This season leading up to Thanksgiving is one of my favorites.  If there is anything I’d like to be, it is thankful, and so I love the idea of expressing our gratitude both in spoken and written word.

thankful tags in silver

I have created a set of cards to help encourage this attitude of thankfulness.

thankful card place setting

You could put one at each place setting at the the Thanksgiving table, have your family and friends fill them out and share with each other.  My sister does this each night leading up to Thanksgiving with her family and then saves the cards to read the following year.

thankful card

Another great way to use the cards is to turn them into tags

thankful for eggnog lattes

and hang them on a thankful tree.

thankful tree 2011

The boys and I tromped out into the woods, cut down a few branches, put them into a heavy urn and filled the bottom with stones to hold the branches in place.

thankful tree in urn

Every day, we each write one thing we are thankful for. And the rule is that nothing can be duplicated.  This is our first year doing a thankful tree and I’m looking forward to seeing what the boy’s come up with. I hope it is a great way to instill in them the importance of having a thankful heart.  I know it will be good practice for me and Ryan, too.

thankful tree living room

thankful for legos

thankful for apple crisp

thankful for me

{at least we’ve instilled some self-esteem in this silly child}.

If you would like to do a thankful tree in your home, or if you’d like to use these cards at your dinner table, please download the pdf below.


There are ten subtle fall colors and each card is 2 x 3.5.

To create the tags, I cut out the card, punched a hole, added hole reinforcement stickers, and cut the edges at an angle.


I hope you find great ways to use these cards.



Happy Thanksgiving!

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99 Responses to thankfulness

  1. melissa @ the pleated polka dot November 7, 2011 at 4:41 am #

    this is on my to-do list! thanks for the download:))))

  2. Kelly in Georgia November 7, 2011 at 4:48 am #

    I am thankful for YOU! What a fabulous idea. Love the tree in the living area and your brown transferware. Beautiful!
    p.s. hope you got my email yesterday…..

  3. tina November 7, 2011 at 4:57 am #

    These are beautiful. And I’m thankful for your generous share !!! Thank you.

  4. Jennifer November 7, 2011 at 5:54 am #

    Thank you so much for sharing your talent to those of use who may not have any!! I am thankful for all your generousity!! Have a great day!!

  5. laura November 7, 2011 at 6:47 am #

    what a fabulous idea to help instill the importance of thankfulness into your family. also, it’s just really cute. thanks for sharing!

  6. mary beth November 7, 2011 at 7:37 am #

    Love these! I want to do a thankful tree with my girls now!

  7. Staci November 7, 2011 at 7:40 am #

    Wonderful! I’d been trying to think of way to incorporate writing daily “thankful for” notes, but hadn’t gotten around to creating something. These are perfect!

  8. Sherry November 7, 2011 at 7:40 am #

    I can’t believe I am just finding your lovely blog!! I have been browsing through the archives and I am now a subscriber. The thankful tree is such a great idea and I love your living room.

  9. Julie@jam-n-jilly November 7, 2011 at 7:43 am #

    We have a thankful tree too! And it looks just like yours! Urn and everything! I feel so smart:) however I was using plain tags! Thanks for sharing yours!

  10. Dear Lillie November 7, 2011 at 7:43 am #

    This is too funny! I just posted about a thankful tree today too! I think I like yours even better, though. LOVE your table setting!

  11. Sara @ It's Good to be Queen November 7, 2011 at 7:53 am #

    we are doing this! thank you so much!! and oh yes i love your table setting…those plates are lovely.

  12. Danielle November 7, 2011 at 8:08 am #

    Love it! Such a great idea!

  13. Jill Mckee November 7, 2011 at 8:08 am #

    Thanks Emily! I am hosting Thanksgiving this year for 30 at my house, and can think of LOTS of ways I can use these beautiful cards you created. I love them, and they will go perfectly with the tablescape I am planning on putting together. I am thankful for YOU and all your inspiration and talent. Thanks for sharing with the rest of the world!

