Gratitude Tree

Every November I try to provide a place for our family to write down the blessings we’re thankful for.  This year’s version is definitely the biggest one yet.

Using branches from one of our cherry trees (which is dying), I built a mini-tree in the kitchen.  It sits between the two windows near our table.  {This also makes it difficult to photograph because of all the lighting behind it.  Sorry!}

Standing over eight feet tall, our gratitude tree is actually one really big branch with two smaller branches attached.  I spray painted them all white, but didn’t go for total coverage.  They almost look like aspen branches now.

I placed the tree in an urn, weighted it with rocks, and wrapped it in some creamy burlap I had in my stash.

I wanted to hide the spot where I attached all the branches to each other, so a burlap ribbon and vintage dictionary page “flower” was added.  In its center I attached a glitter-covered rose I had sitting around and a tag declaring this our “Harrison family gratitude tree.”

When I started this project I intended to take down the white mirror that hangs between the windows, but once it was up I loved the reflection of the branches so much that I left it in place.  It adds more dimension to the tree.

In keeping with the color scheme I chose to cut our leaves out of the same dictionary pages.  I cut them in a variety of shapes (found here) and I love the way they look.  Because they lack color their shape is emphasized.

To hang each leaf we simply punch a tiny hole and use a wire ornament hanger (purchased at the dollar store) which is then hung on a branch.  We’ve also started using a Sharpie to write on the leaves which makes it easier to read with all the dictionary text.

Last night we had a family discussion about gratitude in which my older children shared thoughts and insights that were very encouraging.   I am grateful for brief moments when I discover that we just might be getting through to them, after all.  We also talked about how Thanksgiving is the perfect prelude to the Christmas season.  I have also been pleased with the enthusiasm with which they’ve welcomed the tree to our kitchen.  It’s big enough that we can’t help but notice it and I’m excited to have it for the holidays.

So there you have it:  our 2011 gratitude tree, created entirely with materials on hand and not a single penny spent.    And for the record, I am grateful for it because it provided me with a creative outlet on a busy day, which motivated me to get my work done and which brings me joy each time I see it.  It is beautiful to me.

What do you think?  Do you do something to record your blessings and grateful thoughts during this wonderful season?  I’d love to hear.  If you’d like a peek at another adorable gratitude tree, check this out!

Jennifer
*Don’t forget:  today is the last day to enter my 2nd giveaway for some velvet pumpkins in non-traditional colors!  Leave a comment here to enter.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *