So, I did not post yesterday. To the folks at NaBloPoMo, permit me to quote Governor Rick Perry when I say “oops.”
We got busy yesterday, taking care of some of those end-of-season things around the house you just have to do before the temperatures drop much further and the yard is covered with snow. And, since our little guy likes to be outside, we tried to spend as much time in the outdoors as we could yesterday.
Which pretty much meant everyone was sound asleep by 8:30 last night.
Our son…he’s growing into a well-mannered kid. He understands how to take turns, and it’s only a little prompt he needs to remind him to say “please,” to whom “thank you” is a no-brainer. But how, especially in this month when there’s an emphasis on being thankful for all you’re blessed with, do you teach gratitude?
I saw a post by a mom blogger that I thought was a fantastic idea: a “thankful tree” that’s set up on their dinner table, where everyone contributed a leaf where they wrote something they were thankful for and hung it on a branch.
Taking a cue (and not wanting to spend any money on this project), we found a great branch while we were outside with our son yesterday. One with lots of little branches on it. I then took a vase we had just standing around empty, along with a few decorative gourds we had from the CSA, and put together the base of our tree that I’m hoping will keep the tree from leaning too far to one side or the other:
Then I took some construction paper in different colors, traced a few different leaf outlines on them, and cut them out with a tab space at the bottom of each leaf where I could go back and use a hole punch to create a quick hanging method for each leaf:
So, now in the center of our table sits a lovely – and so far, not at all interesting to the cats – arrangement waiting to be played with:
Getting it all set up on our dining room table, I took our son in to show him the idea. He got very excited at the thought of being able to put a leaf back on a tree (it’s a puzzle, somedays, as to why we can’t do that outside). So, I asked him to think of something he’s thankful for, or glad about. He thought for a minute, and said “daycare!” So, we wrote “daycare” on a leaf, I picked him up, and he chose the branch he wanted his leaf to hang from. I thought about my brother-in-law, who took a little time from his free day to help my husband out with a few projects around the house, which led me to write “family” on another leaf and hang it from a tree. So here, it’s just a start, but I’m already liking how it looks:
My secret hope is that, as we take a little time every day to think of something we’re thankful for, we’ll not only remember all those things that make us grateful every day, but we’ll also have an unusual centerpiece for Thanksgiving Dinner that will keep folks buzzing about the things they’re all thankful for, too.