It’s hard to believe the stores are already lining their shelves with Christmas merchandise when we’re still weeks away from Thanksgiving.
As such, the season of I want is right around the corner. Every year it seems, with each new commercial, toy catalogue and trip to the store, the words “I want” begin to flow freely from my children’s lips. It frustrates me even more that it comes on the heels of a holiday which is all about being thankful for the multitude of blessings in our lives. And we are definitely blessed!
After last year’s abysmal Christmas wish lists, which included a whole range of outrageous and expensive gifts (even a laptop on one of them), I felt this year it was time to resurrect a family tradition to help my children begin focusing early this holiday season on what is most important.
We start by cutting out a whole bunch of construction paper leaves. I cheated and used this template here because I cannot draw to save my life! Seriously, not even a leaf… We also used this one for the maple leaf, but we all agreed it was a pain in the patootie to cut out. Just to give you fair warning…
Then each person, parent and child, has to choose five things they’re thankful for and write one thing on each leaf. The choices range from serious things like family and friends, to the not so serious like cute boys, cupcakes and being a carbon based lifeform. We punch a hole in each leaf, thread some pretty embroidery floss through the holes to make a hanger, and then hang them up on a dead tree branch set in a pretty flower vase.
We use this as the centerpiece throughout the Thanksgiving season, and it serves as a daily reminder to, well, be thankful. I’m always amazed as the days go by that my kids (even my teenagers) think of other things they want to add to the tree, so I keep an extra stash of leaves cut out and ready to go for when they do. It helps us carry the meaning of Thanksgiving in our hearts the entire season.
What about your family? Do you have any special traditions to celebrate during or on Thanksgiving?