How To Make a Thankful Tree for Your Holiday Gathering

Tabletop Tutorials from The Kitchn

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Have you ever seen a Thankful Tree? (Also known as a Gratitude Tree or Grateful Tree.) It's an arrangement or centerpiece for your Thanksgiving table that puts thankfulness front and center.

I can't take credit for the idea of a Thankful Tree; it's something that was circling the Internet a few years ago, and I've wanted to make our own ever since! Here's how to make one yourself — it turned out to be easy and to cost nothing, and it was a really lovely way to spend an afternoon.

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A Thankful Tree is a really endearing way to separate ourselves from the business of the holiday season to focus on what we're thankful for in our lives. Its design can be simple or elaborate, but should always allow for sentiments of thanks to be hung on its branches.

I gathered fall foliage, spray-painted a few twigs silver, crafted cards to write sentiments of thanks, and strung the cards on twine. The materials are simple and accessible, and your arrangement will engage your friends and family to share what they are thankful for this holiday season.

How To Make a Thankful Tree

What You Need

Materials

A cut bunch of fall foliage
One to two sheets of plain or patterned paper
Twine or kitchen string

Equipment

Vase
Scissors
Pen or marker

Instructions

  1. Make an arrangement with fall foliage from your yard. Gather beautiful fall foliage, twigs, and branches, and construct your arrangement in a vase. Fill with water if needed.
  2. Cut out square cards. Craft small, two or three-inch-square, folded cards from solid or patterned paper with "I'm thankful for..." written on their fronts.
  3. String the cards on twine. String the cards on twine or kitchen string and knot to form a circle.
  4. Place cards next to the arrangement. Place cards in a small bowl or low vase next to your Thankful Tree arrangement.
  5. Ask people to help decorate the Thankful Tree. During your next gathering, while guests are arriving and settling into your home, ask them to write down a few things they are thankful for this holiday season, each on its own card. Have your guests hang the inscribed cards on the Thankful Tree. And if they are so willing, have them share their sentiments once everyone is sat and the meal is underway.
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(Image credits: Landis Carey)

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