It seems like the minute that the calendar switches from October to November, we are on a crash course to Christmas. The stores have their decorations already out, ads are screaming the holidays are coming, and our calendars are quickly filling up with dates for parties, pictures, Santa visits etc. With the craziness we could easily skim right over Thanksgiving, but we really shouldn’t.

thanksgiving tradition thankful tree november activity kidsI try hard in my family to remember that Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on all the wonderful things in our lives. It is a time to gather with family and friends and share a meal and a hug or two, and just pause to spend the time with them. It is easier to complain and focus on what we do not have, but we should use the next month to focus on what we do have in our lives.

So, last year our family started a thankful tree. One day I saw a friend post on her families own thankful tree, and I jumped on the idea. I simply went out to the backyard, found a cool limb and stuck it in a vase I already had. I then scrounged in a my craft supplies till I found a fall ribbon, added it to the vase, and then dug some of the construction paper out of my kids art supplies. That night at dinner, I traced my two little kids hands, and we cut out a bunch of hand shaped leaves for them, and some normal looking leaves for my husband and me. We then took turns each day adding a new “thankful leaf” to the thankful tree.

It was a simple craft that really impacted my families viewpoints for the following weeks. The kids sometimes drew what they were thankful for or we helped them write it. They had to be explained a bit on exactly what we wanted, but after a few conversations and a few books on being thankful from the library, they got it. I loved hearing and seeing what they choose each time. I also enjoyed my own reflections into what means the most in my own life. Sometimes the simplest of things can make a huge impact.

So, grab a tree limb and help your own family stay focused on what they have to be thankful for in life.