Thankful Tree


We started the tradition of a homemade Thanksgiving Tree last year. I bought a cardboard tri-fold display and drew a tree trunk on it. Using leaf-shaped foam stickers purchased at Michaels, we had the kids brainstorm things they are thankful for and we covered the tree with them.

Photo by tome213 on

We started with individual family members, teachers, friends, and the basics of a house, car, and some of our favorite family activities like camping.

From there, the kids started getting more creative with things like campfires, video games, beds, cookies, pet fish, grass, trees, flowers, and the occasional cartoon character. Since Halloween has very recently passed, fire ninjas and pirates also found their way to our tree.

We started our 2011 Thankful Tree last week. Some of the same friends made their way on it as did some newer names. Disney characters and some specific adventures from this year’s trip to Disney World were also immortalized on the tree including roller coaster, the Princess Castle, and Mickey Mouse.

When we finished our first round of leaves and tucked the kids into bed, my husband and I sat down and compared last year’s saved tree to our new one. We found a lot of same themes, and we noticed some absent ones that we want to bring back.

A family Thankful Tree will be an ongoing Thanksgiving tradition in our family. Not only does it remind the kids to look for the special things in their lives, but it also shows us the kinds of things that make the longest-lasting impressions on their hearts. Hearing our kids say they are thankful for tickle wars, pillow fights, Christmas carols, and bedtime stories makes me feel like we just might be doing something right in this parenting gig.

The Thankful Tree is our newest family tradition, what kinds of traditions do you have this time of year?