And so it begins.

Today, more than ever, we need to have hope.  It’s time to reassess our moral compasses, employ a stiff upper lip, and perhaps for today, especially today, we need to hold those and the things we love most close to our hearts, and thank God for them.

Thanksgiving is a mere 2 weeks away, and you know as well as I that it will arrive with break neck speed.  Time seems to be working against us – its celestial hand, squared firmly on our backs, applying constant forward momentum.  Not a moment to spare, think or appreciate – just go, go and go some more.  I hate it, and every year I swear I will outsmart it with careful planning and efficient choreography, but it always ends up the same.  Rushed, frazzled and confused.  I’ve vowed not to let time or the idea of a “perfect” Holiday send me into a frenzy and steal away my precious youth… (ok, youth was stolen years ago, mostly by my kids).  This year, it’s going to be different.  This year, I’m going to shift my focus towards slowing down and really celebrating the true meaning of the Holiday – thanks.  Heartfelt gratitude for those I love, for our friends, our customers, our employees, our vendors, our military, our health, for the roof over our heads, and the food in our bellies.  Heartfelt gratitude for the little things – laughter, the first snow fall, the A+ on a spelling test, our quirks and idiosyncracies.  I will be thankful, and I will mean it when I say it.  Won’t you join me?

In honor of this paradigm shift, how about putting your gratitude on display for all to read and appreciate in an easy and decorative manner for your Thanksgiving table?  Simply find a few branches in your back yard, spray paint them, if you like, in the color of your choice, or not, place them into a vase or jar or any type of vessel, so the branches resemble a little tree.  Cut out some paper leaves on colored construction paper or simply white paper, or perhaps foam or even faux leaves will do the trick.  Pass out a leaf to each of your guests and ask them to write what they are thankful for.  Tie each leaf to the tree with ribbon or string and voila – you have a Thankful Tree!  For more pomp and circumstance, ask each guest to read their leaf aloud or perhaps someone elses.  You just might be surprised and most certainly delighted to learn what your family and friends are thankful for, and they in turn will be thankful for the chance to share.

Pic #6Pic #13

“For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food, for love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends”.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Best wishes and thank you,

Kim Sweeney