Our family is doing Thanksgiving potluck style this year. It's perfect - I'm not hosting, but still get to be a part of the process. I love making sweet potatoes and coffee pie, strangely enough, and am looking forward to it. And, since I'm only showing up and making a few items, I feel the freedom this year to bring some extras to the day. (In contrast, last year we hosted and I'm pretty sure we were praying over the turkey at this point in the week. And, buying silverware because no one wants to be stuck eating Thanksgiving dinner with the Snoopy fork.)
This year's blissful Thanksgiving freedom coupled with my newfound discovery of Pinterest has resulted in a week full of Thanksgiving crafts aimed towards adding a few extra touches to the day. I imagine I'll actually drive everyone mildly crazy with it, but that's what holiday traditions are all about - remember the year Emily was really into Pinterest? Important note: finding Pinterest has not made me any more crafty, patient, or less tired than I previously was, so I have only landed on the EASIEST of options.
Personalized Place Cards
I love ideas that infuse some extra gratitude into Thanksgiving without being overly goofy or making people uncomfortable. Plus, I'm a sucker for things that use people's names - for me, it makes me feel included and known, so I want to share that feeling with others. These personalized place cards are easy - print them out, cut them, and use a ribbon to tie them around napkins. Quick, easy, and meaningful. Check out the full details at Fantabulosity.
My daughter loves helping with projects, decorating, and making favors for "all the kids to take home." Pinecone turkeys check all the boxes. First, head out for a walk, nay an adventure hunt, to find some pinecones. Second, get some felt, feathers, and googly eyes, and you're in business. We're going to make one for every kiddo at Thanksgiving to take home and we'll use them to decorate the kids table. A very fun Thanksgiving-eve activity. Get the full details from A Pumpkin and A Princess.
Yup, you read that right. Did I mention how some of this might drive my family crazy? My husband shook his head when I was printing these out last night, but left it at that. Say what you will, but I'm tossing these on the table for that lull between a huge lunch and dessert, when everyone is feeling low on energy and conversation. I anticipate that there will be much mocking of this activity, directly followed by many laughs. Worst-case scenario, everyone chuckles over the year Emily made them play Turkey Trivia; best-case scenario, specialized trivia becomes a beloved Thanksgiving tradition. (Parades, football, and turkey trivia, rolls right off the tongue.) All you have to do is print and trim, get everything you need here: Craftaholics Anonymous.
Pumpkin Ice Bucket
Keeping wine chilled and easily accessible is serious holiday business. Couple that need with the fact that I have four or five pumpkins on my front steps that will be "moving on" the day after Thanksgiving, and this is the perfect 15 minute project. Cut out a side section, scoop out the pumpkin, fill it with ice, and you're a hero to white wine drinkers everywhere. Go to Everyday Dishes for full details.
Pumpkin Pie Bites
I'm saving this one for the Saturday after Thanksgiving, when we get together with family and friends for a final Thanksgiving sendoff. There are always plenty of leftovers, but desserts are getting ragged (and everyone is feeling like it's time to ease up on them). Enter: pumpkin pie bites. It's not really dessert -you're not having a full piece of pie - you can just grab a bite every time you pass by. The perfect closer dessert. It's quick and not overly complicated. Get the recipe at Sugar Apron.
Our family is looking forward to spending some time together this week working on - and enjoying - these projects. Hope yours does too!
Happiest of Thanksgivings to you and your family. And, much gratitude for reading and being a part of this community.