My early memories of Thanksgiving include truckloads of cousins and feeling picked on that the grownups got the best food. Later that transitioned to small-time petty pie thievery, once I and my cousins were old enough to sneak in and out of the kitchens. My favorite pie to steal was chocolate mousse!
My other favorites were lemon meringue, and apple. Interesting that pumpkin didn’t make my list back then, but is enough of a favorite now that my family will be dishing up our fourth pumpkin pie of the fall on Thanksgiving day!
The one thing that’s always been sadly lacking in my life was cute Thanksgiving décor. I’ve tried, over the years, to pull a few things together but Halloween often isn’t taken down as quickly as it could be…and the Friday and Saturday after turkey day we roll out the Christmas tree and deck the house to within an inch of its life.
In recent years this lack of Thanksgiving trimmings was made worse because my kids have (sigh!) transitioned past the handmade rolly-polly thankful turkey that we used in their grade school years. And while I have no objection to transitioning to ‘grown up’ Thanksgiving décor, most of it has me looking over my shoulder for Grandma.
But this year I finally figured it all out! When I brought out the Halloween stuff, I made sure my mantel and banister were more fall and less spooky, making for an easy transition straight into Thanksgiving. Then I got crafty and created my own mantel centerpiece. I’m no artist—though I wish I were—but I think they turned out super cute!
I hope you don’t mind my showing off the steps in pics. It seriously felt so good to have a crafty project I made come together! I feel like saying ‘Lookie, lookie, Pinterest! I can do this, too!’ And best yet, I didn’t spend a cent on it.
First up was cleaning and ‘cooking’ the pine cones, which I gathered from my yard. Cleaning meant giving them a 30 minute bath in a bucket full of water spiked with a cup of white vinegar. Cooking involved putting them on a foil-lined cookie sheet and baking them at 200/250 in the oven.
And baking them, and baking them, and baking them…
Seriously, this part took sooo much longer than the instruction sites said it would! I got my info here, and here, which gave me the impression it would only take an hour or two. Maybe I was too cautious about the pine cones going up in flames? I don’t know. At any rate, I realized when I started pulling the pine cones out that I’ve discovered a new love. Who knew pine cones could be so cute? Just look at the way they stand there, making a miniature forest of quiet strength and solitude! Be still my heart.
I added eye hooks, which I took from an old picture hanging kit. The online tips said you have to drill a hole in the pine cone first, but I found with a little gentle persuasion I could twist them right in. Best of all, because I didn’t use glue or anything like that, I was able to later adjust the level of twist to make the pine cones face out instead of the wall! I hate it when my decorations put themselves in timeout.
Then came the fun part—playing with ribbons! I learned years ago that wire-trimmed ribbon is a crafty-wannabe girl’s best friend, and I make a habit of buying it whenever it’s on sale. For this project I dug into my stash and found two shades of gold-trimmed ribbon. One a see-through sage green, the other a lovely cream. I paired them with red yarn, curly ribbon, and individual words I printed off in a fun type. And voilah!
All together they say Give Thanks In All Things, and I love it! Best of all, I should be able to pull them back out every year, making for a new ‘grown up’ Thanksgiving tradition I can smile over while my kids sneak behind my back and commit petty pie thievery. Because, hey, isn’t that what traditions are all about?
What are your family traditions? What is your Thanksgiving like? I’d love for you to share the details—including your favorite must-have flavor of pie—in the comments!
I won’t be post here next week, but I do plan–if all goes well–to do my very first ever Facebook live video on Tuesday, Nov. 21st! Since I’ll be demonstrating how I make pompom pens (the kind I’ll be giving away with each book signed and sold on Saturday, Nov. 25th at the Garner Pop-up Market) you can probably all watch me burn my fingers on my glue gun, in real time! Not something you want to miss. 😉
Thanks for stopping by, and have a wonderful Thanksgiving!