Saturday, November 26, 2011

Oh Christmas Gratitude Tree

Earlier this month, I had an idea. I often have these grand ideas, but rarely follow through. I think this one worked out really well though. My idea was to do a Christmas tree, but instead of decorating it with ornaments, we would decorate it with all the things we are grateful for. A gratitude tree, if you will.  

It was one of those ideas that I really wasn't sure how to implement. We had a tall narrow tree already, but I didn't think we could fit our gratitude on there with all of our other ornaments.   also didn't think Brad would be keen on giving up his Star Wars* ornaments in exchange for one of my crazy ideas (he wasn't), and I wasn't even sure how we would hang our gratitude on a tree. Fortunately, things have a way of working out sometimes.  

We have plenty of space for two trees and Brad's aunt Shirley and uncle Mike are downsizing their Christmas decorations, so a few weeks ago, they drove all the way out here and brought us this huge (really, we had to leave off the entire bottom section for it to fit), lovely tree for our dining room (and somewhere on our tree, there is a little tag with their names on it, saying how thankful we are for their generosity). This was perfect, because we used to use real trees, until 2003, when I dragged our tree out, in February, leaving a trail carpet of pine needles through the entire house, and I was so mad that in a fit of hyperbole I swore we would never, ever, ever, have a real tree again, not even if someone paid us a million dollars. So we're all about the artificial kind now, and last night, after assembling them, I found a package of old school, non-adhesive, cardstock gift tags in the bottom of a box of decorations. I gathered a little basket, some pens, a hole punch, and then I got to work.

After dinner tonight, we all stayed at the table and wrote down some of the things we are grateful for. We filled out names, where applicable, and wrote our messages on the backs of the cards. Then Ariana cut approximately one thousand tiny pieces of string (for which I am very thankful), and we hung them up, like this:

We did add some ornaments, because we were afraid the tree would look bare without any. I'm not usually one for themey trees, but we decided to use all white on this tree, so they wouldn't compete with our little gratitude cards. Thanks to Jan, we had plenty to spare, because between our own ornaments and the ones we got from Jan, our other tree was full even without the white ones.

*Not that Brad even likes Star Wars anymore, because George Lucas totally ruined it with CGI.


  1. Lovely trees! And I know I would have trouble giving up that Yoda ornament... ;)

  2. Thank you! I loved both trees, but the second one with the jumble of random ornaments we've collected over the years (including many from our childhoods), was definitely my favorite. I think Christmas trees are best with a generous dash of whimsy. :)