Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving Traditions

I meant to get this post out two weeks ago, but time just got away from me.  Better late than ever, I always say.  (I really don't always say that, but it seems appropriate here.)

I wanted to share a few of my Thanksgiving traditions with you.  My grandmother started them back when I was a little girl.  I think she did it to get us out of her hair while she was trying to get everything ready for the big meal.   They've been a part of every Farish (that's my maiden name) table for as long as I can remember. The kids are always in charge of this part of Thanksgiving --  I always looked forward to it!

Keep in mind that these crafts are for kids -- so  they are not scrapbooker beautiful -- they look like kids made them.  But I don't care about perfection, I care about fun and memories.  I hope you do too.

Tradition #1 Native American Place Cards.

Every Thanksgiving the kids are in charge of giving everyone at the table a special Native American name. You have to guess where you sit, by finding the name you think belongs to you. It's loads of fun and we have always gotten very creative with the names we make up. 

A few examples for your viewing pleasure:

Heap Big With Child
Yellow Hair
Can't Hold Her Bladder
Chief Bald Eagle
Smiles A Lot
Deep Water

I think you get the gist . . .

The above picture is Claire's place card which I personally slapped together just so you can get an idea of what our cards look like finished.  She's on the dance team at school, and the school mascot is a wolf -- hence the name.   Clever huh!

We use the following materials, but you can really use any craft materials you have sitting around your house including just coloring with crayons and paper.

Walnut shell for face
Google eyes
Sharpies, or craft paint for nose and mouth -- applied with the pointy end of a small paint brush
Black yarn for hair (I didn't have any so I used black crepe paper.) I liked to braid the yarn hair when I was a kid, but you do what you want with that. :)
Pipe cleaner for headband
Card Stock
Glue (I use E6000 because it dries fast and it's thick)

Tradition #2 - Candy Filled Turkeys

These are super easy, a five year old can do it. I know because I made them when I was five, and so did my kids.

You need the following supplies:

Brown tulle (Which my craft store never seems to carry so I have to use a horrible flesh color, but you get the gist, don't you?)
Brown pipe cleaner
Red pipe cleaner
Google Eyes
Candy Corn or M&Ms (buy a big bag)
Scissors for cutting pipe cleaner and tulle.

Cut 12 inch squares of tulle. I layer two for each turkey.

Place a generous amount of candy in the center of the tulle and gather the 4 corners.  Secure with 1/2 of a brown pipe cleaner.

Roll the other half the the brown pipe cleaner into the shape of a turkey head.

Add google eyes, and a snip of red pipe cleaner bent in half.

Stab the end of the head into the body.
Voila, you are done. 

Place each turkey on the plates at your dinner table.

Tradition #3  -  A Gratitude Tree

This is a new tradition, and I haven't had time to take photographs so I will just tell you about it.

Go outside and cut a branch off of a tree. Fill a vase full of white dried beans or rock salt and stab the branch into the beans. Cover the base with moss.

Cut a bunch of small pieces of paper and punch a small hole in the corner of each. Tie string on each piece of paper so you can hang them on the tree.

About a week before Thanksgiving, take time every night and have your family write something they are thankful for on one of the papers and hang them on the tree.

If you are having guests over for Thanksgiving, have them write something on one of the papers too. You can use the tree as your centerpiece.

After dinner, read all the slips of paper.

Hope your day tomorrow is wonderful!  I can't wait to have a turkey sandwich tomorrow night after all the dishes are done and the mess has been cleaned up.  That's my favorite part of Thanksgiving!!


Bethany @ Organic Enchilada said...

Such good ideas! I love the place cards, and I wonder if my family would get too mean with them. "Scent Like Dead Goat" and stuff like that. Might be worth it though - I'm always up for a laugh!

m.mindy said...

Oh Crystal, I had to have Thanksgiving on a days notice, due to an unfortunate event. I read your blog that morning and used your Indian name place card idea. My oldest son and I were hysterical naming everyone. It was a HIT! Thanks, you are the best! Love ya, Mindy

AMCutler said...

We always had the turkey's at thanksgiving too! Only ours were filled with corn candy and those candy coated weird bumpy peanut things. I loved those turkeys! I've got to make me some. And I think I might borrow the name card idea. That is great. Thanks for sharing!

Jilly said...

It is very helpful and interesting post for every one who want to know about this. It is very much helpful for kids, sure they likes it very much, as per my knowledge it is best for brain power.
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