s.”
My heart just about melted into a puddle right then and there. With eyes that were red-rimmed and glassy from her fever, with a nose so stuffy she could hardly breathe, with legs so weak she could hardly stand, she still found things to be grateful for!
I was reminded how important it is to train my girls to always find the silver lining, even in a negative situation.
In a world that seems to skip right over Fall and Thanksgiving and starts selling Christmas things in August, I refuse to rush this season. We savor the Fall!
I refuse to decorate for Christmas until AFTER Thanksgiving, and my family relishes the memories as we add to our Thankful Tree throughout October and November.
I’m so grateful that my girls are learning to slow down, count their blessings, and be mindful about finding reasons to always be thankful. Before the rush of the Christmas festivities and holiday parties and the giving of all the things!
In a few quick minutes, you can adopt this tradition for your family as well! It literally takes FIVE minutes to get your own Thankful Tree started and ready to go. I hope you follow these steps and create your own little tree of grateful goodness!!
First, decide what you will use to hold the base of your tree. You can use a vase, a glass jar, a large mug. Whatever you have on hand. We use a tall canning jar like this one.
It is so simple, so it doesn’t distract from the actual tree. And I’m slightly obsessed with mason jars so they’re all over my house.
Second, collect sticks that you will use as your Thankful Tree. We choose sticks that are tall and have several mini branches sprouting off of them. Once you have them, double check there aren’t any bugs on them before putting them in your jar.
The kids had an easy job of finding the perfect big branches this year. Thank you, Hurricane Matthew.
Next, make your leaves. I normally give my girls colored paper and let them go to town cutting out our own leaves. It might be easier for you to just buy some that are already cut, but my oldest daughter thinks she’s Bob Ross. #truestory So, she goes to town on some homemade leaves.
Finally, my favorite part, have each person add things they are thankful for on a leaf. This can be done a little bit every day, or all at once, or maybe at dinner each night. Whatever will work best for your family. What works for one might not work for another. Make this tradition YOURS! Do what you know you can keep up with, and what makes the most sense for the season your family is in.
And that’s it! So easy!! Each year, I collect all of our leaves and put them in a baggie to save. It’s fun to look back over the years and see what things we wrote down.
I hope this is something that inspires your family as well. May we all find more to be grateful for in the everyday moments of life.
Do you have a favorite family tradition? How do you encourage your family to give thanks?