Our Thankful Tree 2019

This isn’t your average Christmas tree; it’s a Thankful Tree! I wish I could take credit for this idea. I was introduced to the idea by a primary care physician who worked with me on a faith-based research study for Advent Health System and Duke University. During one of our weekly check-in meetings, he beamed with pride when he showed me the Thankful Tree that his two daughters had decorated the night before. He shared that every day of November until Thanksgiving Day, each member of the family writes down at least one thing they’re thankful for. Then, during the Thanksgiving family dinner, they re-read their notes, reflect, and praise God in prayer together. Isn’t that the sweetest, most sentimental idea?!

At that time, Jimmy and I were childless newlyweds, but I made sure to remember that tradition for my future family. This year I made it happen! I gave myself $30 to decorate the tree. The interior decorator hobbyist in my couldn’t help but decorate our Thankful Tree with Hobby Lobby florals, burlap, and pumpkins. I also found leaf-shaped place-cards that had “I am thankful for:” written on the top. Below it we wrote that day’s thought and then placed it on the tree. This really pleased my creative, but Type A personality, ha!

I have to admit that probably every day of November we were catching up on leaf notes, but hey, that’s life with a toddler and two working parents. That’s okay. I’m grateful for grace! And I’m just really excited to start this new tradition with my little family and have another opportunity to teach Beckett the importance of being attentive to God’s blessings.

This year, I noticed that Beckett’s notes of gratitude focused on quality time with loved ones and having an abundance of food pouches, ha! Jimmy’s focused on me and my roles in the household, as well as job security. Mine focused seemed to be focused on the way God’s worked to help me run the photography business happen AND stay home with Beckett full-time.

There’s so much power in gratefulness. What are you grateful for this year? Happy Thanksgiving!