So this is the Prayer Tree I talked about in my Advent Conspiracy post. I really kind of stole this idea from my friend Lisa, who every year in the fall, leading up to thanksgiving, makes a Gratitude Tree for her three kids. The idea is that if, by Thanksgiving, you've got a month or so of really mediating on what you are grateful for under your belt, you begin the Christmas season with a better attitude.
As you can see it's just a simple brown paper tree taped to the wall. I have a jar of leaves I made out of scraps of scrapbooking paper (construction paper is fine too) and every day at dinner we sit down and talk about what we are thankful for, who we are concerned for that we'd like to keep in our prayers, questions we have that we'd like guidance on and other good stuff like that. Then we write it on a leaf, talk about it, pray about it and put it on the tree. This picture was taken about a week ago on the first day the tree was up, but it is now full of all kinds of pretty leaves. It's really been a great conversation starter for us and really helped the kids (and maybe the adults too) to think beyond their own wants.
Plus now that the fairies have moved back inside for the winter, it's a great little shade tree for their winter home.