Sunday, November 10, 2013

How Does Your Garden Grow?

It seems I have hit upon a theme over the month---trees and gratitude. Last year, we did this activity and I had already planned on making it a yearly ritual. I grew up in Indiana with a traditional fall---turning leaves, the smell of bonfires, crisp football Saturdays. When we moved to L.A., I found substitutes for most of the things I missed about home, but I couldn't find anything that made me feel as cozy as fall. I tried to make do by taping leaves to the windows or attempting to jump through my tv screen when I was watching a Big Ten game. My mom even sent me a box filled with leaves and sticks one year just so I could smell home. 

So last year, we decided to make an autumn tree to decorate the house and it just naturally evolved into a Gratitude Tree. We traced leaves onto colored paper and cut them out. Then we cut paper bags and fashioned them into a trunk and branches and taped them to the wall. Each day, we each wrote something we were grateful for on a leaf and taped it on the tree. Our then 3-year-old even had us writing leaves for her (she was usually grateful for seaweed snacks). By Thanksgiving, we had our own little piece of fall in the house. This year instead of tracing leaves, I printed them using this template. If you want to save the trouble of cutting them out, you can find die-cut cardstock leaves at craft stores or here. If you aren't feeling crafty, you could simply write your entry on your calender. Instead of fall leaves, you could write on pieces of ribbon and tie them to a plant, a fence or a wreath, you could write on slips of paper and use clothespins to pin them to a string or you could simply tape a piece of paper to the wall and write on it daily. You can make it as simple or as fancy as you would like. Regardless of what you choose, it will cultivate gratitude during this season of Thanksgiving.

Have a great week!

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