Through all the chaos of cooking, family, feasting, and cleaning we sometimes forget what Thanksgiving is really about: showing our gratitude. This holiday, why not give thanks in a simple, creative, and more permanent way? Let each of your guests write what they are thankful for either on a Thanksgiving Tree or in a Journal of Gratitude.

To make your Thanksgiving Tree, stick bare branches into a pitcher or vase filled with sand or soil. Before guests arrive, make paper ornaments. Get creative with the colors, shapes, and sizes. If you are not the artsy type, use stencils to guide your ornament designs. Then hole-punch the top of each one and string a ribbon through it. Ask each guest to write what they are thankful for, sign their name, and put the date on an ornament. Then, of course, hang it on the tree! Save each year’s ornaments as mementos. Then, you could even make a bigger tree each year and display the previous years’ ornaments alongside the new ones to make the craft even more sentimental.

A Journal of Gratitude is another great and super simple way to materialize thoughts of thanks. You can either buy a journal that is aesthetically pleasing to you or, if you have the time, go ahead and buy a plain journal and decorate the cover yourself with paper, lace, and silk cut outs. Have each of your guests write thoughts of thanks with their name and date as well. Each year you can look back at the journals and remember all that you are thankful for.


-Emily Freeman

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