I have a thing for Thanksgiving. It’s one of the few holidays that doesn’t feel stressful or commercial to me. It’s about family, food, and feeling grateful. Period. I’ve gotten my boys on board with not viewing the holiday as simply a speed bump on the road between Halloween and Christmas. In fact, my 7yo now gets indignant when he sees Christmas commercials before Thanksgiving. He cheers when he spots a rare turkey or pilgrim decoration on someone’s house. So it seemed only fitting to go into his second-grade classroom to do a Thanksgiving craft with the kids. Check it: the Thankful Turkey. (“Grati-Turkey” didn’t catch on, despite my best efforts.)
Yep, blame Pinterest again. Although this time it didn’t steer me wrong. Aside from having to cut out 120 turkey feathers (4 per kid), plus 30 beaks and wattles (wobbles? gobbles? combs? those ugly, floppy red thingies!), this was actually — as the name implies — an easy craft. Just fold over a brown paper bag, glue on some googly eyes and beaks, then glue on feathers labeled with things you’re thankful for. In case you can’t read his handwriting, my son’s says: books, my house, cars, and Pokemon.
The kids really got into it. But I wasn’t prepared for their level of creativity. One boy made the feathers into ears and a tail, put 9 eyes on it, and called it a “turkey monster.” One girl turned her paper bag upside down and made it into a puppet. Another kid stuffed his with crumpled up paper to make it fat. Another one made a necktie for his turkey.
Family, friends, and food were the most popular things to be thankful for, with baby sisters, video games, and candy getting some mentions. One girl said she was thankful for One Direction, and a couple said they were thankful for Harry Potter. One girl kept asking for extra feathers and when we ran out of those, wrote all the things she was thankful for on the turkey itself.
These kids get it. And I love that. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your little turkeys! I’m grateful for all of you reading this.