  14. Tia November 7, 2011 at 8:19 am #

    I bought a Thanksgiving calendar 5 years ago at Pottery Barn, and it is so cute to see what my kids come up with. I have just been using plain card stock these past 5 Thanksgivings, but these cards would coordinate perfectly. I wish there was somewhere in my house I could do a Thanksgiving tree, but for now, my Thanksgiving calendar works well. Thank you so much for inspiring a little more gratitude in the world.

  15. Tina November 7, 2011 at 8:19 am #

    Thanks, Emily!
    Lovely, sentimental idea for the season of thanks. : )

  16. Bethany November 7, 2011 at 8:20 am #

    Thank you! I LOVE these!

  17. Audra November 7, 2011 at 8:21 am #

    Thank you, thank you!

  18. Erika November 7, 2011 at 8:34 am #

    I like to set up a tree of thanks during this time. I started this practice when I was teaching in a psychiatric facility–it is easy to forget about gratefulness at times and there is nothing like these pretty cards to remind me.

    It’s a Wrap Link Party at Artful Rising

  19. michelle November 7, 2011 at 8:34 am #

    Thank you so much for this sweet gift! My sweet boy and I are gonna go cut some branches down in our woods and have a Thankful tree.

  20. Elle November 7, 2011 at 8:45 am #

    Hi Emily,

    Love your ideas! Your plates are beautiful, what pattern are they? Thanks!

    • emily November 7, 2011 at 11:25 am #

      The plates are Spode Delamere. My m-i-l gave them to me a few years ago for christmas and I adore them.

  21. Shelley Heck November 7, 2011 at 8:49 am #

    I’m thankful for your talent and that you are so generous sharing with all your fans!! =) Thank you so much for these. My daughter and I cut branches this past weekend just for this reason and I was going to make tags today…now I don’t have to! Have a great week and thank again!!!

  22. elisabeth November 7, 2011 at 8:58 am #

    Love this! I’m thankful for your generosity! BTW–how’s about a tutorial for that pretty fall wreath on your mantel? :)

    • emily November 7, 2011 at 11:26 am #

      The wreath on the mantle came from the Martha Stewart line at KMart about 10 years ago. I love putting it out each fall!

  23. Chinelle November 7, 2011 at 9:07 am #

    Thank you for the tags! I am going to use them. What a great idea. Anyway, thank you for making them and giving them away, that was a sweet blessing! God bless you!

  24. Aubrianne November 7, 2011 at 9:09 am #

    Thank you for your generosity in sharing your talents! I am going to do this with my family tonight for Family Night!

  25. Rhonda November 7, 2011 at 9:24 am #

    Thanks for much for sharing! I am working on getting my tree together today! Can’t wait to use these cards to teach my boys more about how to be thankful every day! I printed out the cards, however, they are very small…only a 1 x 2. Did I do something wrong when downloading or printing? Thanks again!

    • emily November 7, 2011 at 11:27 am #

      Just make sure you open the pdf using Adobe Reader.

  26. Ashley November 7, 2011 at 9:30 am #

    thanks for these!! i think i will do a tree next year and use these (thanksgiving here in Canada has passed). they are too cute and such a great idea. thank you so much!!

  27. Teresa (Our Corner House) November 7, 2011 at 9:51 am #

    What a great download, thanks! Love the tree!!! Oh, and the legos nearly killed me. So sweet. -Teresa

  28. lisa November 7, 2011 at 10:11 am #

    thank you soooo much for this, Emily! Will do! Also, I am pinning your place setting – that would be the dream one for me! Is that your place setting? Do you know the name of that? I am a big collector of all brown/white plates!!!
    You are such a real, dear woman!

  29. Ellen S. November 7, 2011 at 10:13 am #

    How very pretty…THANK YOU!

  30. Amy November 7, 2011 at 10:22 am #

    I was going to start a “Thankful Jar” and these tags will be perfect to use. Thanks so much!!!

  31. heather j November 7, 2011 at 10:35 am #

    Thank you Emily!

  32. Nancy November 7, 2011 at 10:41 am #

    Psalm 100:4-5

    4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving
    and his courts with praise;
    give thanks to him and praise his name.
    5 For the LORD is good and his love endures forever;
    his faithfulness continues through all generations.

