The Thankful Tree and Thoughts of Home
A look at how home extends well beyond the four walls we live in.
Sitting on my kitchen counter for the last week is something called a “thankful tree;” a small wooden tree with miniature paper leaves my wife found while out one day. The purpose of the thankful tree is that each person within the home writes down a few things they are thankful for on a leaf and puts it on the tree.
Our tree has 18 leaves, and seeing that there are six people (four boys, my wife, and me) in my home, we each got three leaves. The kids genuinely got excited about doing this, and as I looked at what was written on the thankful tree, I noticed a common theme – home.
There were some leaves that contained the physical things of home, like certain toys, the actual structure, and the newly self-renovated kitchen — but many of the emotional aspects of home that extend beyond our four walls were also represented, and those are what really stood out.
Family, grandparents, our church, teachers, and friends. Even “Daddy’s job” made the thankful tree, which you may not think of as being home-related, but to me (and my family), it truly is an extended family.
While home tends to be thought of as the rooms in which we abide, as I read the leaves on this small Thanksgiving-themed decoration, it made me pause and appreciate all that home truly is and how it extends beyond the property lines which we pay taxes for.
It made me reflect on friends in Puerto Rico, Texas and Florida who’ve lost their physical home due to natural disasters, and those who’ve had the emotional elements of home ripped apart due to hate, terror and unforeseen acts. I was forced to reflect on what I have been given and how I can give to others, not just in donations, but in time, support and aid where it is most needed.
Home, at its most basic definition, is shelter, and while it provides that, it does so much more. Those that have a home, whether it be an actual residence or just a state of comfort, have so much to be thankful for.
You may not have a thankful tree planted on your kitchen counter, but I trust this season of thanks gives you reason to appreciate all that home means to you.