Monday, November 26, 2012

Thankful, Topped with Pride and Awe

I ate the last turkey sandwich for lunch today.  Which means Thanksgiving is really over, but I’m still feeling thankful. And this year, so is Amelia…which was a delightful surprise.  

Amelia will turn five in a few days. In parent-time, that means about ten minutes ago the friendly staff at the maternity ward watched us haplessly strap her into her carseat and wished us luck. Seriously, it’s been that quick. Except for bedtime. 
This year we hosted Thanksgiving.  Cooking a turkey scares the hell out of me, so I put off thinking about it as long as possible with a few crafts. The thankful pumpkin knocked my socks off. I figured we could do some hokey family bonding and end up with a nice centerpiece. Only it wasn’t hokey at all. 
Note the doorknob in the middle!
The craft is pretty simple, although we improvised some because we didn’t have brads or paper fasteners. Who uses paper fasteners anymore? We don’t, so I substituted an extra cabinet doorknob with a short screw and a flat face at the bottom. If my sister is reading this, she’s laughing her head off that we have an extra doorknob but not a paper fastener.  But we did, and I figured the doorknob would give the pumpkin some weight on the bottom to keep it upright on the table. 

Never fully dressed without a crown.

Start with a dozen or so paper strips.  I wanted a larger pumpkin than the tutorial, so I cut larger strips.  Then use a hole puncher to make a hole on each end of each strip. 

Now comes the pride and awe part. Each member of the family names things they are thankful for, and their words are written on the strips of paper.  A year ago, even a few months ago, Amelia wouldn’t have distinguished between “thankful” and “thank you.”  She’d be thankful for a cookie or a toy or passing the mac and cheese.  But this year, somehow, she understood that thankful is bigger. Without a moment’s hesitation, she told us that she is thankful for our family. For her friends. For love.  
Awe.  And awwwww.

Once I picked my chin up off the floor, we threaded the screw through the holes at one end of each strip of paper, and secured it into the doorknob.  I can’t vouch for the paper fastener version, but a doorknob worked pretty well.

Last, gather up the other end of each strip, keeping them in the same sequence they are in at the base, and thread a pipecleaner (or a paper fastener if you have such a thing) through the top holes. Bend the pipecleaner to keep it in the holes, and for good measure we added a leaf.

That’s it!  A fine centerpiece, simple activity, and endless parental pride in the amazingly perceptive, kind, grown-up girl Amelia’s become in almost five years. Or ten minutes.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Craving more crafty fun? Check out additional posts of A Crafty Mess over at Charlotte Parent. Or stop by my Etsy store, Made by Mommy.  Or better yet, leave a comment here...I'd love to hear from you!

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