We either make a tree trunk with bare branches out of black craft paper or we draw a tree onto a large sheet of paper. Then we tape the “tree” to our dining room wall. We cut out individual autumn-colored leaves (red, orange, yellow, brown) from more craft paper.
Whenever someone in the family thinks of something or someone that they’re thankful for, they write the item, event, or person’s name onto one of the leaves and then tape the leaf to the tree branches.
We try to put the Thanksgiving Tree in place by mid-November so our family has at least a full week to add more leaves to the tree.
By Thanksgiving Day, the tree is FULL with the names of people, events and things we’re thankful for. This is great fun for the kids and a meaningful addition to our family’s holiday traditions.
Another idea along these lines is to make a Thanksgiving Jar. Throughout the year as things came up that your family is thankful for (new baby, new job, answered prayers, etc.), write the event onto a piece of paper and slip it into a specially designated Thanksgiving container.
A family at our former church in Olympia empties their Thanksgiving Jar once a year and reads each slip of paper on Thanksgiving morning during their family breakfast.
Do you have any special activities or traditions your family shares on Thanksgiving or any other upcoming holiday? I’d love to hear about them! 🙂