Grow a Tree of Thanks: A simple way to share appreciations this holiday.
Each year at holiday dinners we dutifully go around the table and share what we are thankful for -- the bountiful meal, our family, our friends. But I often leave the table feeling: a) what about the little things that often go unnoticed, and b) why don't we celebrate what we are grateful for everyday? So this year, I decided it would be different. On a quiet afternoon, when the kids were at school, I posted a simple message on a patch of free wall space in our kitchen. It read, "I am thankful for..."
This lonely little note was met with much excitement when my kids arrived home that afternoon. Pen and paper in hand, they began scribbling down some of the things that make them happy.
Each day we add something new to our budding tree -- a warm blanket, an unexpected visit from a friend, the sun peeking out from behind the clouds on a rainy day. It's an easy way to celebrate and be thankful in the moment, and it's wonderful to see our tree of thanks growing so beautifully each day.
Instead of waiting until the holidays to show our thanks, we are celebrating all that we are grateful for each day, and bringing focus to some of the little things that bring us joy when they so often (and so easily) go unnoticed. It's a small way to appreciate the simple things that make our lives special every day.
For more fun ways to spend time with your family this Thanksgiving, check out some of our easy recipes:
About the author: Jennifer Tyler Lee is a mom of two children and the creator of Crunch a Color® -- the award-winning nutrition games that make healthy eating fun. Like most parents, she struggled to get her kids to eat healthy, balanced meals, so she decided to make it into a healthy eating game and she's giving back to support non-profit kids' nutrition programs. Winner of the Dr. Toy and Parent Tested, Parent Approved awards, Crunch a Color® has been featured by Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution, Laurie David's Family Dinner, Kiwi Magazine, Dr. Greene, and Yum Food & Fun For Kids, among many others, as a simple, fun and playful way to get kids to eat healthy and try new foods. Jennifer's passion is making mealtime fun, easy and healthy for busy families. Her simple recipes, quick tips, and new food adventures are regularly featured at Pottery Barn Kids, Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution, The Huffington Post, and on her weekly recipe blog at crunchacolor.com.