Thankful for…Bay Leaves and Family

We have a bay tree at Glover Gardens that’s growing like gangbusters and provides a plethora of bay leaves – way-way-way more than we need.  So many that we can use them as table decorations or place cards.

I saw an article in Good Housekeeping a few years ago which gave me another idea for using our excess bay leaves. Paper leaves were adorned with “thankful for” messages and attached to pears with florists’ wire to create a beautiful, unique and inexpensive centerpiece.

The pears in this centerpiece have paper "thankful for" leaves (photo from Good Housekeeping).
The pears in this centerpiece have paper “Thankful For” leaves (photo from Good Housekeeping).

We tried it out using sharpies to convey our gratitude on bay leaves and found that it not only looked great, but was a fun and even meaningful activity.  Teen-aged cousins crowded around the kitchen island having a great time talking about what they were grateful for while they got to work attaching their bay leaves to pears.  It was a wonderful Night Before Thanksgiving family bonding experience.

Grateful For Pears
The Thankful For pears, mid-assembly in the kitchen on the Night Before Thanksgiving in 2013. There was gratitude for Support, Laughter, Aunts, Grandparents, Brothers, Love and much more.

When they’re done, you can arrange the “Thankful For” pears in a bowl or platter, or simply scatter them down your Thanksgiving table.

Thankful Pears

We had a bigger Thanksgiving last year with the arrival of numerous relatives from New Mexico, and everyone really enjoyed making their “Thankful For” leaves.  We did it on Thanksgiving Day as family members arrived.

My grandmother was thankful for grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
My grandmother was thankful for grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

We ended up with so many that we added a new step, the creation of a “Thankful For” / Happy Thanksgiving tree.  This turned out to be a great group activity during the appetizer hour, when the turkeys were resting and then being carved.

Family members arranging gratitude-covered bay leaves during the appetizer hour.
Family members arranging gratitude-covered bay leaves during the appetizer hour.

We found ourselves gathered around the tree throughout the afternoon and evening, reading about each other’s gratitude and having meaningful conversations.

We’re going to do the “Thankful For” tree again this year.  What are you thankful for?

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