Bring a little bit of autumn indoors. Family and friends help create this wreath by sharing what they are thankful for on brightly colored leaves. Every member of the family can contribute to this beautiful wreath. This is a great, concrete, visual way to put meaning back in the holidays for children.


  • 18-inch diameter straw wreath
  • Fall leaves
  • 1 or 2 metallic paint pens
  • 3 1/2-yards of 1/4-inch elastic
  • 1 straight pin


1. Fill a large grocery sack with sturdy fall leaves.

2. As a base, use an 18-inch diameter straw wreath.

3. Wrap the wreath with the elastic. Start by securing one end of the elastic to the top of the wreath with a long straight pin. Wrap the elastic around the wreath at 3-inch intervals. The elastic should be snug against the straw, but not too tight. Once you have gone all the way around the wreath, tie the ends of the elastic together.

4. Using a paint pen on the leaves, have each member of the family write down what they are most thankful for.

5. Starting at the top and working clockwise, tuck the stems of two or three leaves into each band of elastic. Try to arrange the leaves so that no elastic or straw shows. This wreath should take about 15 minutes to construct. Hang the finished wreath on the front door and celebrate all of your family’s blessings.

Leave a basket of leaves near the door and on Thanksgiving Day have all of your guests add their blessings to the wreath.   Rondi Hillstrom Davis and Janell Sewall Oakes, co-authors of the award-winning book Together: Creating Family Traditions. To check out their website that’s jam packed with family ideas, visit