Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays to celebrate with my family. I love its simplicity, both in its message and in the way it's still celebrated today. There is no fanfare (in the way our culture has added it to so many other holidays!)...it is still just a simple day spent with our loved ones, giving thanks together for the many blessings we have been given.
I'm pretty sure it's one of my children's favorites, too! They begin counting the days as soon as the calendar flips over to November, and General starts calculating how many servings of mashed potatoes he thinks he'll be able to polish off this year!
Over the weekend, I brought out our little collection of Thanksgiving books and began the conversation with my children about what the true meaning is for this holiday. Always a good reminder for them and for me! It has been especially fun this year, though, because Little Monkey is just old enough to begin to understand the story. It is a sweet blessing, indeed, to see my older children teaching the little ones the things I taught them not so very long ago!
I have seen the idea for a Thankful Tree in several places over the past few years, and have always thought it would be a nice little project to do with my kids. Inspired by Joy over at Artful Homemaking, we decided to finally give it a try this year. It was so much fun!
We collected several leaves in different shapes from our yard, and then used crayons to make leaf-rubbings on plain white paper. We wrote a few things we are thankful for on the back of each cut-out leaf. LM needed a little help understanding the idea, but once he got it, he had a very specific list - trains, books and chairs. And crayons.
Some other items listed - God, the Bible, food, family, beds, friends and cows. (Cows give us milk and ice cream!)
We used an old pickle jar for the tree's container, some rocks from the yard as a filler, and a few sticks to make the actual tree. A very simple afternoon project for a simple holiday....and something I think we will all look forward to doing again next year!