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Paula Olson, The Northwest Connection

In a fall issue of MomSense magazine there was a great idea of a craft to do inside with kids of any age during nasty weather outside. The short written piece described a “Blessings Tree.” It suggests picking up a dead tree branch from the yard and placing it securely in a pot. You could use floral foam or wrap fabric around it to keep it upright, transforming the branch into a small, leafless “tree” in a pot. The especially creative and meaningful part of this is to cut out your own paper leaves and hang them from the branch.
Before you hang the leaves, ask yourself and your family members what they feel blessed by, what they are thankful for, and write a blessing on each leaf. Hang the leaves from the branch with twine or ribbon, then re-read the blessings with your kids on a regular basis. You can add or delete as time goes by, maybe changing the colors or the leaves with each holiday or passing season. The potted branch makes a nice centerpiece or mantle decoration and it serves as a good reminder when we might feel less than appreciative about what is going on in our lives.

For a twist on the concept you could put paper blessing flowers on sticks into the soil of an existing houseplant, or gently clip paper blessing “birds” onto a ficus or a sturdy indoor tree. Just make sure that it is something you will look at so you can consider the gratitude you have recorded on paper.

With the extra décor in the house from the holiday season and the amount of kid-oriented Christmas craft stuff having flowed in, I am waiting for the new year to start our blessing “branch.” It is a great way to maintain perspective as 2018 begins. I encourage you to try something like this and cherish your blessings with a fresh start. Happy New Year!

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