Our new Thanksgiving tradition | A gratitude tree

One of the great things about having a young family is starting your own holiday traditions. The other night, I came up with a new one for us.

As you know, I’ve been excited about putting up the Christmas tree this year. On Sunday, as the snow fell right on cue, Jim and I made an agreement; he would help me get the tree down from storage if we waited to decorate it until after Thanksgiving. Deal? Deal.

I do think it’s important to honor Thanksgiving without it being overshadowed by Christmas, and, it’s Elliot’s birthday this year! We certainly have a lot of celebrating to do and the Christmas tree will have its time.

So. Later, I was going through my desk and found some letterpresses leaves I had bought last year for a table decoration. Instantly, I knew what to do with them. We are going to make a GRATITUDE TREE with these!

While the girls are still a bit young to participate, the new tradition is this: Every year we will write what we are thankful for on a special tag and hang it on the tree the week of Thanksgiving. (This year I will act as the girls’ scribe and translator.)

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Expressions of gratitude help us keep what’s most important in life in perspective and as this great article points out, produces dopamine and serotonin in our brains. So not only are we gaining a new family tradition, and a few keepsakes to reflect on each year, but we are also, essentially creating a party in our brain while we’re at it!  New favorite tradition right here. What are some of yours?

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