The Season of Thanks

November has arrived. So has the cooler weather, for which I am certainly thankful.

Most Novembers remind me I haven’t done as good of a job as I would like to in the area of gratitude. I believe it is a discipline and must be practiced to become a habit. I’ve tried my hand at gratitude journals with varying degrees of success. I know the research about how useful it is to battle depression and anxiety. I delight in a dear friend’s blog wherein she is cataloging  1000 things for which she is grateful. And yet, on a daily basis, I know I take my life and all its blessings for granted and I could use a much bigger dose of gratitude.

Hello November.

So today my 4-year-old and I constructed a Tree of Thanks. Like an advent calendar for November…sort of. I saw one while looking at Christmas stuff the other day (Pottery Barn) and immediately wanted it. But they aren’t available anymore and were like $100 on eBay. Ha. I didn’t have enough felt to make one…but I did have a trunk full of construction paper.

We spent the morning tracing and cutting out leaves. Three different shapes. This makes the tree more interesting artistically-speaking, but certainly biologically incorrect. We agreed that aesthetics were more important here.

For the little pockets, we sealed a bunch of envelopes and cut them in half.

Then we glued them to backs of the anatomically-incorrect leaves. Each little pocket now ready for its note of gratitude.

Each leaf got a number and some little squares of paper in its pocket. And by the time Thanksgiving gets here, it should look something like this:

My son wanted it on his door – which meant I had to scrape some Batman and Scoobey-Doo stickers off of it first – but there it hangs. And his first note of gratitude was for his daddy taking him to a hockey game. I was delighted that it was for an experience of quality time instead of a toy or other thing…although I know those are coming!!

I like the idea of spending 25 days putting gratefulness on little pieces of paper and into pockets just prior to the 25 days which will be spent taking a little toy or piece of candy out of a little pocket throughout December. Evens things out in my sometimes-OCD-brain. Not to mention how much fun it will be to read these things in about 20 years.

And who knows? Maybe it will help me be more grateful January through October!

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5 thoughts on “The Season of Thanks

  1. Selena Shelley

    That is so sweet. You’re a great mom who has raised a great kid.

    And I am grateful to call you my friend and use your ideas for our kids. 🙂

  2. Marquel

    I just love your idea and I love that you made it. It will probably mean a whole lot more than buying one off the internet. I have been trying to think of something to do prior to the madness of Christmas. I love the idea of 25 days of showing gratitude prior to the 25 days of Advent. Love it!

    1. gatheraroundthetable

      So far it has been a fun addition to the bedtime routine. Lincoln seems to really like doing it and he reminds us if we don’t get that night’s leaf out right away. And we each have a piece of a paper in the little pocket, so we all do it…and I’ve been surprised at how interested he is in what we have to say. So many teaching opportunities… I’m feeling more prepared for Christmas madness already! (Now if I can just get the garage reorganized and the pantry cleaned out before then!)

  3. Erica

    Love Love Love it! We have adapted our own version of this and are having a great time with it. Though I have be honest mine looks way less profesional-like a 4 year old did which wouldn’t be a problem except that I am 38!!!
    Thanks for the great idea.

    1. gatheraroundthetable

      Yeah!! Pictures, pictures! 🙂
      I am about to post an update about our tree now that it’s mostly filled…and on day 19 Lincoln said, “I’m thankful for you mommy.” Love that…so sweet.

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