I think teaching my kids what the word thankful means is so important. Not just this time of year, but in general. Helping them see all they have, making them aware of their blessings, and teaching them the vocabulary that is what thankful means. I want them to understand the emotion and sentiment behind it. My kids are young, at ages 6, 5, and 3. But this is something that they can each grasp in their own ways. I wanted to have a physical reminder of our thankfulness. So I thought of creating a thankful tree.
How to Make a Family Thankful Tree:
The way I created mine was purchasing some of these amazing small tree stumps from a crafts store. Using pieces of paper would have worked just as well. And will teach all about thankfulness just the same. I just wanted to jazz it up to fit in with my fall decor.
I drilled a hole in all of them. I have two for each person, and two for the family as a whole to write on.
Next it was time to write down the things my family was thankful for. As you can see, we had some very sincere and lovely ones. I was so touched by the things my kids were thankful for. Realizing in their minds what matters to them; how deep and sweet their minds are. It was pure magic to hear their thankful thoughts. I used a Sharpie fine-tipped pen and wrote them on one side. On the other side, I wrote the first letter of the person’s name. This way, years from now, I will know who was thankful for what.
Then using rope, loop it through the holes.
Make a knot on the top. I had initially cut all of the excess rope off the knot but I liked a little on the edges. I did cut the excess off a little, but left some. This is all personal preference. The thankful tree is all about being personal.
Here is the group of our thanks.
We have a ivy vine that did not bloom of leaf this year, so I went and cut some of the branches from it. It needed some trimming since the tree stumps with our words written on them are a little heavy. I needed only the strong sticks to be on the branch to hold them.
I got some faux apples to add some color to this Thankful tree.
Using a tall vase, I stand the branch up inside of it, then poured the apples around it.
This one gave me chills, Nora (my 6 year old) was thankful for the world. So beautiful.
I set the thankful tree on our console table. It is in the living room and right by the entryway, right in the center of our home. My kids adored this project, they are already planning what we will add to it next year. I had not planned for this to be a repeating tradition, but I think my kids are onto something.
I wrote the year they were created. I am not sure how I will identify the following years’ additions. But this thankful tree made me realize how many things my family do have to be thankful for. A quiet reminder is always a good thing. I had a hard time choosing just two, and so did the rest of my crew. I think we all need reminders of this, and a physical reminder written down is a wonderful way to go. The great thing about this thankful tree is it can be done any way, with any supplies, but the message and experience is still the same. So go on, create your thankful tree, and see first hand what your family is thankful for. You may be pleasantly surprised by the answers.