Last year, a new Thanksgiving tradition was born in our family: the Thankful Tree. I can't remember where I first came across the idea, but it was a huge hit with everyone around our Thanksgiving table. It's the spirit of Thanksgiving in a beautiful centerpiece: each member of the Thanksgiving feast has to contribute at least one leaf with what he or she is thankful for and it becomes a bouquet of gratitude.
The Thankful Tree is basically a hands-on family craft project that immediately becomes a conversation piece. For the wee ones, of course, parents can contribute. Last year, for example, my youngest said she was thankful for "yellow," and that's what we wrote on one of the leaves.
Here's how to do it:
1. Gather long thin branches.
2. Cut colored construction paper into leaf shapes and use a hole puncher to make a hole in each.
3. Have each person at your holiday gathering write at least one thing they are thankful for (make pens readily available).
4. Use kitchen twine or any other string to fasten the leaves onto the branches.
5. Assemble in a vase and place at the center of your table.
We talked about these all night long last year, and this past weekend, my family gathered branches for this year's Thankful Tree with huge excitement. I can't wait to read the leaves this year.
What are your Thanksgiving traditions?