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Let’s Make a Thankful Tree!


When November comes, it is so easy to shift into being thankful.

Flat tire? We give thanks for what we may have been protected from out on the road.

Sink full of dishes? This is the month we are thankful for the food that was on those dishes.

Loads upon loads of laundry? We are grateful for the clothes that we have.

Why is it that our hearts give thanks for every inconvenience in November, but we forget to be thankful for those same things throughout the year? And believe me, I’m usually the one that forgets in our home.

One thing I have done with my kids for years is a Thankful Tree. This tree is as simple as they come, but it is a constant reminder of all of the little things to be thankful for.

That sink full of dishes… write it on a leaf. The next time you’re tempted to complain about it during December through October, pull out your leaves and remember how you felt about it back in November.

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You can easily make your own Thankful Tree with your children. All you need is a packet of construction paper, scissors, this free printable, scotch tape, and a marker.

Making Your Thankful Tree

First, pull out the brown sheets from your construction paper packet. Tear the longer edges to make the tree trunk a little rougher.

Next, tape the construction paper to a door or wall the long way to build your tree as tall as you want it to be.

Use a few of the leftover brown construction paper sheets to freehand cut out several branches. Tape them to the top of the tree and in random places around the trunk.

Print the leaf printable out on different fall colored construction paper options (green, orange, yellow, red, and brown) and cut them out (especially if you have littles who haven’t gotten the hang of scissors yet).


Finally, choose a time each day to sit down as a family to write out what you are each thankful for (our family uses dinnertime to fill out our leaves). Even if your 4-year-old says, “The dog!”, write it down. We are teaching our children to be thankful, not what to be thankful for. (You can follow the progress of our “Thankful Tree” over on Instagram.)

Our children are now 15 and 12, and they still look forward to our Thankful Tree. The best part is, they can actually help me make the tree at this point. They can form the tree, cut out the leaves, and tape them in a nicely arranged way instead of clumping them together the way they used to. It makes me hopeful to think that one day, they may continue this tradition in their own homes.

May the spirit of thankfulness that we practice throughout the month of November follow us into the busyness of the Christmas season and into the year ahead.