"For each of us there is some mission in life if we but find it. All have some definite thing to do, something for which they have been created; and only the doing of this thing will justify their existence here on earth. If we come into the world and occupy space and time without giving back for this privilege, we have not justified ourselves, and our lives in the end are barren." ~ Hay

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Supermarket Turkey

"Not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them, is the true measure of our Thanksgiving." -W.T. Purkiser

I bet those who know me are going to expect me to rant and rave about the conventional turkeys in the supermarket.  In fact, I would almost wager a bet.  Why?  Because, I can fill volumes on the subject.  However, if you took that bet, I am sorry to say you would have lost because, surprisingly, conventional supermarket turkeys are NOT what this blog post is going to be about.  Did you breathe a sigh of relief?  I am not going to rip apart your Thanksgiving meal.  So why name this post supermarket turkey, you ask?

I am hosting Thanksgiving dinner at my house this year.  It’s time to plan, shop and cook in preparation for Thanksgiving Day.  Why do we go through all that work and stress for one meal?  I often ask myself, is it worth it?  I do not have to think very long before I answer, “YES!”  As everyone knows, there are two parts to Thanksgiving, the “thanks” and the “giving”.  Thanksgiving is not about drudgery, it’s about spending time with family and friends and being thankful for our blessings, both past and present.  Thanksgiving is also about “giving,” sharing a part of ourselves with others.   Oh wait…I think Pilgrims and Indians fit somewhere in the definition of Thanksgiving too. 

Why do you feel you are blessed?  What are you thankful for?  What people/places/things in your life brings you great joy?  I propose that for Thanksgiving, make a list of why you feel blessed and look at it often to remind yourselves of what is important to you.  If you have to write it on a post-it and place it on the counter while cooking, do so.  Or, how about placing that post-it note by the television set as you are watching some football game (I hear the Jets are playing).  It will renew your soul and bring you energy and appreciation for the good things in your life.  These blessings come from fond memories.  For one day, let them fill your mind and your heart. 

I am feeling grateful this year.  I am truly blessed to have two wonderful kids.  I want to share a fond memory with you.  While getting out the Thanksgiving decorations a few days ago, I found this story at the bottom of the box.  It was written by my son probably around the age of 7. 

I cannot help but laugh every time I read this short story.  The main reason is, my husband would not come within ten feet of a gun or the supermarket for that matter.  It also makes me feel nostalgic because my son is now a senior and will be away at college next year.

What fond memories do you have of passed Thanksgivings?  Look back at them and smile.  Even though life can have many twists and turns and you may be in a different place, be happy where you are at the moment.  There is always someone less fortunate then you.  This brings me to the “giving” part of Thanksgiving.

Can I make a suggestion about this Thanksgiving?  Do not make this Thanksgiving dinner just another Thanksgiving dinner.  You can feed your soul by giving to others.  How can you give?  You can give the conventional ways; donate some food to a shelter, make some extra food and bring it over to an elderly neighbor or how about inviting someone over for Thanksgiving who is alone. You can also set some time aside to call someone who may really need to hear your voice.  The act of giving makes you feel fulfilled.  Just like acknowledging our blessings, giving of ourselves should not be just around the holidays.   We should attempt to give a little of ourselves daily.  For instance, opening a door for someone, not zooming passed someone who is trying to back out of their parking spot (big pet peeve of mine), letting someone pay before you online at the cash register because they only have three items and you have a full cart.  Doesn’t it bring a smile to your face when someone does these things for you? 

Now aren’t you glad I did not rave on and on about the supermarket turkeys?  Oh, I have one more thing…..

Today I am sharing with you a craft – making place cards out of pinecones for the Thanksgiving table.  This is something I made with my kids when they were small.  I have “tweaked” it a bit.  I am calling it “supermarket turkey,” after my son’s story.  It’s simple and fun and doesn’t require a lot of work.   If you have children, it’s a great way to spend quality time with them and let them play a part in the meal.  If you are visiting someone’s house where there are kids, why not bring the materials and sit with the children to keep them occupied while the host prepares the meal.  If you are not around kids at all, you can make a couple of these place cards and drop them off at a local hospital or children’s shelter. Feel free to use your imagination and have fun.  Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Supermarket Turkey

Pinecones* - These you can find on the ground.  You may have some in your back yard, local school, or park.  Just look down.
Four pieces construction paper – dark brown, yellow, red, white
Glue, scissors, pencil, feathers, plastic eyes (you can just use a black marker if you wish)

Instructions – Collect pinecones (you can spray paint them if you want to add some color).  Collect one pinecone per person.
Using dark brown paper, make two circles. - One circle about 1 ¼ in circumference, and the other circle about 1 ¾ in circumference.  Glue the smaller circle overlapping the larger circle.  Cut a small diamond (about ¾” long) out of the yellow construction paper.  You fold it in half and glue it on the smaller circle for the beak.  Glue or draw on two eyes.  Cut a thick “U” shape (see picture about 1”) out of the red construction paper and glue slightly under the yellow beak.  Place name tag (made out of white paper) on the bird, (see picture).  Once done, glue the brown bird on the top of the pinecone.  Place feathers on the pinecone and glue in.  Feel free to embellish or decorate the bird however you want.  It’s fun!!


Anonymous said...

I am thankful for you! thanks for being there always! Happy Thanksgiving week my friend :) - Cindy

Anonymous said...

You are so cute with your little craft! Its all you, and this piece made me smile. Yes, sometimes people have to be reminded of the simplest things. Like sucking it up and keeping their yap shut and enjoy the experience of family being together instead of critiquing every dish that is put in front of them...

Diane R. said...

You are too funny. Thank you for the insightful blog. And, I love the pinecone turkey....think I'll try it and donate them to the local nursing home.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours Christine. I know your dinner will be delicious!