Are you looking for a way to promote gratitude and thankfulness in your household? Consider creating a gratitude tree. A gratitude tree can be a beautiful and positive reminder of all of life’s blessings.
Jump ahead to these sections:
- Gratitude Tree Theme Ideas
- Gratitude Holiday Tree Decoration Ideas
- Gratitude Tree Activity Ideas
- What to Write on a Gratitude Tree: Message Ideas
Whether you are creating a gratitude tree for your Thanksgiving celebration or would like it to be a permanent part of your household decor, we would like to give you ideas for themes and messages. We will also give you ideas of activities that encourage gratitude that you can do with your entire family.
Let’s get started by discussing theme ideas for gratitude trees.
Gratitude Tree Theme Ideas
A gratitude tree gives individuals the opportunity to name the things and people they are grateful for in life.
Of course, you don’t have to use the symbol of the tree to display your gratitude list. Some begin their gratitude journey by keeping a daily journal. The act of writing down an item you are thankful for each day is said to be life-changing, as it forces you to look for positivity in life. However, even though it is a healthy habit, the act of writing a gratitude journal is typically done in solitude.
Some couples and families use a gratitude jar to record what they appreciate about life. A gratitude jar can be used in a variety of ways. Some write the things they are thankful for on small pieces of paper and place the forms in the jar. Then, the family gathers together to share the messages.
You may also focus your gratitude jar on the acts of love performed within your family. For example, every time someone completes a kind act or offers encouragement, you can write a message of gratitude to put in the jar.
On the other hand, a gratitude tree is typically a decoration that can be used for a specific season or all year long. Typically, leaf-shaped gratitude “ornaments” are hung on the tree, each with a word or statement that tells what the individual appreciates about their life.
Let’s discuss some gratitude tree theme ideas.
1. Classroom gratitude tree
Whether you teach preschool, grade school, or religious school, a gratitude tree might be a great addition to your classroom. In addition, you can incorporate it into your writing and art instruction. While the idea of thankfulness is important enough for discussion throughout the year, you might want to use it as an activity leading up to Thanksgiving.
2. Gratitude tree scavenger hunt
Perhaps your group needs more prompting to come up with things they are thankful for in life. If your family’s list of gratitude items all sounds the same, you might want to encourage them to think outside the box by offering a gratitude scavenger hunt.
Here are some ideas of items to include in your gratitude scavenger hunt:
- Describe a smell that makes you happy.
- Find a beautiful item in nature. Why are you thankful for this item?
- List three traits that you love about a specific family member.
- What do you like best about yourself?
Once your family has answered the prompts, encourage them to transfer their answers to the “leaves” for your gratitude tree. This would be a fun activity for a family reunion or vacation.
3. Bible gratitude activity
The Bible has a lot to say about gratitude and thankfulness. Share a passage from the Bible each day that offers a lesson on gratitude and an accompanying writing prompt. Display the responses on your gratitude tree.
4. Gratitude tree at a funeral
Your deceased loved one can be the focus of your gratitude tree. Encourage the people attending your loved one’s funeral to share memories or messages of gratitude about the deceased. You’ll be able to turn back to these messages time and time again. Your tree full of memories will provide you with solace as you mourn the loss of your loved one.
5. Neighborhood gratitude tree
We love this story about a neighborhood gratitude tree in Portland. Others in the community are encouraged to write the things they are thankful for on pieces of wood, which are tied to a tree in a family’s front yard. Consider offering this to members of your community.
6. Picture gratitude tree
Make your gratitude tree more kid-friendly by using pictures and images instead of words. Review the photos often, so your preschoolers remember the purpose of the tree.
7. Gratitude tree guest book
Are you looking for a unique guest book idea for a wedding, birthday, or anniversary party? Ask those attending to place a signature or thumbprint on your gratitude tree. You will then have a lovely item to hang on your walls that shows all of the people you are thankful for in life.
8. Gratitude quote tree
We also like the idea of a gratitude quote tree. In addition to the items you are thankful for, why not hang quotes, verses, or song lyrics about being thankful.
