An attitude of gratitude

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i-wantToday I wanted to share something with you from our Yule season.

Something I struggle with greatly is our ‘I want I want’ attitude.

It’s not helped by aggressive marketing and promises that Santa will visit if we are good.

Little Miss Green always manages to come up with a list of ‘wants’, which I think is pretty normal for a 10 year old kid in our Western society, but one of our family traditions helps temper the desires of the season.

Introducing our gratitude tree.

On December 1st we bring in from the outside a vase of twisted willow. You can use anything you like but you need to have lots of twiggy bits for things to hang on.


Next cut random shapes from pieces of coloured paper. You can use anything you like dependent on time of year – a gratitude tree, after all, is not confined to Christmas…

Every evening before bed we spend a moment focusing on our day and write down one thing we were grateful for that day, then we’d share our gratitude and hang the shapes on the tree.



It was our way of thanking Mother Nature for all that she provides, for upping the reverence of the season and it allows us the opportunity to realise that actually, we are already richly abundant and privileged, so anything we might get as a gift is a welcome bonus to what we already have.

By the end of December we have a beautiful tree that is full of our grateful energies and it’s a deeply satisfying way to bring honour to the season.

What about you – what family traditions help you keep a sense of reverence and respect?



  1. Small Footprints on January 26, 2012 at 3:35 pm

    What a lovely tradition! It has such far-reaching effects, as well, because knowing that each night you’ll write something down makes one look for things to be grateful for throughout the day. It sometimes seems that we live in a world of complaints and pessimism … it’s refreshing to cultivate a positive attitude! I keep a journal next to my work area (I call it my positivity log) and each morning, before starting the day proper, I write something positive. It might be something small like the joy I find in watching the birds come to our feeder or something large like how much I love my family. For me, that moment of thinking positive sets the tone for the day. 🙂

  2. Mrs Green on January 31, 2012 at 10:50 am

    @Small Footprints: You’re right; I loved the frame of mind our little family ritual put me in at the end of each day AND it was a peaceful and positive way to say goodnight. Really rather wonderful and the sort of thing I’d like to keep up all year round in some ways, but then again the novelty factor is a big part of enjoyment 😉 I love the idea of you starting your day with a little dose of positivity

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