Thursday, January 12, 2012

Thanksgiving Tree

I know everyone has gone ahead and moved on to Christmas.. Thanksgiving was so last month.. But I am living in the past, so here I am with a Thanksgiving post.

This is the part where everyone is like, 'What? What is she talking about? Christmas was last month, not Thanksgiving!' Well that's just how long ago it was when I started writing this post.. We've had a lot going on, you know? But I wanted to share it anyway because I love the idea and it will be a permanent tradition for us.. So here it is!

I thought it would be fun this year to do a Thanksgiving tree. Some friends of ours (Hi Tallons!) had a fun idea of writing down things they were thankful for every day up until Thanksgiving. In keeping with the season, they did this on autumn-colored leaf shapes and hung them in their house.

The fact that they did them on leaves inspired me to make a tree out of the whole thing, so this year we had a thankful tree hanging on our window.

Aed helped me make him (the tree, that is) and requested that he have a smiley face, so a smiley face he had! :)

Then I just cut easy leaf shapes out of construction paper and put them in a bowl with a marker and some tape so we could write down what we were each thankful for at dinner time.

Aed is still a bit young for this kind of activity, but he gradually caught on and came up with some really fun things to put on the tree. I had hoped to be able to let him stick the leaves on and have some at the bottom of the tree as if they had fallen to the ground, but with them being so low he couldn't resist pulling them off all day long. So, I moved his leaves and from then on he was picked up to put his leaves up high on the tree :).

After about three weeks of Thankfuls every night, we ended up with a pretty full tree and wonderful reminders of the many ways the Lord has blessed us.

I think for future years this tradition will need some work in the closure arena.  With our move looming and Ian needing to get his thesis turned in, we didn't do a whole lot of enjoying or contemplating the finished tree. Next year, hopefully, we can spend some time as a family soaking in God's goodness through seeing the many things we are thankful for.

We also had a really fun Thanksgiving with the Sonjus and the Bawulskis that was very reminiscent of our second Thanksgiving here.. aside from the fact that now six children were involved :) Holidays don't come as naturally when you're far from family, especially when no one else is celebrating, but it is great to have such good friends to celebrate with!

Then comes Christmas which was good and crazy and weird and different. I can't find our camera so I have pretty much no Christmas pictures, but we had a blast watching our little man (well, men, but one was far more involved than the other :) be showered with gifts. We were showered as well, which we are beyond thankful for, but having a kiddo that is old enough to love things and know what's going on makes Christmas a whole new level of fun. There wasn't enough Jesus in this Christmas for me (though I did love having church on Christmas morning), nor were there enough traditions beginning, BUT I am cutting us slack because this Christmas could not have been more unusually timed coming right on the heels of our move.

These last few weeks have been a bit surreal. We are just welcoming a time where it seems we might be able to settle in and find some kind of routine. Each day brings joy, confusion, struggle, and fun, so we are just taking them as they come. :)

One thought that keeps resurfacing in my mind is that when you are really in a place of need, the generosity of others is that much more astounding. I have been brought to tears more than once when thinking about the slew of people that have risen to the occasion of reaching out to us as we have need. Be it through Christmas gifts (especially for our wee ones), heartfelt, understanding conversations, a roof over our heads, or cleaning up after our frenzied exit from our home, the list just goes on and on. This thought naturally leads me to think of Christ and how if I am really aware of my need in my sin, his willing generosity is far more astounding than any example set by the people around us right now. I am so thankful to walk this road with the Savior. Life is crazy and takes you all over the place and through all kinds of things. I am so grateful that no matter what is put on my plate, I am held up through it all by an unshakeable Jesus.

1 comment:

  1. We did Thanksgiving trees when our girls were little, and we saved several of them. It's really fun to go back and see what everyone was thankful for. I think my favorite was when a very little Joanna was thankful for her belly button!

    I'm glad to hear how you were blessed this Christmas! You are right to give yourself grace for things being a little chaotic. Hopefully the next few years will bring a lot more peace, and those traditions will come together. For now, let God and those around you care for you in this transition. And come to Chicago asap. ;-)