November. It’s here and suddenly the world is all about tinsel and Christmas carols and the best Amazon steal. Just like that, we’ve jumped over an entire month and settled into full-on, commercialized Santa mode.
And, I’m just as guilty as the next person.
Monday at work, my co-workers and I chatted about the subject of Thanksgiving and Thankfulness, and my eyes grew wide as a few statistics were shared about the health and wealth of the world majority in comparison to those of us who live in the United States.
Tuesday, as I listed with my husband to a podcast on abandonment and adoption, I teared up at the voice of a man who was discarded by his family at three years of age.
Wednesday I headed into my office and started looking at Operation Christmas Child videos in preparation for an event our church will be doing later in the month … and I couldn’t stop smiling and crying as I watched the little faces of those children who are the recipients of simple shoe-boxes filled with the equivalent of what my children get in their stockings for Christmas.
Yeah, this week has pretty much been a slap in the face.
It is so easy to get side-tracked by busy lives and wish lists and everyday frustrations — the result of which makes one (ahem … me) lose sight of how full and blessed my life is. And, because I don’t notice those blessings — because I don’t show or express gratitude — I’m not passing on a sense of appreciation for all that is good in my life. My children aren’t getting a legacy of gratitude from this Mama.
It’s time to make a change. I don’t want to bypass a month that is meant to hone our focus in on being thankful. I don’t want to get so wrapped up in schedules and work and Christmas budgets that I can’t see all the gifts God has already put in my life.
Health. Children. A home. Jobs. Food. Friends.
Recycled Craft: A Thankful Turkey for Project Gratitude
To help the Kidlets start looking for blessings, I had a moment of inspiration when I saw the empty plastic container sitting on the countertop. Once a bottle full of International Delight Pumpkin Spice Creamer (yes, the very one in THIS post), it was waiting to be rinsed and put into the recycling bin.
But, Mama saw a turkey. A tall, cartoony turkey with words scrawled across construction paper feathers in childish handwriting. A turkey that would help the kids display thirty days of acknowledging the blessings in their lives. One feather for each day of November.
And, thanks to a craft drawer that is always ready for a Kidlet project, I had everything to make, as the Kidlets call it, “The Family Turkey.”
- 1 large Creamer Bottle (empty, washed and dried)
- 30 Mini Clothespins
- Hot Glue Gun and Glue
- Googly Eyes
- Small Piece of Brown Foam or Construction Paper
- Small Piece of Red Felt
- 4-8 pieces of Construction Paper in fall colors
- Brown Spray Paint (optional)
- Rice, Flour, or similar to weigh down the bottle
- Unscrew the lid from the clean creamer bottle. If desired, spray-paint the lid with brown paint to cover and let dry. (International Delight lids are royal blue — it took about three coats to make the lid a solid brown)
- Choose a front and a back to the bottle/turkey. I used the smooth side as the front.
- Glue 30 mini-clothespins to the back in rows. I fanned the clothespins out so that the “feathers” would also fan out behind the Turkey.
- Using a funnel or rolled piece of paper, fill the empty bottle with rice, flour or the like … this will weigh the bottle down and keep it sturdy as the feathers are added each day.
- Once the lid is dry, attach it back to the bottle, making sure the front of the lid matches with the front of the bottle.
- Cut a triangle out of the brown foam-sheet or brown construction paper. Glue it to the top of the bottle, just below where the neck of the bottle meets the bottom of the lid.
- Cut out a “squiggly” piece of red felt to be the Turkey’s waddle. Glue it across the top of the beak, allowing it to cascade down (see picture).
- Glue the Googly Eyes onto the lid, just above the beak and waddle.
- If desired use a permanent marker (or vinyl letters) to add the words, ” Give Thanks” to the front of the bottle.
- Stack the sheets of Construction paper and trace feather shapes onto the top piece of paper. Cut out 30 feathers.
Each day, allow the kids or the entire family to take one construction paper feather and write a thing for which they are thankful. Attach the feather to one of the clothespins. Continue throughout the month of November till the Turkey’s feathers are all on him/her.
Your Own Kind of Gratitude
Let me know if you make a Thankful Turkey of your own! If you don’t yet have a few empty creamer bottles laying around, join the International Delight community and get a coupon (plus recipes and other member-exclusive things like giveaways).
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of International Delight. The opinions and text are all mine.