Well, I must admit, when Thanksgiving rolled around this year, I was feeling a bit “bleah” about the whole holiday season. Our family lives far away and for various reasons we didn’t really have anyone else to invite over for Thanksgiving. So we did something very strange, very untraditional, and it turned out to be our best Thanksgiving ever!
The first thing I did was decorate the house a bit. I went easy on myself. I pulled a picture off the wall and hung this one in its place:
This is a picture that a friend of mine salvaged from the leftovers of an estate sale. I really like it!
Then, I pulled out an old wicker garden basket. (You can tell that it’s a garden basket… it still has dirt on it!) I put a fleece blanket in the basket and stocked it full of Thanksgiving books for children:
I set the basket on our coffee table. We have one of those glass top display coffee tables that we use to display all our nature study (found it on Craigslist for $20! Yay!). I haven’t changed the display in a while, so it’s still displaying seashells from our trip to Florida last winter… Oh well… The pilgrims probably saw lots of seashells when they landed on Plymouth rock, right?
Next I got busy turning my little farmhands into pilgrims! I happened to have some white fabric on hand, so turning a farm girl into a pilgrim girl was easy! I just sewed up a quick pilgrim hat and apron. But a pilgrim boy was harder… How does one make a pilgrim hat with just supplies on hand?
This beach bucket seemed to have potential…
I got busy with some newspaper (for a pattern) and felt. Here are some pictures of the pilgrim hat in progress:
When I got finished sewing the hat, the little farmhand-turned-pilgrim decided he didn’t want to be just a pilgrim boy. He wanted to be a pilgrim MAN…. with a MOUSTACHE! And so I did one of the craziest things I’ve done as a parent. I stayed up really, really late one night crocheting a beard for my preschooler. I think the final product was really adorable though!
We had already decided to surprise some local people with a visit from pilgrims! We compiled a list of some friends, some neighbors and even some strangers to go visit for just a few minutes. So the night before Thanksgiving we prepared a little gift to give each person we visited. First, the little farmhands colored pictures:
Next, we cut the pictures apart and glued them onto brown paper bags which we then filled with popcorn. Popcorn is great “pilgrim food!”:
By the end of the evening we had several bags of popcorn prepared:
Four of the families we visited have several children. So they got something special!
I found a tutorial with instructions to make this great paper bag turkey (stuffed with popcorn) here. What can I say? Google is my friend!
Then, we became pilgrims! We read some of the Thanksgiving books in our baskets and we even slept in front of the fireplace, just like the pilgrims! (Ok, not exactly like the pilgrims… We dragged mattresses into the living room so that we would actually get some sleep!)
And so on Thanksgiving day, several people in and around our little town (many who we had never met before!) were very surprised to have real live pilgrims visit!