Some of our favorite gratitude quotes include:
- “The real gift of gratitude is that the more grateful you are, the more present you become.” – Robert Holden
- “Instead of thinking ‘I will be happy when,’ try thinking ‘I will be happy now.” – Unknown
- “Happiness is letting go of what you think your life is supposed to look like and celebrating it for everything that it is.” – Mandy Hale
- “Gratitude also opens your eyes to the limitless potential of the universe, while dissatisfaction closes your eyes to it.” – Stephen Richards
Gratitude Holiday Tree Decoration Ideas
Holidays are a popular time to discuss gratitude and thankfulness. Here are some ideas on incorporating a positive mindset and gratefulness in your holiday celebrations.
9. Christmas gratitude tree
Since you probably already have a holiday tree decorating your home during Christmas, why not turn it into a gratitude tree?
There are various ways you can turn your Christmas tree into one that celebrates gratitude. We love the idea of making colorful paper chains for your tree. On each “link,” write a person or thing that you are most grateful for in life. You’ll be amazed at the length of your chain!
You can also create ornaments that feature people or ideas that make you happy.
10. Thanksgiving gratitude tree
Are you hosting Thanksgiving? Create a tree and give those attending the opportunity to share what they are thankful for by adding “leaves” to the branches. Use the finished product as a centerpiece.
11. Patriotic gratitude tree
A gratitude tree can be utilized any time of year. Create an American-themed gratitude tree that highlights the things you are thankful for about our country. You can highlight big concepts like “freedom” and “liberty” or name your favorite national parks or cities.
Gratitude Tree Activity Ideas
Do you want to change the tone of your home by encouraging a positive mindset? Create an atmosphere that celebrates the blessings in life.
This attitude of gratitude won’t happen overnight. Like any good habit, it takes practice and encouragement. So here are some activities that might help you and your family become more grateful.
12. Include your entire family in your attitude of gratitude
Once you realize the power of positive thinking, you’ll want to share it with your entire family. Reach out to your parents, siblings, and in-laws as you create a gratitude tree. Your family text group may never be the same again as you encourage each other in this journey.
13. Add positive content to your daily routine
Analyze the content you consume each day. How does it affect your mindset and mental health? Consider replacing some of the problem content with music, a podcast, or a TV show that offers a more positive view of life. For example, try reading a book about gratitude.
14. Add prayer or meditation to your daily routine
Schedule time each day to pray or meditate.
Sharing your gifts with others is a great way to appreciate the blessings you have been given in life.
What to Write on a Gratitude Tree: Message Ideas
Are you unsure of what to write on your gratitude tree? For example, did you write a leaf for “family,” “friends, and “faith,” and now you aren’t sure what else to include on your gratitude list?
Here are some ideas of things to be thankful for that you may not have ever considered. We will also include quotes about gratitude that may resonate with you as you decorate your gratitude tree.
16. Characteristics that make your loved one special
Instead of writing that you are thankful for your dad, you might include characteristics of your dad that need celebrating. Examples might include:
“I am thankful that I always feel safe when I’m around my Dad.” or “I am thankful for Dad’s mechanical skills.”
17. “Let gratitude be the pillow upon which you kneel to say your nightly prayer. And let faith be the bridge you build to overcome evil and welcome good.” – Maya Angelou
Maya Angelou died in 2014.
18. Find the bright side of not-so-great things
Are you sick of looking at the piles of snow in your backyard? Maybe your thankful list for the week will include a working furnace, comfortable shelter, and added moisture to the earth for your spring garden.
Are you unhappy with your job? Celebrate the good things about it by showing gratitude for vacation days, a reliable income, and a coworker who makes the job bearable.
19. Be thankful for happy memories
Perhaps you are missing a loved one or feel isolated. Show gratitude for the happy memories you have experienced in the past.
20. “Through the eyes of gratitude, everything is a miracle.” – Mary Davis
Mary Davis has spent her career campaigning for the rights and inclusion of children and adults with intellectual disabilities.
21. Remind yourself why you chose to live where you live
Perhaps you chose to live in your specific community because of its excellent public schools, the abundance of walking trails, or its proximity to your family. Show gratitude for your neighborhood, community, or city.
22. “Have gratitude for the things you’re discarding. By giving gratitude, you’re giving closure to the relationship with that object, and by doing so, it becomes a lot easier to let go.” – Marie Kondo
Marie Kondo advises people to discard items that no longer spark joy.
Have an Attitude of Gratitude
A gratitude tree is a visual reminder to maintain a positive outlook on life. We all need those reminders.