I am someone who is just a tad obsessed with Christmas. So much so, that I start playing Christmas music MONTHS in advance, not because I want to overlook the other holidays in between, but because Christmas music has a way of singing to my soul and helping me remember why I am here.
Not to mention though, I still do love Thanksgiving and it’s a time of the year that I never want to take for granted, nor it let go by the wayside. I’ve learned you can learn to be more thankful when you consistently recognize the gift that Jesus Christ is to us all, in both Thanksgiving and Christmas.
So when I was talking to Mazy about Thanksgiving, I told her I wanted to do something special with her. Something that would help us take time to reflect on the abundance of God’s grace in our lives. Mazy has a thankful heart that challenges mine, and a heart that thinks outside the box. So when I thought about what to do, I knew I wanted to make a tree where we could hang leaves on it, listing what we were thankful for. And trust me, you can EASILY do this too, if you are looking for a simple way to incorporate Thanksgiving into the entire month. Check it out:
We started by simply walking around our yard, picking up sticks. Double deal right? Sticks that needed to be picked up are now actually being picked up, AND they are used for something! Nothing fancy…just sticks that fell off our trees. I then put them in a vase I had in the cupboard.
Next, I found a few pieces of old scrapbook paper. I free-handed a leaf shape and just ran with it…nothing fancy. I couldn’t find my hole-punch (recommended), so I used a scissor to poke holes in the tops of the leaves and then cut a slit (very key) at the top, so that I could “wrap” each leaf around the branch. Then I wouldn’t have to slide it down or use string to attach, which to me, complicated it even more. As you can see, they aren’t uniform, but who’s going to be able to tell, except by looking at this picture?
Scissors-made hole with the slit cut:
Then, I just started asking Mazy what she was thankful for. Here are the first 3 she came up with, which made me again realize, how out of the box she thinks! Love that little girl’s faith:
- The balloon man from Logans. In Holland, there is a guy who can make the most INCREDIBLE balloon animals and figures. If you’ve seen him, you know who and what I’m talking about. Hands down, he (I think his name is Nick), should go on America’s Got Talent! Anyways, Mazy was thankful for him.
- Arlene (I think I got her name right). A sweet, sweet lady, who walked up to Mazy and I the other day at the grocery store, and wanted to buy/give Mazy a little paintable ceramic tea set. Such a humbling gesture, that just made Mazy’s day! We’ve been playing it ever since.
- Gifts. “Mommy, I’m thankful for all of the gifts and things to do that people gave me while you were in the hospital.” This just goes to show, how much that meant to her and what a lasting mark it left on her little heart, so thank you.
How I attached the leaves to the tree…
And this list is just scratching the surface! I have a whole baggy full of leaves cut out, so that each day, we can add a few more. And I’m determined to make them all different because God has just given us an immeasurable amount of things to be thankful for. Far beyond possessions!
If you are looking for an easy, simple, and impactful way to celebrate Thanksgiving all month long, this is a great activity to do with your kiddos, or with your spouse even! Again, we have more than we could ever ask for!
On a side note: If you have been to our house, you might have seen random items hanging from the light in our dining room. There are moments in our life where God answers some pretty big prayers. Moments where we aren’t sure how it’s all going to work out, to the point of tears, but God provides above and beyond, what we could even dream of. For instance, there is a spark plug hanging. On the way home from my ICD surgery, Dan’s truck was giving him issues (our van was in the shop at the time) and we learned between both of our vehicles, it would cost well over $2,000 to fix them. And we just had some hefty medical bills come through, so we were overwhelmed. But Dan, my handyman, found the issue with his vehicle and it ended up only being a $50 spark plug fix. ONLY GOD! Talk about God providing in ways when we least expect it!
I like to think of these as our “memorial stones“!