Thanksgiving is just around the corner! If you’re like me, your family probably has many different traditions that help bring you closer together and, at the same time, help pass along your faith. There is one special tradition of my family’s that I’d love to share with you. This is an easy craft, one that grandkids of any age can participate in, and one you can do whether your grandkids live near or far.
Our family calls this the Thanksgiving Blessing Tree, although some refer to it as the Thankful Tree. There are many variations of how to create the tree, and there is no right or wrong way. You can be as simple, fancy, or as creative as you and your grandkids want to be!
You can form your tree out of construction paper or cardboard by cutting a trunk and branches out of either material. I used cardboard so it would last longer. Either way, if you want a large tree that you can put on your refrigerator or against a wall, you’ll need to piece together several sections of branches and a trunk. Once that is formed, make leaves from various fall colors of construction paper. (See image below from http://www.ecenglish.com.)
Another idea for making your tree–and one that will surely endure the ages–is to use an actual tree branches, turning one branch sideways to create the trunk. Or, form a trunk and branches out of wire simply by twisting wire pieces of branches together to wrap and bend around the trunk. With either method, insert the trunk into a sand or gravel-filled pot, and use construction paper or craft foam for the leaves. To hang the leaves, punch a hole in the “stem” then create a loop with yarn or thread to go through the hole and around the branches. (See image below from http://www.spoonful.com.)
Now, your part is done! Your grandkids’ job is to either create their own leaves or use ones that you provide and write on them the various ways that God has blessed them during the past year. You can do this on Thanksgiving Day when your grandkids are with you, or have them mail you their finished leaves if they live far away. Be sure they put their name on the leaves if you have more than one grandchild, perhaps a picture of themselves, and date each leaf with the year.
If you have several grandkids, you’ll have a very full tree after only a few years. But what a great way to count God’s blessings throughout your family and to see a touching reminder every year of how God is moving in your family’s life!
If you have special traditions or similar crafts you’d like to share with our readers, please let us know about them.