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Thanksgiving Tree

Posted by  ·  November 5, 2008  ·  Last Updated: November 5, 2008

We really wanted a way to help our family to take time to appreciate all of our blessings. This year has been a bit bumpy for us and when you are in the midst of a difficult period often it is hard to realize (and appreciate) the blessings you do have—-well it is for us. So while things aren’t always how we planned and turning out the way we wanted we still have been blessed and have much to be thankful for.

We took a huge branch from our yard and I die-cut tons of leaves in different colors. Our original plan was  every night at dinner for each of us to write something we are thankful for on our leaf and clip it (with those mini- clothes pins I love) to a branch.

I noticed Chocolate on my Cranium is doing a similar activity with her family, except she does one more thing that I think is fabulous. She also focuses on what we do for others.  She has made darling  printable Thanks and Giving Trees if you want to forgo the tree branch.  On one tree you write what you are thankful for and on the other tree you write something you have done for somebody.

So on one side of our leaf we will write what we are thankful for and on the other side something nice we have done for someone.

oops I notice the photo didn’t show that my son is thankful for his friends.

By the way–I am thankful for all of you that stop by here each day! You have brightened many days with your sweet comments and even if you don’t leave a comment my stat counter says you have been here and that also makes me happy!

You might also be interested in these Thanksgiving ideas.

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  1. Monday, November 21st, 2011
    LOVE THIS!!!! Beautiful centerpiece and great way to count your blessings!! We posted a link: http://ificould-ificould.blogspot.com/2011/11/thanksgiving-tree.html

    Missy & Kimi
    if I could...
  2. Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010
    I know this is an old post for you, but I featured it today as part of my "Thankful Trees" post on my blog! Thanks for the inspiration & have a great day!

    Here is the link to the post:
  3. June
    Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009
    Thank you so much for showing this great idea! I just had a scare & want to look at things each day to what I am thankful for. This will be a great thing for others to see when they come to my home! I can't wait to get started on this tonight! Thank you again!
  4. Stacy
    Monday, November 2nd, 2009
    We also have been doing the same sort of thing except we have a turkey that I drew but he is missing all of his feathers. So from the first of November till Thanksgiving we each add a feather every night. We put on the feather what we are thankful for. We keep the feathers from year to year just to see how the kids have grown. I think my all time favorite was my son when he was 10 wrote, "I am thankful for my little sister who is nice some of the time."
  5. Monday, December 1st, 2008
    We've been doing thankful leaves for many years, but this year we added the "giving" side as well. I got interesting insights into my kids' days this way - things that don't come out in our standard dinner conversation. And tying them onto branches was a new twist that I liked. Thanks!
  6. Sunday, November 16th, 2008
    found you through Simple Mom....love your natural tree....my last post had a bunch of takes on this same idea, but I love using the real branches.
  7. Tuesday, November 11th, 2008
    just found your blog through flipflops and applesauce. Love this idea.......linked you on my blog. Thanks for the great idea! I would like to try this with my family.
  8. Friday, November 7th, 2008
    This takes my THANKFUL list to a new level. I love the visual affect with all that we have to be thankful for. Great idea! Thanks.
  9. darcymae
    Thursday, November 6th, 2008
    i want to do the same thing but am dreading cutting out all those leaves. PLEASE tell me you found some great, cheap alternative..!!
  10. Thursday, November 6th, 2008
    Wow, I was so happy to see a member post this.
    What a wonderful idea.
  11. gemgirl
    Thursday, November 6th, 2008
    Wonderful idea and great that you eat meals together. I hear so many say they have abandoned that way of life. Thanks for a inspirational web site.
  12. water works
    Thursday, November 6th, 2008
    I love your site and have used several ideas from it. I also read Cocoa's post about the thanks and giving trees. We are starting them this weekend at our place. It's been a rocky few months and we need the positive energy around us. Have fun with yours. I need to get me some little bitty clothespins....
  13. Diana
    Thursday, November 6th, 2008
    Thanks for another beautiful project that reminds us what this season is REALLY all about. I'm thankful for your great ideas each day!
  14. Thursday, November 6th, 2008
    Fabulous! I can't wait to do this with my kids!

