My Favorite Thanksgiving Tradition

Lots of thoughts running around in my head, so forgive me if I seem all over the place here. Just watched the Hurricane Sandy television event to raise money for the victims of this horrific tragedy. I am embarrassed to admit, I wasn’t aware of just how devastating this storm was. I mean, yes, I live on the East Coast, and still have friends without power, but that’s as bad as it got here. But Jersey, New York…I’m speechless at these photographs. Here I am, yackin’ away about my kids, home decor, etc etc, and a great deal of my fellow East Coasters have had their homes and entire towns just in ruins. But if there’s one good thing that comes out of these tragedies, it’s the evidence of good in the world. People who rally together to make things ok again. People who donate their time, money, clothing, homes, anything, to help the burden of those who have lost so much. If you missed the TV special, you can go to Red Cross’ website right here and donate. No amount is too small. Rally with me and let’s help our East Coast, what do you say?

I had planned on writing a post about a favorite Thanksgiving tradition of mine. I didn’t know if it was too soon, gabbing about ways to decorate my home when so many had lost theirs. But I decided it was actually the perfect time to write this post. What better time than now to appreciate what we’re thankful for? It sucks (pardon my language, but it does) that it often takes a tragedy to open our eyes to how good we have it, doesn’t it? Wouldn’t it be nice to be thankful every day? Well this Thanksgiving tradition that I started last year helps our family do just that.

And it doesn’t cost a penny. It’s our Thankful Tree. We go outside, grab some sticks (which you can imagine were at no shortage due to the storm), and stick them in a pitcher. You could use any pitcher you have, or a large glass/vase/anything. I cut out natural colored scrapbook paper into small squares, and throughout the month of November, we jot down things we’re thankful for and hang them on the branches. I liked it a lot last year, but I didn’t realize just how much until I opened our bin from storage and found all last year’s tags in a baggie labeled “2011.” I got them out, and reread them. I decided to hang some on the tree this year so we could remember. It really got to me, reading them. I saw ones my then 3 year old wrote – back when she couldn’t write her name, and is now a thriving 4 year old who can write her name with her eyes closed and backwards (yes, literally. It’s a long story;)

And I chuckled at that one from my husband – “coffee” – I remember it was an early Saturday morning and the kids were asking him what he was thankful for. Whenever I see this, I have no doubt it will take me back to our earlier parenting years. Back when coffee was just as necessary as breathing.;)

I also recalled this one immediately…

That was from our son’s first wheezing episode, and needed nebulizer treatments for days. I was so worried, never having dealt with that before, and so thankful when he got well.

Had no idea when I threw them in a baggie last year, how powerful they’d be this November. I think I’ll throw old and new ones up every year, and the older the better. How cool would it be in 10 years, to show my daughter her thankful scribbles?

So our Thankful Tree sits atop the buffet table, along with some pumpkins, and of course the dish of tags ready for us to hang.


I just used things I had for the buffet this year – you might recognize that Chevron Pumpkin from October.

It needed some height since it was opposite the tall Thankful Tree, so I placed it on a cake stand (a 50 cents find from a yard sale years ago). Added some leaves underneath it, and we had the perfect tall pumpkin.

I had a strand of that leaf garland in my stash, so I threw that on there, changed up the “BOO!” on the chalkboard to “Be thankful,” added a few pumpkins we got at the pumpkin patch last month and called it a day.

Just a few changes from the October buffet, you know, minus the spiderwebs and black crows;)

So there’s my Favorite Thanksgiving Tradition for you. I hope you’ll try it. It’s a lovely reminder for us of all we’re thankful for, and have been in the past.

For those of you affected by Hurricane Sandy, I have you in my prayers. God bless you, your families, your homes, your towns. And may you find comfort, warmth, and relief much, much sooner than you think. XO

As for the rest of us, let’s head on over to RedCross right now!

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