Thanksgiving… what does it mean to you? The definition in black and white is “the act of giving thanks; grateful acknowledgment of benefits or favors, especially to God.”

So what are you thankful for? It’s a simple question. But too often as we move through our busy lives and sometimes difficult times, it’s hard to consciously be thankful for all that we have. So to be conscious and present as a family, we have been using a THANKFUL TREE each year to take a step back, for a moment each day, as we walk toward celebrating Thanksgiving.

And mom and dad, this isn’t just for the kids. This is a beautiful way for the entire family to announce out loud what each individual is thankful for. Everyday, each family member writes down on a card or leaf shaped card what he or she is grateful for. That person then hangs that card on the tree and by Thanksgiving day the tree will be filled with words of thankfulness.

There are so many ways to incorporate a THANKFUL TREE into your home. This year, I decided to make it really easy and went to a craft store to pick up lighted twigs, leaves and leaf shaped cards to hang.

But in the past, when the boys were in preschool and loved finger painting, we made our tree from scratch and put it up on the wall. We also cut the leaves together as a way to practice cutting. It’s great to incorporate age appropriate art activities to get the kids into the spirit of being thankful! Not exactly the most beautiful tree, but it was our tree.

Another huge benefit of the THANKFUL TREE is the habit it produces. On a daily basis we are aware of what we are grateful for and it feels good!

And so HAPPY THANKSGIVING! Whatever that might mean to you!