I love cherry blossoms. I want them all over my house. I love the trees, the sticks, and the flowers themselves. Unfortunately, I don't live in DC. And cherry blossoms aren't exactly a year-round flowering plant. What is a girl to do? Yup, you got it, buy the plastic ones.
So thus was born our Tree of Kindness.
Next to my cherry blossom and pussy willow branches, I placed a small crystal bowl filled with tags. I cut out (Thank heavens for punches!) the tags, then punched holes in their tops, then tied a loop of thread through the hole. Each time that you do something nice for somebody else (it doesn't have to be family only--Kind deeds at school count too), you write it on a tag and hang it on the tree.
I have found that when I give my children an outlet to share their acts of kindness, they spend real time seeking out opportunities to do something nice for somebody else, just so that they can share it. We have a similar tradition that we do at dinnertime. We go around the table while we're eating, and each person shares something nice that they've done that day. Even if the kindness is acted solely to be able to report something at dinner time (or write it on a tag), at least they are thinking about being kind. I'm hoping that this will encourage my children (and myself) to act a little more kindly to the people around us.
Here's my favorite:
That's my six year old, praying for his little sister. She burned her finger on a tea kettle. So sweet.