Way back in August, I knew that the temptation for getting the 'gimmie's' would be great, especially for the resident 5 year old. He's never met a present or a toy he hasn't wanted. I knew we wanted to really start instilling the idea of thankfulness and blessings into him this year, so I started plotting and planning on the best way to do this.
The answer was simple: The Thankfulness Tree
Every night, before bed, we sit down as a family & everyone thinks of one thing that they are thankful for on that day. Each person picks out a leaf or a bird (Jacob's personal favorite) & writes down what they are thankful for and signs it. I tape it to the tree (or around the tree).
The Thankfulness Tree has been a great tool for teaching Jacob the concepts of thankfulness, blessings, & being a blessing to others.
And, it's been great for me & E. It's so easy for adults to get caught up in the bolts & grime of everyday life and forget all the blessing that surround us. And, taking time to be intentional in giving thanks is a life skill that no one outgrows.
To make the Thankfulness Tree, I used some of my rudimentary art skills! I pulled out a large piece of poster board (being a homeschool mom who loves a good craft comes in handy!) and sat on my kitchen floor. I tree out a sketch of tree and then grabbed my paints. It took a couple of coats, but it ended up looking cute. I wish I had taken a pic!
Then I made templates for the leaves and the birds. I traced the templates on a couple of different colors of construction paper & cut them out.
We started the Tree on October 1st (we missed a few days here and there when life got weird on us) and we're continuing all the way up to the last day of November! We'll have spent two months learning about Thankfulness, remembering to be thankful, counting our blessing & blessing others.
Then, on December 1st, we'll move into Advent. I think it's a pretty darn good way to usher in the Advent season.
(disclaimer: please excuse the crappy picture quality. Sometimes the iPHONE takes great pictures & sometimes, it's not so great.)