I have a confession to make: I am a cynical Thankgivingist.
Not about the family or the food or internal giving of thanks, but mainly about public thanksgiving.
I shy away from posting what I’m thankful for or doing Thanksgiving crafts with my kids because I fear it will be contrived rather than genuine. Not to say that other people aren’t genuinely thankful in November, but something about being put on the spot to be publically thankful RIGHT NOW makes me thanks-adverse.
I know, I know – this makes me a horrible person. I acknowledge this and am thankful that God will forgive me for my abounding cynicism.
But I found myself quite accidentally thankscrafty last week. It came upon me unexpectedly and was a genuine moment of thankfulness shared between Ali and I – exactly the way I prefer it.
Ali lives to make and give away cards. She has giant bags full of cards that she’s spent hours making, and at the beginning of the day, she’ll ask me who we might see so that she can prepare herself with the number of cards needed.
She is so task-oriented about her card supply that she often heaves a great sigh and says “I have SO MUCH CARD WORK to do during quiet time.”
…because her current inventory of 487,000 cards is never enough.
As such, I told her a few days in advance that we would be having our family over for Thanksgiving, and that it was the perfect opportunity to make cards. And, since it was Thanksgiving and all, it would be fantastic if she could write each person a note saying what she was thankful for about them.
She jumped at the idea. We made a master list of our guests (16 people), and I helped her brainstorm about each card, then I left her to her work.
I’m pretty sure she spent an entire quiet time intricately crafting her notes, and they were awesome – even containing illustrations.
I have several books full of scrapbook paper left over from my ModPodge Framing days, and I thought it might be fun to add a border to her cards.
Then I was all like, to heck with it – we’ll use a full sheet to back each card.
As we worked, I realized that they were now pretty much the perfect size for placemats – and we had a serendipitous moment of thanksgiving for our crafting fortune.
We finished backing all of our cards Wednesday evening, and on Thursday morning, as I was admiring our work, Chris said, “I assumed you were going to laminate those.”
LAMINATION!! Now THAT’S something I can be thankful for!
I whipped out my laminator and figured out how I could use 1 1/3 sheets of the laminating plastic I had in stock to on each card to seal them into perfect placemats.
And as the children watched the parade, I basked in my coffee, pretty papers, delightful notes, and my best friend the laminator.
That right there is the cure for any amount of Thanksgiving cynicism.
I had to trim the pages ever so slightly for them to fit, but in the end, they made for my most favorite placemats ever.
And they helped create a beautiful makeshift-tablescape for seventeen:
(The kid’s placemats later got moved to the kid’s tables.)
They didn’t photograph well individually, but here are a few of my favorites.
Ali’s thankful for her Great-Grandmother because she gets to give her cards. I told you she was a cardaholic. Also – that drawing totally looks like Mammaw.
For my Mom, she was sure to point out “Hey Gramamma – see all those circles on your face? I drew your moles for you.”
(And no, those are moley hands, not chocolate chip cookies.)
Ali already enjoys partying with her brother and he’s not even in preschool yet. Mental note: send them to separate colleges.
(NO, Y’ALL – Noah’s holding a Lego, not a bong.)
Her cousin Eli was given three illustrations to help him choose his facial covering for Movember:
My brother Nick is good for one thing:
Which may or may not be as fun as the one thing that my brother JC is good for:
And of course, I surprised Ali by adding in a seventeenth card.
Which pretty much abdicates me from all of my thankful cynicism ever, and prevents the generational spread of my disease.
Or at least I’m hoping so.
17 thoughts on “Dinner Placemats of the Thankful Variety.”
This is so sweet! Tendai just got her card and outfits form Ali today and was once again mesmerized by this girl who can write… ALL BY HERSELF! …..Love the placemat idea… and laminating them is perfect.. a lovely keepsake for everyone!
I’m so glad she got them! Make sure you send us a picture of her in one – Ali LOVED the last picture!
Such a very fine idea! You will keep these forever and ever!
Aw, what a sweet project! I bet Ali is going to grow up to be one of those super-thoughtful friends who never forgets a birthday and always seems to find the perfect card to send for every need or occasion.
Yup – and she’s going to hate the fact that her mother never thinks of sending cards. :-)
She is such a sweet child!
Aw what a great idea!! Ali is destined to work at Hallmark or open her own card shop.
Currently, she’s going to be an artist and a bakery owner. But maybe she can sell artistic cards at her bakery.
A lovely idea! I do believe in the value of giving thanks (in fact, I blogged about it today)
This may sound trite, but I am thankful for you and your blog.
I can’t decide if that comma should be there…
Thank you! I’m thankful that you read it!
Our daughters are totally kindred spirits. Totally.
I’m glad Noah wasn’t holding a bong! hahahaha!
He better not have been… ;-)
Aww, those are so sweet! What a thoughtful spirit she has. And on another note…I need to get myself a laminator! :)
Yes. You will thank me vehemently. They’re fantastic!
this post was beyond sweet and your note back to Ali made me teary-eyed. I think I like her note to her Uncle JC is my favorite of the ones you posted of hers. She is thankful he gave her cousins, how sweet is that?!