I'm a fan of Thanksgiving Trees
; however, gathering twigs from a forest, anchoring them in a large vase, and creating the perfect hanging tags to write your items of Thanks and Praise takes fore-thought, planning and effort; being immersed in these early years of child-rearing I simply can't seem to make it happen. After all, with "mom brain" that seems to want to stick around forever, (like a 20-something who has no desire to leave the nest), it's a miracle I retain enough thoughts to write 'em down!
Knowing I hadn't remembered to gather twigs before the snow fell, (and now subsequent rain), and knowing a trip to Joann's
, for fake twigs, was not part of any game we'd be playing - (four kids, four car-seats, decked out in winter gear to go shopping for twigs; I don't play to lose!) - twig-less didn't stop me and it doesn't have to stop you!
Better than twigs, any day of the week, is building a tree of your own. I found 40 sheets of construction paper and set about drawing and out-lining leaves. Then, handed out kid scissors to my four kiddos.
For two hours my three oldest were enthralled with cutting out leaves
while my 3 year old delighted himself in paper scraps.
(Apparently, in a toddler's world, paper scraps are just as awesome as empty boxes. Who knew!?!)
With Christmas music playing in the background, and my kid's engrossed in an activity,
I set about making pumpkin pies.
While the pies were baking the leaves broke free and became real! (Just ask the kids who were throwing them over their heads in the living room). I settled them back down by laying out butcher block paper on the floor.
I drew the outline of a tree and sectioned it, and its background, into three sections for my older three kids to color. (Sectioned off so there'd be no arguing; there's no arguing when you're supposed to be giving thanks!)
Another 20 minutes passed by, of serenity and quiet, just listening to the Christmas classics play.
We taped up the tree base and then divided our leaves in half.
We hung half of the leaves up blank and then I worked, individually with each child, to write on the remainder of the leaves the people, places or things they were thankful for.
The pies came out of the oven
well before our Thanksgiving time of praise was over;
from start to finish our tree took 4 hours to complete!
However, the 4 hours were glorious with kiddos fully engaged in what we were doing.
It turns out my kids are thankful for
their Dad, Mom and each other;
a list this mama is thankful for too.
If not building your own tree of Thanksgiving, no worries, you'll get no manner of mama guilt trippin' from me; however, curious to know: When you stop your kiddos to ask, "What are you thankful for?", what do they say? Feel free to comment and share responses below; may their answers make you smile.
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