As I shared last week, it was nice to get away for a long weekend to visit family for an early Thanksgiving and enjoy fall in the Blue Ridge mountains. The leaves don’t really change in Florida very much at all so it was fun to enjoy the different shades of greens, golds, reds and browns.
One of my favorite ways to practice being intentional with my time and resources during a busy holiday season is to keep an attitude of appreciation. Just to be clear, I try to do this all year long but sometimes there are weeks that go by where I realize I haven’t written in my gratitude journal for days. Over the past few weeks, I’ve spoken to a lot of Hurricane Matthew survivors and while there is still so much more that needs to be done and the cleanup has been all but overwhelming for some the sweet stories of how people have rallied and banded together is heartwarming.
Last year, I made a blessings wreath as a take on the popular trend of the blessings tree. This year I wanted to try something new so I decided to create something to show my appreciation for Team Crowned Goat. This project is really easy to make and can be completed in an afternoon. Here’s what you need to know if you want to show appreciation to someone you care about this holiday too…
Bundle of Branches or Place to Create a Display
Container for soaking branches (if you choose to use branches)
Fishing line (if you’re bundling branches)
Different colored or patterned scrapbook paper
Single hole punch
Markers or Ink Pen
I saved these limbs from the storm, soaked them in a mixture of bleach and water and dried them out in the sun for several days.
Any time you bring items from outside indoors you need to make extra sure they are completely free from pests. Always use caution and care when deciding how much bleach to use so make sure you read all of the directions on the bleach container.
Once they were completely dried, I bundled the twigs together and secured with a bit of fishing line.
I hung the bundle from the hooks in the entry. Now if you don’t have hooks like this in your entry don’t sweat it at all. You can use a tree, wreath, message board, fall garland – anything you like. Just make sure whatever you choose to use is completely secure so it will hold the weight of the embellishments.
Next, use a leaf pattern of your choice (I found this one at a local craft store for less than $1) and trace the pattern on several different sheets of heavy scrapbook paper.
Carefully cut the leaves out with scissors. Keep in mind, scissors will be extremely sharp so use caution and care when cutting out each leaf.
You’ll need 24 total (one for each day from now until Thanksgiving). If you don’t have time to do one for each day and you’re hosting Thanksgiving or Friendsgiving consider making one leaf for each person that will be attending your event.
Then write one thing that you like, love or appreciate about the person (s) that will be enjoying your appreciation display.
Use a single hole punch to make a hole at the end of each leaf.
Thread pieces of jute in several different lengths through the hole on the end of the leaf
and secure leaves to the wood bundle or whatever you’re using to display your appreciation leaves on.
If possible, place the appreciation display close to the front door/entry or a place that participants will have easy access. I’m keeping mine in our entry so each member can grab a leaf on their way out to door in hopes of promoting a great day.
Heartfelt words of affirmation are an easy way to make someone feel special, loved, encouraged and appreciated.
This project didn’t take very long to create at all (excluding the drying time for the branch bundle) and it’s something the entire family can enjoy. Let your kids say what they like about their siblings, parent or caregiver. It’s never too early to teach them the impact of positive words!
PS: If the branches are a little rustic for you, feel free to tuck a bit of greenery in between the branches.