Thursday, November 28, 2013

A tree full of thanks

There was a tree visible under there at one point.
As part of our gratitude practice this season, we have been adding leaves to a Thankful Tree. Every evening at dinner time, we each choose a leaf and write on it something for which we are grateful. After dinner, we share the leaves and add them to our tree.

Today, our tree is nearly invisible under all of the bright-colored leaves that represent our blessings. It has been a great gift to take that moment each day to talk with each other about the things that make us feel blessed...and I love how my children now ask each other, "What are you thankful for?" and "Is it time to do our leaves?"

Some of my favorites from our list this year:

Our friends (especially Katie Beth, Mark and Andrew, who are on our tree many, many times!)

A job, even when it is frustrating


Sneakers (Nora's favorites)

Ice Skating (none of my kids have ever been ice skating, but just the idea of it apparently inspires gratitude)

My family


Schlag (which is so much better than whipped cream!)

Our church


George, the best husband and dad (and we can add "best schlag maker" to that list)


Jesus and God (Sam again)


Myself (that one's from Lucy)

Our car and the fact it has heat in it (that's Sam's)

Glue sticks (Nora)

All the things (Lucy again)

My children are onto something. It is finding little, everyday things for which we are grateful and expressing thanks for them that produces a thankful heart. Our Thankful Tree has been an opportunity to practice gratitude as a family...and I'm grateful for that.

I'm planning to write down everyone's answers in a notebook and repeat this activity next year. It was easy to incorporate into our life and really set the tone for a season of grateful thinking.

I am also grateful for each of you who comes here to read my words and to share yours with me.

Happy Thanksgiving. 

And don't forget to enter the giveaway for a copy of Feast! by Daniel and Haley Stewart or a copy of The Legend of Saint Nicholas by Demi. Either one would be a wonderful addition to your library, whether you are new to celebrating the Christian year at home or have been doing it for years already. Just leave a comment on the Surviving Our Blessings Facebook page telling us about your favorite Advent tradition (or one you'd like to start).