The history of our gratitude tree

You see, a few years ago I became very involved in a photo sharing site called flickr and although I still participate on flickr it’s becoming less and less the more involved I become with this blog.  So you see I met many wonderful people through this photo sharing site and these people, some of them became real live friends and I began to learn from them.  The first time I heard of being thankful every single day in November was because of flickr.  The very first time I completely participated in gratitude was November of 2010 and at this time I simply took a photograph each and every day of something I was thankful for.  I taped them to the back of my front door.

grtitude 2010The next year I went for a walk one night and it had been very, very windy and there were fallen branches on my walk.  I collected a few and brought them home for my gratitude tree.   It wasn’t very stable the way I had it situated so my father-n-law mixed up some concrete and we made its new home an old coffee can.

nove 2011


All of November 2011 it lived on the dining room table and collected bits of gratitude.  Anyone was welcome to leave a note and hang it on the branches.

IMG_5402By the time December came around, I decided I loved it so much I would hang Christmas lights and just move it to its next home on the side table in our dining room.

IMG_5562As the season progressed, I began to decorate it with cards and ornaments that were gifted to us.  It was very festive as you can see!  If you look closely you can even see some flickr love on there.

IMG_6028Then February arrived and I still loved it so very much I couldn’t consider the thought of taking it down.  It was then showered with hearts and love for the month of February

IMG_6390Then the spring arrived and still the tree, it stood tall and proud and baby chicks lived in it and sea shells.

march tree

mayBy summer we had moved it into the blue room where we spend all our time watching t.v. and playing video games.  And it was tucked in the corner.

nov 2012

But when November rolled around again we pulled it back to the dining room again and it felt fresh once again and we paid just a little more attention to it.


And we began to eat meals around it again and it was easier to remember to not just be thankful but to write out our gratitude once again.  dec 2012And then another Christmas arrived and I of course decorated it once again but it moved from one corner of the blue room to another.  I had this feeling that this may be the tree’s last year.  It was so easily neglected and not thought to much of.   Sure enough by spring of 2013, I took all the bits of gratitude off the tree and placed them in a big ceramic bowl.  They lived in this bowl for a good long while until we decided to rearrange the big blue room and then they got transferred to a big zip lock bag.  I can’t again consider ever getting rid of those cards full of gratitude, we had friends leave notes, our Biola tutors, out-of-town friends and secret notes.  I believe one day I will pull out that zip lock, maybe even this month and re-visit the gratitude that was left.  I think it’s time this month that I get that light again.  Although I try to be grateful for my every morning, I think there is something to actually writing it down and seeing it.  I’m a visual person after all.  So the tree is broke apart and at the side of our house but I will think of another plan.  I will share that plan at some point during this month.  Until then I thank my new friend Michelle  for inviting me to share my gratitude with her this month and anyone else who decides to share with her what they are thankful for.  I’m excited about this month.

I think it can be as simple as being grateful for the new colorful sweater I got to wear tonight to the art walk.  I really, really love the new sweater.


I can also be thankful for something like the tomato flower that isn’t finished quite yet and just wants to maybe give us one or two more tomatoes.


Or the pumpkin I planted too late for Halloween and have neglected the past few weeks but still… grows.


10 thoughts on “The history of our gratitude tree

  1. The gratitude tree idea was awesome! I made something similar for my daughter’s first birthday. In leiu of a guest book I made a wishing tree where the guests hanged their dedications and wishes for my daughter. Unfortunately I did not think of keeping the tree.

  2. This is a brilliant idea. I used to do a gratitude list on my journal… I am in dire need of a gratitude tree or list, whatever just to remind me of all the blessings I’ve had for the past years or so! Thanks for reminding me 🙂

  3. I love the history behind your family’s gratitude tree, Tracie! It’s an awesome idea to remind ourselves to stay grounded and thankful for everything we’ve got. I’ll have to start one with le boyfriend. 🙂

  4. I remember your gratitude tree!
    I love that you are grateful for simple things. I feel the same. I am so often grateful for things everyone takes for granted. It’s the little things that count…

  5. I love your gratitude tree and remember many photos of it. 🙂 I’m going to go out and grab me some branches this week. There is so much to be grateful for and we all need some reminding now and then don’t we? I sooo need it right now. Love you lady. 🙂 xo

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