We put up our 2016 thankful tree! We traced handprints for the branches this year and we have Bible verses that we are working on memorizing every week that are about being thankful. Each day the kids all say something that they are thankful to God for and then we add leaves to the tree. Their answers are sometimes silly and sometimes serious, but they are all things that we are thankful for . . . today the kids said they are thankful for Squishy (Joshua’s nickname), Gabby, bunnies, making stick people, Jesus, and fluffy wookies! I am so glad that I started this tradition in our house! Here’s a walk down memory lane of some of our thankful trees from years past.
Here’s our 2011 tree with Joshua and Eliana
Our 2012 thankful tree with Eliana and Isabel
Our 2014 thankful tree with Danielle
Our 2015 thankful tree with Danielle, Eliana and Gabrielle
“Why should we be thankful for things?” I asked my younger son. His reply was simply, “Because God wants us to.”
1 Chronicles 16:34 says,
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.
This is the third year that I have made a Thanksgiving Tree for the month of November. We add leaves of things that we are thankful for almost every day, usually right after dinner. I think that when we are always wanting more and longing for the newest, latest, biggest, and best of everything it can lead to being unhappy. I firmly believe that being thankful is one of the keys to being happy and we have to practice having an attitude of thankfulness. The Thankfulness Song always comes to mind when I think about practicing thankfulness!
This year I wrapped an oatmeal container and two potato chip canisters in brown grocery sacks to make the trunk of our tree and then added branches that are attached to the ceiling. In previous years I have put our tree on the wall. This year we are using sassafras leaves on our tree, but in years past we have used maple leaves and different types of leaves.
We put the first set of leaves on our Thanksgiving tree this year.
This was our first Thanksgiving tree in 2011.
This is last year’s Thanksgiving Tree.
Click this link you want to read my previous post about our Thanksgiving Tree.
I got the idea of putting up a Thanksgiving Tree last year. Below is a photo of our tree from last year. Last year our tree was a complete success so I am doing this project with my kids again this year. Because my little ones are so young some of the things that they were thankful for were “little” things, but some of them were very heartfelt. I am looking forward to filling up our new tree. Teaching children to be thankful no matter what happens is a huge job. Life is not without disappointment and not without hurts. I’m excited to see what leaves they want to put on our tree this year.
During my devotion time this morning I read 1 Thessalonians 5:16-22.
“Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. Do not stifle the Holy Spirit. Do not scoff at prophecies, but test everything that is said. Hold on to what is good. Stay away from every kind of evil.”
This is what God wants for us! The Bible is packed with good advice straight from the Maker of heaven and Earth. This list is a great one!
I think thankfulness is a lot like growing tree. It takes time to cultivate but when you start being thankful your thankfulness grows until you are able to look at every single circumstance with a thankful heart.