No tinsel, no twinkling lights, no star -- a different sort of holiday tree decorated the dining room of the McDuffie County Senior Citizens Center last month. Approximately 6 foot high and drawn with markers on paper, the tree was bare when it first was hung on the wall.
Over time, it was covered in leaves. Program Coordinator Bristol Tiller supplied a package of leaves made of foam for the seniors to write down each day what they were thankful for.
"The tree just couldn't hold all of our thank-yous," Ruby Floyd said.
Some of the thank-yous were general and others were specific, such as "for my friends," "for my grandchildren," "for Ms. Han calling Bingo," "letting me live another day," or "for my freedom and the soldiers defending it."
Ms. Tiller said she told the seniors to "think outside of the box," and to think of things that applied to that particular day. The seniors filled out a leaf as they entered the center each morning.
"One of them says 'that today is not like yesterday,' and I just thought that was so neat," Ms. Tiller said.
Every senior did not choose to participate, but those that did said it "was fun," and made them "feel more blessed," according to Ms. Tiller.
And the idea caught on so well that every single leaf in the package was used before the time was up.
"I'll have to make it bigger next year and get more leaves," she said.