Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Our Thankful Tree

One of our favorite Thanksgiving traditions is our Thankful Tree.  We started this a few years back with the kids and it is always a lot of fun.  We just used colored paper, scissors and tape.  We cut the trunk in sections and taped it together on the hall closet door. Then we cut out lots of curvy branches and taped them on wherever we felt like it. This year we printed out leaves onto the colored paper using this template.  It turned out to be a little tricky cutting all the points and curves, but we managed.  We made a little woven basket out of leftover paper strips and put the leaves, a marker and some tape in it and hung it on the door knob.  As we think of things we are thankful for, we write them on the leaves and tape them to the tree.  It's not the most perfect looking craft, but that's ok.  It was made with lots of loving, thankful little hands and to me it's the most beautiful tree in the world.

Friday, November 16, 2012


photo from

 I have always been bothered by the fact that everyone seems to skip straight from Halloween to Christmas.  This year, the Christmas stuff was in the stores even before Halloween!  Ridiculous.  I never understood why.  Then it struck me... a holiday that focuses on being thankful for what one has just doesn't fit into the modern excessive consumer mentality.  There is nothing for the companies to market.  No costumes, candy, lights, trees, presents, etc.  It is the one holiday that doesn't revolve around spending a lot of money.  It's about good, home cooked food, not buckets of candy.  It's about spending time with your friends and family, not spending tons of money on gifts for everyone and their brother.  Don't get me wrong, I love Christmas... the real Christmas.  Not the capitalistic, commercialized, consumer driven version it has evolved into.  But Thanksgiving is simply this... giving thanks.  So simple, so beautiful.  In this country we live in where we are constantly being bombarded with messages that what we have is not good enough, big enough, or new enough, how important is it to have that one day to reflect.  To choose to disregard all those lies and focus on what really matters.  To realize how truly blessed we are.  To realize we have all that we need and more.  I hope that maybe some of us will slow down and really think about Thanksgiving this year.  Maybe choose to have a different perspective of the coming Christmas season.  And most of all, remember to be thankful.