The Thankful Tree Tradition

The Thankful Tree

One nice thing about the month of November, is that it contains a holiday that functions as a constant reminder to feel grateful. I think it's so lovely that right between the fun and crazy chaos of Halloween and Christmas is a holiday that is devoted entirely to surrounding yourself with your loved ones and expressing thanks for all that you have. One point to America!*

I believe in being thankful. I believe in teaching my children to be thankful, and when there is a holiday labeled Thanksgiving on the horizon, it seems as good a time as any to focus our attention as a family on feeling and expressing gratitude.

Last night was our weekly family night, and so we sat down with the kids and talked to them about gratitude. Like we did last year in November, we brought out our Thankful Tree, and talked about the things that we are thankful for. Between us we mentioned our family, our home, each other, toys, education, good books, good employment, and a few more. Then we wrote those things down on paper leaves and hung them on our Thankful Tree. The idea is that we will keep doing this until Thanksgiving comes, and then our tree will be covered with leaves. I love reflecting on our blessings as a family, and I love seeing how much Espen gets from exercises like this.

Last year I copied down all of the leaves so we have a record of what we were grateful for in 2013, and I am already looking forward to doing that again this year. It's like preserving a little slice of who we are as a family right now.

Do you have any Thanksgiving traditions?

*But also minus one point to America for having coined the phrase "gobble till you wobble" and inventing Black Friday shopping.


  1. okay, so I totally copied you and we're doing a thankful tree this year! I love it.

    1. Oh good! I like it because it's a fairly low-key tradition that can sort of go on in the background, but still be quite meaningful.

  2. What a beautiful tradition. I think I will start that with my Sunday school kids!
    Blessings, Joanne

    1. I think it would great in a class setting, either as a one time activity, or as something you revisit briefly each class session. It's a good way to get to know each other a little better too.


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