We are big on tradition in our family.
As in, watch what you do one year…
…because you may be doing it years and years hence.
Like the annual family football game.
And the perfect slice of cranberry bread.
And highs and lows of the year on Thanksgiving.
And a Thanksgiving dinner table full of everything from turkey to mashed potatoes to ham to freshly baked rolls.
But my favorite family Thanksgiving tradition?
Our thankful tree.
One of my favorite books is The Giving Tree by Shell Silverstein.
If you’ve read it, you are nodding in understanding.
If you haven’t, I’ll totally Reader’s Digest is for you.
It’s about a tree who loves a little boy with all her heart. When he is young, he plays under the tree and swings from the branches and eats buckets of apples. As he grows older, he sells teh apples from the tree and uses her branches to make a house and her trunk to make a boat to sail away and explore the world. Then finally, when he is older and his travels are done, he sits on the stump and rests…
….and returns to the tree that he loves.
“And the tree was happy.”
I’ve read the story over and over and over again and I’m always amazed at the capacity of the tree to love. She gives so much and asks for nothing in return and simply finds contentment and thankfulness in the joy of giving.
I know it’s just a story and trees may or may not be aware of who they give their apples to and generally don’t volunteer their trunks for boats….
…but the lesson of the giving tree is one we can all take to heart.
To be thankful.
Thankful for baseball and basketball games and laughter and scrabble and popcorn and a fresh set of new art pencils.
Thankful for family.
Thankful for friends.
Thankful for every day the sun shines….
…and for every day it rains.
Every year we make one of these.
We gather leaves from the yard and tuck them into a vase on the table fluff them with a few twigs from the yard.
Easy and simple.
Then, I ask everyone what they are thankful for and then type all our thankfuls on small pieces of paper and clip them to the leaves.
Such a simple thing. So easy and yet sometimes so overlooked. It’s the little things that make the living all the greater.
The simple joys of life.
Leaves and leaves and leaves full of things to be thankful for.
And the tree and I were happy. 🙂
PS These munchies right here.
This is who I’m so thankful for.
Each. And. Every. One.
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