November 5, 2013

The Thankful Tree

Thanksgiving seems to have become the lost holiday. Nestled somewhere in between Halloween and Christmas, it really doesn't get the attention it deserves. American stores are now considering opening their doors so people can get a jump start on holiday shopping. I've never been a fan of shopping at any time near Thanksgiving, but to open up on Thanksgiving day just breaks my heart.

Regardless of the countless ways retailers and others try to commercialize the holidays, or how you personally feel about shopping on Thanksgiving day (I realize it's a time-honored tradition to shop on Black Friday for some), we can all agree that it is definitely the time of year to reflect on all of the things we are most thankful for.

Working in a world where an abundance of things is a part of life, I have chosen to live my life a bit more simply. I have also tried to help my clients live in a similar fashion by teaching them to know when to say enough is enough. If you don't really need it, let less is more become your mantra. Living beautifully is not about things. Instead I hope we can all be happy with what we have and slow down just long enough to appreciate it.

The Thankful Tree you see pictured above is a nice way to not only decorate for the season, but to remind ourselves to be grateful for all we have. Simply fill a decorative container with an array of branches (sand or stones will keep them in place), leave out some scraps of paper or tags that you can create from cardstock, and then let family and friends write down anything they are thankful for. Attach them to the tree with bits of twine or ribbon. Then on Thanksgiving day, take turns reading each one aloud. Start a tradition and keep your words of thanks from year to year. (Don't forget to date them.) Once the tree is bare, and the Christmas season is in full swing, you can then hang Christmas cards from its branches and continue the tradition of sharing each message at your holiday table.

I am thankful to you, my readers, family and friends.

Photos: Jones Design Company