Saturday, November 23, 2013

Let's Make a Thanksgiving Tree


To learn to say "Thank You" for the favors, large or small, is a lesson in courtesy. It becomes a second nature to be aware of the help that other person offers, whether it's opening a door for you or helping you pick up the papers you accidentally scattered on the floor. The habit gets cultivated from childhood. It does not cost you anything!

Thanksgiving is a wonderful holiday celebrated in the USA. You can always Google the whys and whens of the holiday, I have a story about what a family can do before this day arrives.

Recently I read a story about, Michelle Cannon*, a mom who has a tradition in her house of writing Thank You's. No, these are not the notes they write when someone gives them a birthday gift. The family starts writing their thank you's on the first of November.

The twins in the story learn to write 'Thank You'.

*You may find more of Cannon's ideas at


Let's Make a Thanksgiving Tree

didi = older sister
bhaiya = brother
parallel = two lines/planes that keep the same distance between them without ever meeting

Seven-year-old, Suchi and Soori came home from school with their school bags stuffed with books and art projects-feathers, pictures, dream catchers that they made for Thanksgiving. They ate a snack and finished their homework. They wandered into their older sister, Sapna's room. 

Suchi said, "Didi, we are bored. There is nothing to do in the house."

Soori suggested, "Didi, why don't you tell Bhaiya to take us to the park?"

Eleven-year-old, Sapna looked up from her homework, "Are you kidding? Bhaiya and I have tons of homework. Have you guys finished your homework and finished whatever art work you had from school? Besides, boring people get bored. Find something to do please."

Suchi pouted, "We did all the art for Thanksgiving at school. We don't want to do it anymore."

Soori added, "We'll say the things we are thankful for at the Thanksgiving dinner." 

Suchi said, "Let's go back to our own room, we'll find something to do."

Soori asked, "Didi, will you play with us when you are done?"

Sapna said, "Sure." She continued to do her work. 

Suchi suggested that they go ask their brother, Sagar.

Soori curled her lips and said that they go back to their room. She stopped at their door, "Suchi, let's make a list of things for which we are thankful."

Suchi nodded, and walked by a pile of construction paper on her desk. She picked out different colored sheets and turned to Soori, "I got it. Let's make a tree."

Soori raised her eyebrows, "A tree?"

"Let's get a huge sheet of paper for drawing a tree."

The twins walked out of their room.

Sapna looked up, "Hey, now what is the daring duo planning?"

"We want a big sheet to draw a tree."

Sapna gave them a huge sheet, "I'm glad you found something to do on your own."

The twins said, "Yep. We'll show it to you when we are done."

Sapna smiled, "Okay." 

The twins went back to their room, Suchi took a brown crayon and drew two parallel lines from one end of the paper to the other.

"This is a tree." 

Soori said, "It doesn't at all look like a tree to me, looks more like a road."

"We'll draw branches and put leaves on them---these leaves will have Thank You's written on them." 

Soori clapped, "I got it. We'll have our Thanksgiving Tree. I have an idea, why don't we cut out a lot of colorful-Fall-leaves and keep them in a box. Then..."

Suchi added, "We'll get everyone in the family to write what they are thankful for on one leaf every day and glue it on the tree."

Soori completed her sister's thought, "So, when the Thanksgiving day comes, we'll have a Thanksgiving Tree!!!"

They gave a high-five to each other and started cutting colorful leaves for the Thanksgiving Tree. They wrote.

"I am thankful for getting this sheet and a crayon to draw."

"I am thankful for my sister who gave the idea for making this tree."

(In Fall, you can find a dry branch of a tree and hang the 'thank you' leaves on the "tree". Children can punch holes and learn to tie knots with yarn to acquire a skill that's gobbled up by Velcro)

Happy Thanksgiving!


© 2013, Meera Desai Shah

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