Despite what a lot of social media would have you believe, Thanksgiving is almost here. When did people start decorating for Christmas the day after Halloween?! I love Christmas as much as the next person but I don’t want to get burned out on it before December even arrives.
Thanksgiving was always my favorite holiday growing up. We would always do two big meals, the repast and dinner. Of course, the repast would never be ready in time so we were normally having dinner around 9:30. But my sister’s deviled eggs and stuffed mushrooms always made it worth it. My favorite uncle would come most years and I love football and apple pie, so what’s not to love?
Of course, Thanksgiving is about more than just great food. It’s about being grateful and counting our blessings and spending quality time with our families. Now that I have a little family of my own, I really want to establish these important traditions along with the turkey and stuffing and collard greens.
So this year, we made a gratitude tree. Ella’s birthday party is the gift that keeps on giving because I was able to use the tree I had used for her enchanted forest and the flowers, too. It was super easy to make originally, just taping the leaves up in a pattern I liked. For the trunk, I used gold tulle and braided a brown streamer on top of it. Ella had helped me make all the leaves back in September so it was fun to work with her again and watch her creativity.
As a family, we wrote down our most special blessings on the pink petals and we’ve been adding them to the tree one at a time. Ella’s have been my favorite: God, Jack, Play Doh, Dad, and then at the end and with a little prompting, Mama.
I liked being able to sit down and really think about the most important things in my life that I’m grateful to have. Being a mom is getting harder and busier but I also feel like the blessings are greater.
This year, I am most grateful for the atonement, The Curated Kids, my sisters, and of course Matthew and my little darlings. All of these things have brought me such joy and peace this year; I feel tremendously lucky to count each of them among my blessings.
If you’re wanting to make this time of year about more than food and presents, I would encourage you to make your own gratitude tree with your kids or just list what you are grateful to have in your life. Ella is getting to the age now where we can include her in the reasons behind these fun holidays and it felt good to share it with her.
It was a fun activity for our family but also a good reminder that even in the midst of busy schedules and temper tantrums and dirty diapers, we have so, so much to be thankful for.