I may have mentioned this before, or maybe not, but fall is absolutely, hands-down, without a doubt my favorite time of year. Around here fall means rain, and I’m sure you’re thinking “when does the Pacific Northwest not mean rain?” but I’ll have you know, we just came off a three month stretch of no rain, so it does get dry here. Sometimes. Anyway . . . rain. Fall also means cooking hearty soups and stews and being thankful and bringing out the down vests and wool sweaters. I would add fleece to that list, but being that it’s the PNW, we never actually put the fleece away.
Most of all, fall means leaves turning color and falling in big crispy soggy piles. We go on a fair number of walks and I love shuffling my feet down the sidewalk and kicking leaves out of the way. Down around the corner from our house is a row of these gorgeous maple trees and the biggest leaves fall. The boys generally stop their bikes there to sort through the masses to find the perfect leaf to carefully ride home with and . . . discard in the driveway. You probably thought we did something cool with the leaves; not so.
Now that we’re in November, I’m still solidly rooted in “fall-mode”, but my thoughts are moving toward Thanksgiving and thinking about gratitude. Something that’s important to me and that I want to instill in the boys is an attitude of being thankful and not just at this time of year, but at all times. God has blessed us so richly, given us so much and I’m not talking about possessions as much as the important things like relationships and health and security. I want to daily be aware and give thanks and I want that to be second nature to the boys as they grow up. As a Christian, I believe that God wants me to be thankful (1 Thessalonians 5:18), but Google “benefits of being thankful” and you’ll see that having a thankful outlook isn’t just a religious thing. Plenty of experts recognize that gratitude improves psychological, social, and physical well-being. So stop reading right now and make a list of ten things you’re thankful for, it’s good for you. Or keeping reading for a fresh idea incorporate being thankful with your fall/Thanksgiving decor.
I think you can figure out the project just from looking at the pictures, but for those of you (like me) who like supply lists and written directions, here you go:
straw wreath (with plastic wrap intact)
solid colored fabric
contrasting patterned fabric
straight pins (with flat, silver heads)
card stock in leaf colors
wide ribbon (for hanging)
1. Cut the fabric into 3-inch strips and use pinking shears if you are worried about or don’t like the look of fraying edges.
2. Pin one end of a patterned fabric strip to the wreath and wrap around the wreath leaving some space between each wrap around. Continue to wrap and attach more strips with pins until you have gone around the whole wreath.
3. Now pin a solid colored fabric strip onto the wreath in an empty spot between the patterned fabric. Wrap the fabric around in the same way you wrapped the other strips until the wreath is filled in to your liking.
4. Wrap ribbon around the wreath and secure to the top of your door with a couple tacks or nails.
5. Cut out 2-3 inch leaves from the card stock. Score down the middle of the leaves and lightly fold to add some texture and interest. Write things you’re thankful for on the leaves and use pins to attach to the wreath.
There are a couple of ways you can use this wreath . . .
- Use this as a Thanksgiving dinner activity and have all your guests write on a couple of leaves, read them aloud throughout the dinner, then pin on the wreath.
- Have a family night and let your kids write on the leaves (or draw pictures) and talk about what it means to be thankful.
- Put the wreath up and ask any and all visitors to your home throughout the month to fill out a leaf to add to the wreath.
So help me out friends and I’ll add some leaves with your additions, what are you thankful for?