November is the perfect time to “grow” a Thankful Tree in your house! With Thanksgiving fast approaching, I wanted to share a way to help your children appreciate the many gifts God gives them daily.
This idea, shared with me years ago by a friend, has become a November tradition in our home.
- Find a printable fall leaf template on the internet, like this one.
- Print out the template, and on the top of each leaf, write: “I am thankful for:”
- Make copies of the template so the leaves are on colored paper (red, yellow, and orange). I use three different shapes of leaves, but you could use only one or two if that is easier.
- Cut out the leaves and punch a hole in the top of each leaf. Put an 8-inch piece of yarn or string through the hole and tie it so that the leaf can be hung on your Thankful Tree.
- Find a branch in your yard or somewhere nearby that will be good for hanging your leaves. Place it in a pot with dirt.
- Every day during the month of November (it’s not too late to get started now) each family member can choose a leaf and write what he/she is thankful for that day. Younger children can tell you what they would like written on their leaves.
- Read your leaves to each other (we do this right after dinner) and then hang them on the tree.
It is also a good idea to have extra leaves on hand for anyone who may come to visit your house (we ask our guests to fill out a leaf and hang it on the Thankful Tree).
By Thanksgiving you will have a tree filled with reminders of all the daily blessings God has given your family!
At the end of the month, take the leaves off the tree and place them in a Ziploc bag. Write the year on the Ziploc bag and store it for safe-keeping. My children love to take the leaves out of the bags from previous years and read what our family and friends were thankful for in past years!
This really does not take much time, and if you have older children they can help cut out leaves and tie yarn on them. You can also cut leaves while waiting in a car for a child or watching a movie, etc. It is really easy and lots of fun!
Hope your November is filled with blessings. May we be thankful each day for all that God has given us!
“And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Col.3:17