A Thanksgiving Tree

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First of all, I know what you’re thinking.

This is just some lame excuse to put your Christmas tree up early isn’t it?

Why yes, yes it is. But let’s be honest, who needs an excuse anymore? My neighbors fully decked out the outside of their house for Christmas on November 1st. Like lights, wreaths, an enormous nutcracker on the front porch, the whole shebang.

I’ve been wondering where I would put my Christmas tree since before our living room even had carpet. Or walls for that matter. (If you’re new here, head on over to the home remodel to see what I’m talking about.) When the living room was more or less put together, I realized that it’s super tiny and there isn’t a whole lot of room for a big ol tree.

But the ceilings are high so I decided to get a tall and skinny one. And when I set my mind to wanting to buy something, I can’t really change focus until that something is in my living room, put together and plugged in. So here we are.

And that’s where Daniel Tiger comes in. All my fellow moms of toddlers raise your hands if Daniel’s in the house!! Daniel is in our house all the time. If you don’t watch the show, it’s a cartoon based on the characters in Mister Roger’s neighborhood and it’s full of catchy tunes that teach kids things like, “Grown-ups come back” and “Friends help each other, yes they do, it’s true” and my personal favorite, “If you have to go potty, stop and go right away. Flush and wash and be on your way.”

But I digress.

On a particular episode of Daniel Tiger it was Thankful Day and the whole town (neighborhood?) gets together and hangs thank you cards on the tree to those they are thankful to. All the cute little characters draw pictures and whatnot to their parents, teachers, and mailman and that’s when the light bulb went off in my head.

Yes this is a children’s show, but that’s a good idea.

Thanksgiving is all about being thankful for what we have and apart from eating a crap ton of food (which I guess means we’re thankful for how much we have..or something) and going around the dinner table to say what we’re thankful for, our family traditions don’t focus a whole lot on gratitude. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great holiday for gathering and spending time with friends and family but when are we acknowledging our gratitude?

So here I am with this undecorated Christmas tree in my living room and this Daniel Tiger thank you tree idea in my head and BAM! The Thanksgiving tree is born.

The basic idea is to take time either throughout the month of November or just on Thanksgiving day itself and write a thank you note to someone. It’s a way to show your gratitude and help someone else feel appreciated. If you do it all November long, you could just set your cards on the tree as you write them, for decoration, and then mail them out later.

I love the idea of everyone sitting down and reading our cards to each other before we indulge in a lovely meal. And hey, maybe we’ll save the cards with the Thanksgiving decorations and each year the tree will get more and more full of cards and we can always look back and remember what, or who, we were thankful for in years past.

So here’s to a new Thanksgiving tradition! What do you like to do to show you’re grateful during Thanksgiving?

The BEST Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is one of those holidays that I basically just looked forward to because of the break from school. I prefer the ham at Christmas to the turkey at Thanksgiving, there aren’t any presents to open or buy and there aren’t a plethora of Thanksgiving decorations. This is the first year that I haven’t been in school during Thanksgiving and somehow it made me actually enjoy the holiday MORE. go figure.

It is so rare that things go exactly how you planned them, but this year, by some miracle they did (mostly). This year our turkey dinner was to be cooked by my little sister, Madeleine and I. The first one either of us had ever done. But besides, you know, wrestling with a raw bird, we had some of our own favorite traditions that we couldn’t miss. And we even added a few new ones.

Let me walk you through the BEST Thanksgiving:

{TUESDAY}

Madeleine and I got a late start on our grocery shopping and had to take Evelyn with us. But miraculously she fell asleep in the car on the way there, and STAYED ASLEEP THROUGH MOST OF THE SHOPPING. And get this, when she did wake up, she was content to just sit in her carseat. It was a Thanksgiving miracle. We found every last thing on our list and made it out of the store in about an hour.

That evening, with the help of our mom, we made a cooking schedule and planned out our music video to a T. Which brings us to…

{WEDNESDAY}

::a little background::

Last year was the first time I had been home for Thanksgiving in 6 years. One night Madeleine and I decided to have a girl’s night and make a music video. Turns out that making a music video was a lot more work and less fun than we were expecting. We sort of quit halfway through and the ending result, while kinda funny, is proof of our lack of follow through.

 It was an odd mashup of Walk Like an Egyptian and Wannabe.
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Somehow however, making a music video became a Thanksgiving tradition. Now, the video has absolutely NOTHING to do with Thanksgiving but alas…it’s now a tradition.

This year, after making a music video of my own back in February, I knew how we needed to plan out this one to make it go off without a hitch. It took us the whole day, but we did it. We filmed and I edited the whole thing by Wednesday evening. Granted, I left Madeleine making the rolls while I edited, but we were pleased with ourselves. Especially considering how we gave up last year!

Please enjoy a few screenshots. The video is a bit too embarrassing to reveal. Maybe if enough people want to see it, I’ll post it. Maybe. See if you can guess the four songs we used…

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