This post was supposed to make it to my blog a couple days ago but the internet was out almost city wide. Then I was going to write it yesterday. (But I was too busy digesting greatness.) When I thought of it this morning and how I was a little late, I realized how wrong I was about that. Our family is learning that one day is never enough to be thankful! It’s the day after Thanksgiving, and then every day after that too, that a choice to give thanks in everything is so vital. Gratitude can warm up yourself and your family and your home with satisfaction. It’s the cure for the stress and greed and neediness that can bog up our lives, especially in this season. It’s a refocus on the blessings and goodness around us. I can’t say enough about thankfulness!
I was going to skip making a thankful tree this year. Our kids have thankful lists that they’ve been adding to most every school day. But a friend reminded me how lovely it is to have a tree filled with the thanks of our family in our house. It stands as a thank you to God and changes the environment here. For me, this year, that’s meant a rejection of a lot of the commercialism. I’m not even looking at the ads today because I’m happy with what I have and don’t want the onslaught of all the things I could want but don’t even know about at the moment.
Here’s a bit about my Thanksgiving Tree last year. This year I switched it up and used real branches. I love the outcome. We make the Thanksgiving Tree a family event and all went branch searching in the backyard. Then we cut out leaf shapes from construction paper and gathered around to write out our thanks. Our initial goes on the back of the leaves we make and the leaves get taped to the branches. The kids always love that tree and the time together.
On Thanksgiving morning, my boy came to me. He said enthusiastically, “Oh Mom! I should have put you on the thankful tree! My lovey mommy! I should have put “love” on there too.” The thankful lists have had the same type of effect before. It’s how we start our school day after some Bible and prayer. It shifts our attention and focus away from the tasks in front of us and helps us get through our work with a position of gratefulness instead of whining. A few weeks ago my boy said “Oh Mom! We HAVE to remember to do our thankful lists today! I am SO thankful!”
Whatever form it takes, a tree, or a list, or a choice, I urge you to work at making giving thanks a part of each day. There are times it is hard to do so but it is so worth it! It honors God and brings us into His grace.