Monday, November 10, 2008

Tree of Thanks

Last year, we began a November tradition, the Tree of Thanks, a tradition I hope will last for many years.
In order to get our tree started this year, Aidan helped me select a small, tree-ish branch to represent a tall, fall tree, and we carefully cut out various shaped leaves from craft foam in the colors of autumn. We "planted" the tree in a small terra cotta pot, held steady by florist's foam, dried lentils, and duct tape. On each leaf, each of us wrote things for which we are grateful, which we then hot glued to the branches. As the month progresses, we will continue to add our gratitudes. On Thanksgiving day, we will ask our guests to add to our tree, and we'll save and date them to read in future years. I'm amazed at how last year, Aidan just barely understood the concept, and this year, he's writing (or drawing) his own leaves, and helping me decipher what Leo might write on his. I love that each of us immediately identifies both the big things - our family and friends - and the small things - saws and rubber hammers (Aidan), cookies (Leo), homebrew and wives who enjoy it (Jeff), and being greeted, on a busy day, with the smell of dinner cooking in the crock pot (Anne). Mostly, I love the conversation our tree brings to our dinner table each night, and the way Aidan thinks about and talks about that tree, often asking me to help him with another leaf or suggesting what we might write later, based on the simple pleasures he finds in life.


M&M said...

I LOVE this tradition! I think we'll join y'all on this tradition - what a great visual and it is just so darn sweet! I love it! Thank you for posting this fabulous idea!!!

kristi said...

I think we might borrow this idea too...have been looking for a way to start talking about being thankful, especially before we head into the season of over-indulgence, and plain old spoiled-rotteness. (Yes, that is a word, at least in my house).