~Árbol de Gracias~ Thankful Tree

The countdown to Thanksgiving has officially begun in our home! We are celebrating in an extra special way this year by creating a Thankful Tree countdown. This is an amazing way to bring more Spanish into your home too as you intentionally say one thing you are thankful for each day leading up to Thanksgiving. You can practice your numbers as you count down the days, your Spanish days of the week as you talk about each day passing by and you can practice the incredibly important phrase...gracias por...thank you for...

We just went outside and found a bare stick with some pretty spindly branches. It doesn't need too big or too showy. Then we just placed it in a bottle, but you could do a jar with some rocks to keep it upright too! I have been waiting to dip autumn leaves in beeswax for this very project and we finally did it the other day. It feels so special being able to hang real leaves on our tree and definitely adds to the magic of the season. You can write what you are thankful for with a paint pen or marker and you could even just cut out little leaf shapes in paper and then have your older children try to write their own words down or draw pictures.

This will be a new tradition for us, beginning a week before Thanksgiving and we will all hang one leaf on our tree every day as we say what we are most thankful for. I love this as a nighttime tradition, reflecting on the day that has passed and discussing what will come the next day- it helps our little ones feel grounded and connected to the changing seasons and all the different aspects that holidays can bring like visitors or travel or a change in routine.

To dip beeswax leaves, make sure you choose leaves that have a stem on them! If your little ones will be helping we learned first hand that it was really hard to dip if they were trying to hold an edge and submerge it in hot wax...a stem will save some burned fingers. Simple melt some beeswax in a double boiler- I got a sauce pan specifically for wax at a thrift store for about $2 and it was one of the best crafting buys - then let your littles slowly dip one leaf at a time. Make sure to hold it and let the excess wax drip back into the pan before laying it to dry on a sheet of parchment paper.

For our tree, we will just use a little tape to hang them up but you could also use string or twine! We will then practice the same words and phrases in Spanish over and over all week to really make sure they become a part of our memories and not just a random thing to learn and then forget.

Here is what we will practice:

•Día de Acción de Gracias - (dee-ah deh ahk-syohn deh grah-syahs) - Thanksgiving Day

•Estoy agradecido/a* por... - (ehs-toy ah-grah-deh-see-doh/dah* pohr...) - I'm thankful for...

•Gracias por... (grah-syahs pohr...) - thank you for...

•Solo faltan # días hasta el Día de Acción de Gracias!

(soh-loh fahl-tahn # dee-ahs ahs-tah ehl dee-ah deh ahk-syohn deh grah-syahs)

Only # days until Thanksgiving!

•Hoja - (oh-hah) - leaf

•Árbol - (ahr-bohl) - tree

**Bold shows emphasis

*(agradecido for people who identify as male and agradecida for people who identify as female)

How will you be celebrating this year? Are you traveling to see family or staying close to home?

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Hemp Wicks for candle making

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