November 15, 2012

Simple Family-Friendly Thanksgiving Projects

It's that time bi-weekly segment on Knoxville's WTNZ Fox43 and this week, we're talking Thanksgiving! Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays and it seems like each year it gets a marginalized a bit more as stores and cities begin putting out Christmas decor closer and closer to Halloween! I want to enjoy Thanksgiving without glossing over it and zipping straight to Christmas so I'm sharing some ideas that I think will help!

One idea for making Thanksgiving a bit more meaningful is creating a 'thankful tree.' This version (by Simply Vintagegirl) is adorable and oh, so easy to make. To make the thankful tree I created for today's segment, I found a branch and stood it up in a vintage champagne bucket. Then I cut out some paper leaves in different fall colors. (I used orange and yellow construction paper and some striped scrapbook paper I had lying around, but you could use whatever you like). 

Another idea I had is to use the leaf shapes as place cards and have your guests write what they are thankful for on the back. Then, everyone can add his or her leaf to the thankful tree as a sweet gesture of thankfulness. 

I love the idea of capturing a thankful memory with a photograph. Everyone at your Thanksgiving celebration could take turns writing what he or she is thankful for on a small chalkboard sign and then have his/her photo taken while holding it. This heart-shaped chalkboard sign (available on Etsy) is one option, but I made my own with some chalkboard spray paint and a canvas I picked up at my local thrift shop for $2. These photos could be compiled into an album to help cement the memories of Thanksgiving 2012!

Finally, what's Thanksgiving without a little turkey? In this case, a sweet treat everyone can enjoy making together. We often have some type of little craft or project planned for the kids in my family to enjoy after the big Thanksgiving meal. This would be perfect because it's so easy and fun, not to mention delicious!

I was inspired by another blogger to create these MoonPie turkey treats and I'm so happy with how they turned out. I think the ones shown in the photo are made with full-size MoonPies but I could only find the mini versions. I also used the mini Nutter Butter cookies (instead of the full-sized as shown above) since they fit the scale of the smaller MoonPies. 

Everything gets held together with cake frosting and they set up well if refrigerated for awhile. The eyes are M&Ms and the wattles are red jelly beans (although I used red licorice instead). These are a fun Thanksgiving treat to make and enjoy and I think even the youngest kids could create them with a little help. 

I hope you got some inspiration from my ideas! I think we can make Thanksgiving feel extra special with just a little effort. You don't have to spend a lot of money to create lasting family Thanksgiving memories. Have a happy day friends! 

Southern Belle Simple is brought to you by Kate Spears