  33. Allison November 7, 2011 at 11:01 am #

    Thank you Emily!
    My mom had us do a similar activity growing up. She had a decorated coffee tin with a slot in the top — we would put in notes with messages of things we were thankful for during the month of November, then would read them during Thanksgiving dinner. It is a memory I still cherish today, 25+ years later!
    What a beautiful way to display these messages and a wonderful tradition to share with your children, thank you for sharing!

  34. Molly November 7, 2011 at 11:10 am #

    Thanks so much for these! My boys and I had our first Thankfulness Tree last year (after one fell in love with a large stick and couldn’t bear to leave it outside!). We used plain ol’ construction paper leaves in fall colors to write our blessings, so today I am grateful to find something much more fun! Thanks for the great tags. I found that after Thanksgiving I didn’t want to throw the leaves that listed our blessings away, so I bunched them together on a small string and hung the cluster on our Christmas tree. I think it’ll be fun to have lots of clumps of these blessings cards hanging on our tree in the future. :)

  35. Jadie November 7, 2011 at 11:21 am #

    how cute! i also LOVE your fall living room! beautiful. but what happened to your tv???

    • emily November 7, 2011 at 11:28 am #

      how observant! We have rearranged a few rooms and now our master bedroom is the media/game room with the big tv and our master bedroom is now in the old guest room. We still need to cover that niche in the fireplace …

  36. Cailin November 7, 2011 at 11:27 am #

    you are endlessly inspiring and I am thankful for “meeting you”!

  37. Kristy November 7, 2011 at 11:56 am #

    I am thankful for gifted designers who are generous enough to give us a free download so that we can make our own Thankfulness trees!

    Thank you!

  38. lucinda November 7, 2011 at 12:20 pm #

    Thank you so much for sharing your talents with blogland!
    I love the sheet music place mat…is it really just sheet music or a place mat you purchased? Can’t wait to hear about moving the TV into the master!


  39. Mrs Montoya November 7, 2011 at 1:14 pm #

    I LOVE this and am absolutely going to use the idea immediately. Thank you for always sharing so generously. I blogged about your beautiful ideas {and heart} today. You inpsire me so often and I am THANKFUL for you.



  40. bevy November 7, 2011 at 1:53 pm #

    I let out a couple of chuckles and am THANKFUL for the laugh! Great idea!

  41. rachel November 7, 2011 at 2:17 pm #

    I just love these. I can’t wait to make me a little tree too!! Also, thank you for the JDC monthly. I am loving it. You are so creative, and thank you for sharing your talent. Your living room is beautiful!!

  42. Stacie November 7, 2011 at 3:21 pm #

    gorgeous! you are on fire with these great creative ideas and beautifully designed cards.
    thanks for offering them free. i appreciate your work and generous heart!

  43. Torie November 7, 2011 at 3:27 pm #

    I LOVE this tree. Doing it immediately! Such a sweet idea, We can all be a little more thankful.

  44. April November 7, 2011 at 4:05 pm #

    We are thankful for you.

  45. Becky November 7, 2011 at 4:09 pm #

    Thank you the tree is a great idea.

  46. Kayelene November 7, 2011 at 4:47 pm #

    I am Thankful for you. Your thoughts and talents bring beauty to this world. We don’t celebrate Thankgiving here in Australia but thankfulness is something our family tries to embrace everyday. Thank you for this thoughtful and lovely gift :)

  47. Louwink November 7, 2011 at 4:53 pm #

    Gorgeous cards and a beautiful idea to have a thankful tree.

    Love the colours and the whole look.


  48. Natalia November 7, 2011 at 5:00 pm #

    I went outside this afternoon and grabbed some branches to make a Thankful Tree for my family! Had the cards printed, cut and punched in no time! Thank you for beautiful print outs and a great idea! God bless!

  49. Lili November 7, 2011 at 6:25 pm #

    These are fantastic! Thanks for the free download! Once again, you ROCK!!!

  50. kasey November 7, 2011 at 7:09 pm #

    Love it! I just got them all printed, cut out and ready for our Family Home Evening activity tonight. We’ll do a new card each Monday night to add to it. I think I’ll string them up above the fireplace. Thanks!


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