Every year during the month of November, we see the 30 days of thankfulness challenge… and that’s wonderful. I know that with Thanksgiving coming up, I am typically more mindful of all the people and things in my life that I am thankful for as well. With Thanksgiving less than one week away, here is a great idea to get kids (and adults!) in a more thankful frame of mind: Make a Thankful Tree.
Work on this during Thanksgiving week with the kids or have a few leaves at each place setting and as you sit down for Thanksgiving dinner, have each person write what they are thankful for on one or two leaves and decorate the Thankful Tree together as a family.
Really easy– and inexpensive– to do:
- Gather a few small branches or twigs from trees in your yard
- Arrange in a large vase
- Make leaves out of construction paper or card stock (click here for a leaf pattern)
- Punch small hole at one end
- Tie strings in approximately 1″ loops to hang on branches
This can be used as a centerpiece for your Thanksgiving table or just a beautiful autumn decoration. I really also like that you can use this leaf pattern, or any festive leaves that you cut out, in several decorative ways. Use as: place cards, labels for food at an hor d’oeuvre table, tie around the stem of a wine glass as name cards.
While it is important to have a thankful heart around Thanksgiving, I want to make a concerted effort to display this gratitude all year long– for 365 days in a year. Start each day with an attitude of gratitude.
So how do you keep a thankful heart every day of the year? Life gets busy and it is so easy to get bogged down with all of the things that make us unhappy, rather than focusing on all of the good that is present in our lives every day. Here is a list of ten ways to keep a thankful heart and attitude throughout the entire year:
- Read a daily devotional, like Our Daily Bread
- Subscribe to a daily email that is inspirational or motivational, such as The Daily Quotes or Daily Inspiring Quotes
- Keep a thankful journal
- Volunteer at a local hospital, retirement home, or community center
- Serve food at a local soup kitchen
- Donate gently used items to charity
- Thank God for all the blessings in your life, each and every day
- Say “Thank you” to others often
- Smile more
- Speak positively rather than focusing on the negative