One of the exciting parts of having a new family is deciding what family traditions you’d like to incorporate. The things you’ll do together each year as family, and that you’ll look forward to as the holiday season rolls around. Traditions can bind a family together and are what a lot of kids remember most when reflecting back on their childhood.
Although my daughter is only 8 months old, I am all too excited to start our traditions this year. No, she won’t remember them, and no, she won’t have a clue to what’s going on, but I figure it’ll give me practice so when she is of age – they’ll be perfect!
I saw the idea for the Thankful Tree on Pinterest, and fell in love immediately. It’s easy, doesn’t cost much (if any) money, is something the family can do together, and gets kids (and adults) reflecting on what they’re thankful for in their lives. Doesn’t get much better than that!
So here is my first stab at it.
- An old vase in the cupboard
- burlap I had in the basement (tied around the neck of the vase)
- sticks from outside (make sure they have lots of little branches!)
- a black pen
- my cricut
- different colored card stock I had
(It’ll be more full once we’ve written on all of the leaves!)
Seriously, so easy. Luckily I had everything I needed, so it cost me a grand total of $0. I used my cricut to cut the leaves you see below, but if you don’t have one, you could either:
- print a leaf or different shape off your computer and cut them yourselves
- use a paper punch (you could get a circle one from Joann’s for $10)
- draw your own leaves or shapes
I put the leaves in a bowl with a pen so anyone can write things they think of down at any time, and once written on, they are hung on the branches.
Some different ways you could incorporate the leaves are:
- Every family member writes on one (or however many) leaf at dinner time for the whole week leading up to Thanksgiving
- Each family member is given a certain amount of personal leaves to write on, and a certain number of family leaves to do together
- Guests or family members who come over could write on leaves when they come over
- It could solely be a Thanksgiving day activity, where all leaves are written on the day-of
- You could have a theme each day for the leaves (A person you’re thankful for, a toy you’re thankful for, an opportunity you’re thankful for, etc… )
How you do it is totally up to you and how you want to fit the needs of your family.
The last thing I think I want to do is get a little index card file box, and each year collect all the leaves and store them by year. I think it would be pretty awesome to be able to look back one day and see how your lives and priorities have changed!