Life Journal Workshop – Create a Gratitude Tree
Thanksgiving is just a few weeks away and my mind is busy with menu planning, who’s coming and which set of China should we use. My life journal is a great place for planning, starting my lists and reminders and keeping track of details. In the middle of all the business, what I am most focused on is gratitude. In my life journal this week, I created a gratitude tree as a visual reminder of all the people, places and things that I love and am grateful for. I even put turkey on the tree, I love turkey! If you are new to the life journal workshop, make sure you check out some of my other posts here on SiD.
My goal over the next few weeks is to spend time journaling about why each of these people or places are important to me. How do they add meaning to my life? How can I show my love and gratitude to each of them?
People make great writing prompts! Perhaps you might write a letter or make an extra phone call to the people on your tree to tell them how much they mean to you.
Use Your Life Journal as a Safe Place to Escape
I want to remind you that your life journal is your special, safe place to talk about what’s going on in your life and to create space for creative play. During the upcoming busy holiday season, setting aside a few minutes each day to write about what and who you are grateful for is a great way to alleviate some of the stress. Don’t forget to take time for you! You are worth it and I promise your family will enjoy you more when you are relaxed and stress free.
I also created a similar though larger gratitude tree for my whole family. Each day this month we are going to add leaves stating what or who we are grateful for. I am excited to have everyone, especially my kids, focused on gratitude this month. It’s always import to express gratitude and to model gratitude for our kids but I love that we have this wonderful month for added emphasis and some great teachable moments.
Here’s how I created my personal gratitude tree:
1. I drew a very rough tree shape on my journal page and used acrylic paints to color it and give it some texture. I used black brown, white and copper to give it a little shine. Even though no one but me (and you) will see this, I wanted it to be beautiful.
2. The leaves are made from a pack of fall-colored cardstock that I found at Staples. I just rough-cut each leaf shape but you could use a template. Here is an example of different leaf shapes. For our family tree, we are using oak leaves.
3. I used a Sakura Micron pen but a Sharpie pen would work well also, to write the words on the leaves. You want the lettering to be readable on the darker colors.
4. I glued the leaves on with Modge Podge and then covered them all with Modge Podge as well, to make sure they stayed flat and I like the shine it adds.
Super simple and it took me about 30 minutes to create. As I was making each of the leaves, it made me think about each person, visualize why I love them and consider what I would want to say to them if they were standing in front of me.
I would tell my mom that her love of food and cooking and her graciousness as a host in her home has always inspired me. She does such a wonderful job of making everyone feel welcome and cared for. She also taught me how to prepare in advance for a big dinner party so that I can enjoy the actual event without feeling rushed!
What would you say to the people on your gratitude tree? Use your life journal as playground for writing letters to each of the people in your life that matter most.