The holidays are a big deal in my family. We don’t have a lot of close family near us, so it is up to my husband and me to make sure our kids have a great sense of what family is and how important it is to keep up traditions. Since we first started dating, we have always had a big spread for Thanksgiving and Christmas, even if it was just the two of us. Now that we have kids, we put even more emphasis on the meanings behind the “fun” holidays.
With a demanding preschooler in the house, it is very important for us to teach her the fundamentals of gratefulness and thanks. It is never too early to start, so we try to include our toddler in our projects and conversations, although I really don’t think he understands much. We are hoping that our preschooler can help rub off on him as he gets older.
Recently, I came across the idea of a Thankful Tree. The girls at Twitchetts had a great tutorial on how to create one. Since I am not that patient, and frankly, my preschooler has the attention span of, well, a preschooler, I went for a quicker version. I used some brown pipe cleaners from my daughter’s busy box and crafted one by twisting the pipe cleaners together and building a base. I think it came out cute, and it even stands up by itself.
Instead of leaves, we used a Thanksgiving Turkey Craft kit that we found at Michaels. It makes 20 turkeys, and my daughter loves putting them together (they are all just stickers, including the eyes, so she can easily assemble them). Once they are all assembled, the next step will be to write on the back of each turkey what we are thankful for. Then the tree will be our centerpiece for Thanksgiving dinner.
In making this tree, I was inspired to ask others what they were grateful for. Here are a few answers I received:
I am grateful for my supportive parents, my husband and children, and my toy poodle who loves to cuddle with me when I’m feeling down! – Tanya of My Fruitful Home
Some of the aspects of my life I feel the most grateful for are what my husband has given up to be with me. When we met he lived in Belgium and was working in a very lucrative position. He gave that up to move back to Canada so he could be with me. Since then, he has been in a job he hasn’t loved and the pay has been inconsistent. We have had our fair share of financial stress, but have had such a richness in all other aspects of our lives. We had our daughter very shortly after we were married and got pregnant with our son very soon after that. Our first 4.5 years together as a couple have been nothing short of a whirlwind. If it weren’t for my husband’s sacrifices, I wouldn’t be in the best relationship of my life, with the two most beautiful kids I have ever set my eyes on. For my husband, and my two little ones, my life is abundantly blessed and I am eternally grateful. – Alana of Healthy Family Simple Budget
I am thankful that I have two healthy, funny, amazing kids that are the light of my life. I am thankful for my husband that has sacrificed so much so that I can stay home and be with our kids. I am thankful that I found a true partner that supports me, respects me, loves me without doubt, and pushes me to be a better person. I am so blessed to have found a family in him and to have a great life with our kids.