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I’m Thankful….

I don’t know about you, but I have very distinct memories of Thanksgiving dinners as a kid.  I remember how my mother made my sister and I wear matching dresses {for probably too many years}, and that we always had to wear those {super} uncomfortable knit tights that I would promptly remove once everyone “saw” me.  I remember walking into my grandmother’s dining room to see the china, crystal and silver….it only came out twice a year, so you knew it was going to be a special meal!  I remember waiting {way too long} to sit down to dinner, and once we sat….all we wanted to do was get up from the table!

My mother started a tradition in our family when I was very young: go around the table (round and round, to last the entire meal) and each person would say what they were thankful for that year.  It started off seriously – health and happiness – and would eventually end up with us kids saying “chocolate” (still a favorite of mine) or “legos” or “twinkies”.  The older I got, the more fun I had listening to what all of the younger cousins would say….and the more I realized that my mother created this activity not just for us to reflect and truly think about what we were thankful for……but also to get us to sit at the table longer!

I love the idea of continuing this tradition….and it doesn’t have be just for kids!  Instead of {only} going around the table verbally saying what you are thankful for, try creating a Thanksgiving wish tree.  It could make a darling centerpiece on your kids table, or a lovely addition to your Thanksgiving dessert table.

We’ve seen this concept at weddings, wishing the couple our best wishes.  Or even at a baby shower, offering advice for the mom-to-be.  But I think this is a fabulous activity for Thanksgiving….giving everyone a chance to reflect and say why they are thankful.  That’s really what the holiday is about right?!

The actual tree can take on many different looks, here are a few different options….I hope you find one that suits your home, and that you will considering creating one of your own this year!

Images: paper leaves (, fall moss/branches tree (via Kelly Lyden), white wish tree (, and silver wish tree (

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  1. avatar Tita says:

    I like the look of the wish tree on the first photo. And Krista is right. Since it’s already too late now, I’m going to make this tree next year. We don’t have the tradition of saying what we are thankful for, but it would be nice to start one. It would make thanksgiving more memorable, other than the great food.

  2. avatar Krista says:

    Happy Thanksgiving! This wish tree idea is great! How come I never thought of this! It really does make a nice and very relevant centerpiece for the dining table. Family members can grab their pens and get a leaf and write down while they are waiting for last-minute dinner preparations or right before taking their seats. I am going to do this next year!

  3. avatar Suzanne Lewis says:

    I like the thought of the Thankful Tree.

    txhottie_86 at yahoo dot com

  4. avatar Suzanne Lewis says:

    I love traditions. Thanks for sharing.

    txhottie_86 at yahoo dot com

  5. avatar Celeste says:

    Love all of these… great conversation-piece, for sure!

  6. avatar Kelly says:

    Your mother was a very smart women. What a great idea and I love the different trees. Planing on trying this at our holiday table this year. :)

  7. avatar Katy says:

    so cute! Thanks~!

  8. avatar aimee c. says:

    i adore this idea! thanks for sharing!