November 22, 2017

Gratitude Leaves: Thanksgiving Tradition (Free Printable)


Begin a beautiful Thanksgiving Tradition with this free printable of our Gratitude Leaves. Lots of ideas.

Free Black and White Printable “I’m Thankful for” Leaves

Colored Gratitude leaves

The Leaves of Thanks: Gratitude Tree Thanksgiving Tradition

There are some traditions that are timeless, and the Leaves of Gratitude is an incredibly meaningful tradition.

We can never show enough gratitude toward each other, and the purpose of this simple tradition is to add to the splendor of the Thanksgiving meal by celebrating a grateful heart.

There are many ways you may create your own tradition using this theme of gratitude. 

Place a paper leaf on each plate and ask everyone to take a quiet moment before the meal begins and write at least two things he/she is grateful for on the leaf.

Have everyone then hang the leaf on a small tree used as a centerpiece, or pile them in a small bowl or basket. Just before dessert, share what is written on the leaves. Make the moment even more special by dimming the lights and holding hands. The more often we express out loud what we are thankful for, the more everyone around us will know just exactly how much we really love and appreciate him/her.

We extend this tradition throughout November by placing the “Thanksgiving Tree” in the middle of our table as a centerpiece. My husband and I desire to cultivate a daily mindset of gratitude – thankfulness even in the smallest of details of  life.

It’s easy to express gratitude once a year at Thanksgiving for family and friends, but by cultivating an attitude of gratitude all year long, we begin to see a broader view of the many blessings we each have been given (even when it doesn’t “feel” like it). Begin a Thanksgiving Tree on November 1st and continue adding to it each day through Thanksgiving.

After Thanksgiving is finished, collect the leaves and place them in a Thanksgiving book. Bring it out every year to reminisce on the many years of blessings.

We have made two free templates of printable Thanksgiving Leaves for you to print off and celebrate this tradition. Print these black and white leaves onto card stock or trace template onto scrapbook paper and cut out your own Leaves of Thanks, or print off these colored Gratitude leaves, all ready for you to cut and share.

Your family may desire to get crafty and create your own Gratitude Tree.

Every year my sister in love does a huge one. She cuts out a full size tree (it covers their whole sliding glass deck door), and they write people’s names that they are thankful for along the trunk and branches, and then they add specific items on their cut out leaves.
The key to this is thinking outside the box; try and engage the older children into thinking further than “I am thankful for food, my family, my house.”
How about modeling specific things such as, ” I am thankful for the farmers who work tirelessly with no guarantees of a successful crop.”

Similar to my “One minute” Thanksgiving decorations post, below Simply Vintage Girl gathered branches from outside for her Thankful Tree.

Start this meaningful new Thanksgiving tradition - the Thankful Tree. (Free Printable)

How ever you decide to share your Thankful heart this year, pause and take the time to embrace this most important sentiment.

One of the most special traditions ever - gratitude rolls! Don't miss blessing your family! (This is the original source.)

(Use this similar Thanksgiving tradition by expressing your thanks IN the Gratitude Roll and then have everyone guess who wrote it. A great twist to the Leaves of Thanks.)

This post has been updated since ’09 with free printables.


  1. I LOVE this idea? Care to share where you found the “wire tree”? Is it a mug holder? Thanks!


  2. This is such a great idea!!! Writing it down takes the pressure off of everyone staring at you while you try to come up with something. I think it’s a very thoughtful idea!


  3. I would love to know where you found this adorable tree. What a great idea to save them from year to year!!


  4. I was wondering where you got the wire tree too. VERY cute!


  5. What a great idea! My children are small (not able to write), but I would really like to try this on Thanksgiving!


  6. Love this idea. Allison, I had our kids draw a small picture before they could write words. I have saved some, and they qualify as family treasures. 🙂


  7. I absolutely love this idea. This is the perfect year for me to start a gratitude/giving thanks journal – I love the use of leaves !

    Thanks for sharing


  8. This is fabulous! I just love the idea of doing something crafty yet also VERY much in the spirit of Thanksgiving. Thanks!


  9. Thanks for the template! Both of the links in your daily email lead to the black & white leaves.


  10. the thankful tree is such a great idia and me and my family did doit this year, well today! we did do it a little bit differt than you explaied to do it. but we still had a lot of fun with it! thank yolu for such a great idia!!!!


    P.S. I am 11 years old and am very creative and that is why i love your idia!!!


  11. Joy (fostermom of many) says:

    Thank you so much for the printable s I was ask to bake pumpkin, bread for our fall buffet and I
    thought what a great idea to attach a leaf to each little cake and then everyone could drop them
    in a basket if they like. Thanks again, it also let my foster boys help they cut them out. Joy


  12. Lovely! Thank you!



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  3. […] up is some a fun post about doing a simple gratitude tree from Beauty and […]

  4. […] the tree each day with a note of thanks to God for all His blessings.  I found this great idea at Beauty and Bedlam.  Click on this link for more ideas and a free pdf file for your own leaf print […]

  5. […] Thankful Tree – Turn these leaves into gratitude leaves by writing on them things for which you are thankful. This is not only a sentimental, gratitude-focused activity…but it’s beautiful to boot. I would use this during the entire month as a prized piece of holiday décor.{found on beautyandbedlam}. […]

  6. […] Gather some fallen branches or cut a few from your tree, put them in a vase and use string to tie your leaves on like ornaments.  The Beauty and Bedlam blog has a great example of this.  Plus, they offer free printable leaves.  Find it here […]

  7. […] While on your walk, you can collect sticks for your Thankful Tree. Balancing Beauty & Bedlam has a beautiful one […]

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  9. […] easy DIY gratitude tree at Mom it Forward, and printable leaves at Beauty and […]

  10. […] easy DIY gratitude tree at Mom it Forward, and printable leaves at Beauty and […]

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