Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Thanksgiving Tree

This year we made a Thanksgiving Tree. Neither Jon nor I are very keen to spontaneously talk about personal things and inevitably someone will want to ask, "What are YOU thankful for?" This usually means a couple of seconds of mental scrambling only to come up with something lame...like grilled cheese or chocolate covered walnuts while other family members wax poetically about family and friends.

Our Thanksgiving Tree was an excellent way to get around the awkwardness. Not that there's anything wrong with being thankful for grilled cheese (I am...very thankful indeed!) but this tree gave us the opportunity to be honest without being embarrassed.

Besides - I'm a writer not a public speaker.

I took an old silver urn that Jon picked up from a previous job and filled it with florists' foam. I had some dried flowers from two old bouquets, cut them to size and jabbed into the foam around the edge of the urn. When we moved this past summer, there were dead bushes in front of our house. I pulled them up and left them in the back yard to use for kindling. One of them turned out to be a perfect tiny "tree" so into the middle of the urn that went. Burlap cut from an old coffee sack went around the base of the "tree" to cover the foam. Finally, we put out a stack of tags, string, and a pen and encouraged others to write their Thanksgiving thoughts down by hanging ours before the guests arrived.


That's the final product! It turned out so lovely I may take the tags off and just decorate the "tree" with Christmas ornaments.

And yes...those are real book pages hanging on the wall. That's what happens when I have a week off from school.

TELL ME: Did you do anything different this year for Thanksgiving? Have any "unbreakable" family traditions you're dying to change? Just curious...


  1. no we did not do anything different but i am so stealing your idea for this tree for next year...a very cool idea....and i am def thankful for grilled cheese....smiles.

  2. Beautiful! What a lovely idea! You are so artsy and creative!! I may have grilled cheese for lunch.:)

  3. I like the tree idea...and I like having everyone think about what they are thankful for. And while everyone goes on and on about family and friends... blah, blah, blah...I'm thankful for good appliances and heat and stuff like that. I think everyday things are most important to our happy survival and we shouldn't take things like the refrigerator for granted. Just ask those folks who lost power from Sandy.... Right?

  4. Hi Jen. I love the 'tree' you made, so original. We don't celebrate thanksgiving here but I guess at the moment I'm thankful my "Petal' has a little more time with us yet. Hugs Sue

  5. Brian: Steal away! And sometimes it's good to stick with traditions.

    Alex: We saw a "wishing" tree at a festival this year and converted the idea to Thanksgiving. Sad to say, it's not original to me!

    Kathy: Thanks! And I hope you enjoyed the grilled cheese :)

    Ms. Sparrow: Thank you!

    Lin: You are so right! After a while, the family and friends thing gets rote. I'm super thankful for central heating, my fireplace, and, of course, grilled cheese!

    Maa: Thank you! There are so many holidays in the world and I'm always interested in those that aren't familiar. Sometimes, it's hard for me to remember that Thanksgiving is one of those non-familiar holidays to most of the world! Hugs!!

  6. What a lovely idea! I especially love the book pages backdrop... really charming!


Well, hello! I'm so glad you made it. Come inside and sit by the hearth. I'll take your coat and hat. The kettle is singing and there's cake and candles and good conversation. Settle in and make yourself at home. Don't mind the wolfhounds; they're friendly if you give them a bit of lemon curd.