Those 25 days of Christmas are truly the best time of the year!
And you know what makes it even better?! Seeing it from the perspective of a child.
My boys are still very young. The oldest is 3 but he’s already catching on to what Christmas is really about.
You know the gifts and getting. Wait…
That’s not what it’s about at all. I mean, that’s fun and all. Who doesn’t want a gift?!
But, this year I’ve noticed him leaning more towards all the things he wants. Which is literally every type of robot known to man.
Don’t get me wrong. It’s fun to get gifts. I like gifts a lot! Bring on all the Target things.
But, when our kids are learning so many new things (even when we don’t realize it). For example, my son knew all about Santa before I taught him anything about Santa.
They are little sponges soaking up all we do say or don’t say.
So, I decided it was time to be proactive and give some guidance on what Christmas is really about.
Life, love, grace and thanks!
I honed in on the thanks part because the other things tend to follow.
That’s how I came up with the Thankful Tree!
Why should being thankful stop with Thanksgiving. It makes so much sense to keep that gratitude train going. And that’s just what I think we should do.
Here is how the Thankful Tree works!
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25 Days of Christmas with a Thankful Tree
Think advent calendar with a twist.
After you make your Thankful Tree. Which I’ll give steps to below.
All you do ask your child what they are thankful for starting December 1st and continuing through 25 Days of Christmas.
Once they answer, you write what they said onto one of the ornaments and tape or glue it to your tree.
At the end of December your tree will be full. And you and your family will have a visual reminder of all the things you have to be thankful for.
Related: Christmas Sensory for Toddlers
How to Make a Thankful Tree
I’m not a crafty person so the assembly was pretty basic.
Materials for Thankful Tree:
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- Paper Roll – so you can make your tree tall enough
- Washable Paint
- Kid Scissors
- Painter’s Tape – to tape it to the wall without pulling paint
- Printable Circles – 25 will fit perfectly on about a 2 foot tree
Assembly of Thankful Tree
Using the Paper Roll I found that about 3 feet was a great length for the Thankful Tree, title and tree stump.
Then I used a pencil to draw the Christmas Tree because erasers are good thing.
After I drew the tree we used our Washable Paint (key word, washable) to paint our tree green.
Then we cut out the circles for the ornaments. My son helped for about two seconds but his efforts were valiant.
After the tree and ornaments were ready. I talked to him about what this tree was for and what being thankful meant.
We talked about…
- What it meant to be thankful.
- Going over things that we have to be thankful for.
- Brainstorming what he wanted to put on the ornaments.
Related: Teach Your Kids to Care
Once we had our list I wrote one thing on each ornament. For a total of 25 ornaments.
Using Painter’s Tape I hung our Thankful Tree in our kitchen. I wanted it to be in a high traffic area so we wouldn’t forget about it.
Now for the month of December we will put an ornament on the tree for every day.
As you put the ornament on the tree talk about what they are thankful for and why they are thankful.
By December 25th your tree will be full and prayerfully their minds will not just be focused on all the gifts. But, on also being thankful for all the gifts and the 25 other things they listed.
Being thankful is a characteristic that will teach them love, compassion and grace. And hopefully remind them to say Thank You after they’ve opened all of their gifts Christmas morning.
I hope you and your family have a very Merry and Thankful Christmas!
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