November 5, 2015

Ways to Celebrate Thankfulness during November

November is one of my absolute favorite months of the year. Fall is here (even when the south is experiencing what seems like a heatwave) and in a few short weeks it will be Thanksgiving. Somehow Thanksgiving always seems to sneak up on me, but this year I'm prepared.

Instead of waiting for it to feel like Thanksgiving, I'm jumping in at the beginning of the month to milk this holiday for all it's worth. I'm talking about being thankful, people.

The minute the Halloween decorations were put away, the Christmas music started playing in retail stores. And I love Christmas (seriously, love it!), but why should Thanksgiving have to get lost in the shuffle?

Being thankful isn't something for one day. Gratitude shouldn't get packed away with our wool sweaters and only come out when the days are shorter, or leaves crunch under our feet.

I believe there's a lot of power in being grateful. What we believe shapes our reality and when we truly see our lives chocked full of the gifts they have, our reality follows suit.

In the spirit of Thanksgiving (that's totally a thing, right?), I'm visiting with my friends at Knoxville's WTNX Fox43 to share some fun and simple projects that just might inspire you to tap into feeling thankful and make November really count.

1) Thankfulness Paper Chain

I'm just such a sucker for paper chains and garland. They are kitschy and retro in all my favorite ways. And because they are so simple to make, I wanted to craft one as part of my month of thankfulness.

There are lots of options for making paper chains, from cutting construction paper to using store-bought paper chain kits like the one I shared on television (got it at Michael's). I even found this great free thankfulness chain printable you can customize.

Each day, get your family members together and have everyone write something he or she is thankful for on a strip of paper. Then connect the strips together to form a chain. By the time Thanksgiving rolls around, you'll have an entire chain of thankfulness. Sweet, huh? 

2) Fall Leaves Gratitude Garland 

Like I said before, I love a good garland. It's an easy way to decorate one area of your home (like a doorway or mantle) without going over the top. 

You can cut your own leaves out of paper, use silk or artificial ones, or even real ones. For this project, I used foam leaves because I wanted to write on them and that seemed like the best option. 

Again, take some time with your family each day to reflect on something you're thankful for and write it on one of the leaves. As you string together your garland, be reminded of all the things you have to be thankful for. It never fails to put things in good perspective when I really stop and consider all the blessings in my life. It sounds a bit like Pollyanna, but it's so true. 

3) Thanksgiving Clothespin Wreath

Apparently clothespin wreaths are not a new thing, but I only stumbled across the idea recently. There are lots of variations out there, but I decided to make a simple natural clothespin wreath accented with burlap ribbon. 

All you need are wooden clothespin (I got mine at the Dollar General Store) and a wire wreath form (which was $2.99 at Michaels). For a total of $5, this wreath isn't half bad. And you could always jazz it up with paint, washi tape, wood stain, or whatever. 

The idea is to write what you're thankful for on each pin. Or hang it on your front door and let your guests fill in what they are thankful for. When it comes to crafting (in my world anyway), there are no rules. Just simple projects that don't cost a lot and let you give life to your own inner artiste. 

I hope you enjoy November. As my grandpa loves to say: all you get out of life is what you enjoy. Make the most of it pals!