  15. Thursday, November 6th, 2008
    We have had this as a family tradition in our home for about the last 3 years. The kids have such fun going outside to find just the right branch to represent our tree and I gather up all the leaves after our feast and place them in our scrapbook to put with the pictures I will scrap of the holiday. This is one of my favorite ideas!
  16. Thursday, November 6th, 2008
    beautiful idea! You manage your blog with such style and grace...& I hope the year hasn't been too bumpy for your sweet family?? Be well... ~S
  17. Thursday, November 6th, 2008
    Great idea -- THANK YOU FOR SHARING!
  18. Jenny
    Thursday, November 6th, 2008
    As the glue to our extended family, we are thankful for you, Cindy!! You have given so much to all of us and we especially thank you for those three spectacular kiddos! xox
  19. Wednesday, November 5th, 2008
    Great idea, and it is very eye-pleasing.
  20. Wednesday, November 5th, 2008
    We've been doing this tree thing for 5 years and our family loves it! We keep all our leaves from year to year and put the old and new on the tree. The leaves bring back great memories.

    Our leaves have a ribbon tie, but I like your clip idea much better. Sometimes we have trouble sliding the leaves down, and the tips of the branches get quite full!!
  21. Wednesday, November 5th, 2008
    I about fell on the floor to see that Skip to My Lou mentioned my Thanks and Giving trees! Thank you!

    With seven children we are actually doing things differently this year (shhhh...don't tell anyone). Instead of having a tree for each person (that would be 16 trees counting mom's and dad's) we are just doing two giant trees similar to your branches. The kids are busy using the Cricut machine right now cutting out all the leaves.

    Thanks again for spreading the news about the trees. I've had such a HUGE response. It made my day!
  22. Wednesday, November 5th, 2008
    I do love that idea! Now where to find a leaf die cut?
  23. katherine
    Wednesday, November 5th, 2008
    I'm a new reader and I love this idea. My daughter is too young to participate but this will make a great family tradition in years to come.
  24. Wednesday, November 5th, 2008
    I love ideas that combine craftiness and heart. My favorite thing about your projects is that children can be participants not just observers. Just seeing your tree makes me a little more thankful today!
  25. Wednesday, November 5th, 2008
    Love your ideas. I stubled across your blog a while back and love to find creative people like you. Thanks for sharing!
  26. Wednesday, November 5th, 2008
    This is so what we need to do at our house. Thanks for the inspiration. Today and every day. xoxo
  27. Wednesday, November 5th, 2008
    we have done this for quite a long time in my family. then at thanksgiving dinner, we all can sit around, and see a hugely inspired tree.

    it's lovely.
  28. Wednesday, November 5th, 2008
    I love your idea and think I will do something similar too.
  29. brittany
    Wednesday, November 5th, 2008
    I love your blog! I just went through all the archives (yeay downtime at work!) :) You have the greatest ideas and I am so into the handmade christmas ideas. I will now have unique pillow boxes for everything ;)
  30. Wednesday, November 5th, 2008
    I love this idea and think I will try it for our Thanksgiving gathering at our house!
  31. Wednesday, November 5th, 2008
    nice idea! i'm teacher and i'll do it with my pupils. i love your blog! thank you!
  32. Wednesday, November 5th, 2008
    I really like your idea! It's great you can bring a piece of nature inside too! And those mini clothespins are adorable!
  33. Wednesday, November 5th, 2008
    That would be a great wordless wednesday picture! Even with words lol!
  34. Wednesday, November 5th, 2008
    I love it! What a great way to remind your kids how blessed we are and to inspire them to find ways each day to make someone else's day better. We will definitely be doing this! Thanks for sharing this great idea:)
  35. Wednesday, November 5th, 2008
    Oh my goodness, this is almost exactly what my hubby & I did for our fall wedding. It is so simple and the leaf words are something really touching.
  36. Wednesday, November 5th, 2008
    That IS a cool idea. Thank you.
  37. Beth B.
    Wednesday, November 5th, 2008
    Great idea! Thanks for the inspiration.