Thursday, November 8, 2012

Thanksgiving Tree

A few years ago I started a new tradition in our home.  I have spent many years finding nice Thanksgiving decorations for our home to celebrate this important holiday.  It seems in America that we went from Halloween straight to Christmas.  Commercially it started feeling like more and more the Thanksgiving holiday existed to start the Christmas shopping season and for people to get a jump on the Christmas sales.  The most I heard about Thanksgiving were the food ads.

I decided that this holiday needed more importance than a meal.  Life is certainly much easier for us now than it was all those years ago when the Pilgrims sat down with the Indians and celebrated a successful year.  Maybe because of this ease and modern conveniences we have now we forget how truly difficult it can be for others or even for ourselves.  I am guilty as the next person of forgetting hard times once through them when life is good.  There is nothing wrong with this I believe we shouldn't dwell on the negatives in life.  However, I do think it is of utmost importance to be thankful and give thanks for what we do have.

I wanted my family to slow down enough to understand beyond the traditional Thanksgiving meal, the desserts and the football games and understand and appreciate what being thankful is and how much we do have to be thankful for.

In that spirit I decided when I was decorating the house for Thanksgiving that I would bring out the Christmas tree early.  We drape fall foliage on our tree, hang wooden gourds, pumpkins, and acorns that we collect outside.  We place leaf garlands and scarecrows on the tree and drape raffia on as a final touch.

When we decorate the tree I notice several things happen around our home from that point on.  One major thing that happens is we talk about thanksgiving.  Mission accomplished!  Everyone starts really getting into the Thanksgiving spirit and we focus on the holiday at hand.  We don't skip over it as the "meal" holiday but slow down and give Thanksgiving and all it means it's true dedicated focus. 


Daphne Bryson said...

Good Morning Amy, what a lovely idea to dress a Christmas tree with harvest goods. Because it is visual, the reminder is there to give thanks for what we have. Having visited India and seeing the poverty, I am a millionaire by comparison. I have a nice home, heating to keep me warm during the winter, plenty of food to eat and I have freedom. I am so grateful.
Have a lovely weekend with your family. Best Wishes Daphne

Anne Reardon said...

I like this idea. We don't celebrate Thanksgiving here in Australia but it is certainly a worthwhile celebration. It's nice that you are trying to get to the real (and original) meaning of the celebration. Don't you think all our 'celebrations' these days are becoming over-commercialised and the real meanings are being lost?

Donna said...

How pretty! What a lovely idea :) Great post,my friend!

The Working Home Keeper said...

Oh, wow! I love this idea!

Mary Ellen
The Working Home Keeper

Little Home In The Country said...

That is a wonderful idea! In Canada, we celebrate Thanksgiving in early October, so the day isn't as "wrapped up" in the retail craziness of Christmas. We spend quite a bit of time talking about the origins of the holiday and of course what we are thankful for in our own lives. Good for you for making an effort to focus attention on what matters.. Love the tree!

prairieharmony said...

Donna, Daphne, and Mary Ellen, thank you all so much for your comments I'm glad you like this idea.
Anne, I completely agree that it seems most holidays are about what we can buy.
Little Home In The Country, thank you for sharing how you celebrate Thanksgiving in Canada for us all to learn something new. How interesting and what a great idea!
Have a wonderful day :)

Heather Hadden said...

A very inspiring idea, thanks for sharing with us! :)