Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Giving Thanks

November first was the beginning of the count down to one of our favorite holidays, Thanksgiving! Every year we try and find ways to make Thanksgiving more meaningful for our family of four. This year we decided to start the tradition of building a "Thanksgiving Tree". 

I ordered a tree silhouette wall decal from my favorite new website, Lulu and Georgia. (Wall decals are fantastic for decorating because they are easily removed with no damage to your walls).  Each day of November, the children choose a leaf from the tree to write down what they are thankful for and then decorate the leaf so that it is filled with color. So far Izzy has said that she is thankful for her family, "the nutritious food Mommy makes", our home and our dog Sailor. Right now her focus is on things that are familiar to her, but as the days go on, she will have to reflect more deeply and as a result, I'm sure it will lead to many interesting conversations between us as a family. I can't wait to hear what she comes up with.

Our twist on this tradition was to build our tree by bringing the black silhouette to life with the color of various stickers chosen by Izzy, instead of adding a leaf each day like our friends do. If you are following our example, I suggest allowing your children to stand on a stool or a chair with you present, as they decorate, instead of pulling off a leaf each day and putting it back up. This way it is less of a process and they get the thrill of something they are not typically allowed to do (Also, I can never remember where I got the leaf from -- Mommy Brain).

A few of my girlfriends have done something similar in their homes and I always loved the idea. This year it is more of a focus for Izzy (five-years-old) than her baby brother (almost two-years-old) because she is more aware of her surroundings and can easily express her thoughts and emotions. Even though Izzy is the main participant, I think it is important to have the conversation of being thankful and what that means to our family around McClain. My belief is, the earlier children are exposed to family discussions, the better they will be at taking time to reflect and form an opinion of their own, and most importantly, learn to express their opinion in a respectful way. 

We will continue this month long craft until the day of Thanksgiving when we can step back, admire and give thanks for the true and meaningful gifts in a beautiful life. 

With love,
Mrs. Darling

The Darling Family Thanksgiving Tree

Izzy's first leaf on the tree

We love seeing the tree come to life with the blessings that we count every day. Our family can't wait to see how vibrant the tree is by Thanksgiving!

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