Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thanksgiving Thankful Boxes

In an earnest effort to keep the "Thanks" part in Thanksgiving, I've been known to make my family (most were willing participants) write down or say something they were thankful for while we're passing the dressing and gnawing on a turkey leg (okay, so no one gnaws on a turkey leg). We've shared some good times doing this, but to give my family more time to think about what they were thankful for, I decided to mail them a little Thanksgiving packet. Some may not get theirs until a day before Thanksgiving, but a few more hours of thinking time is better than being put on the spot.

The supplies:
4x6 scrapbook paper
double sided tape or thread and needle
die cuts
little flower brads, which I forgot to photograph but are in the picture later on.

I came up with a short note to the family and then wrote it in a pretty font and workable size. After printing it out, I cut around the poem with decorative scissors. Then, I took 4x6 pieces of scrapbook paper, cut off 1/2 an inch on one of the short sides and long sides. I had to do this so it would fit in the envelopes. To assemble the note cards, I used flower-shaped brads to tack the note to the scrapbook paper.

For the first cards, I tried to sew a coordinating ribbon to the bottom of the card. It came out okay, but I was afraid the thread would eventually break through the card. For the remaining cards, I just put some double sided tape on the back of the ribbon.

I used the die cute machine at school and cut turkey, pumpkin and leaf patterns using various shades of scrapbook paper. If you don't have one of these machines handy, you can Google any assortment of Thanksgiving images, copy and paste them into Word and print them out on your choice of paper. These die cuts will be where your family writes what they are thankful for.

To put it all together, stuff the card in the envelope, include the die cuts and a few smaller leaves and acorns or whatever suits you. I used a brown calligraphy pen to address the envelopes and took one of the small leaves, wrote an M for our last name and taped it to the back of the envelope at the enclosure site.

I did this for D.'s side of the family, so Dani if you haven't gotten yours yet, it should hopefully be there tomorrow. Talk about giving everyone extra time.
During Thanksgiving dinner, we'll pull out our thankful notes from this box I found half off at Hobby Lobby and try to guess who wrote each one.

I rewrote a couple of different poems and came up with this for the inside of the box:

The Thankful Box
"It's just a little box that we use at this time each year,
But what is in that little box will always bring a tear.
It's something that we do for all to benefit;
Everyone has placed a little note inside of it.
We all named it our "thankful box" and what the notes will say,
Are all the things we're thankful for on this Thanksgiving Day.
One of us will read the notes as we all sit around,
And slowly read what each note says and what we've written down.
We do not sign the little notes or put our names on it,
But as the little notes are read we know just who they fit.
This year as we read the notes they seemed to ring out clear,
We didn't take for granted many things we had this year."

I was going to do the same for my family, but when I found out we were hosting an army, time prevented otherwise. For them I had plans to have everyone write down something they are thankful for on strips of Christmas paper and then we would make a giant paper chain to hopefully decorate my grandparent's house if they are willing. Since then I found out my little boy has bronchiolitis (not bronchitis) so plans may have changed once again.

No time to put together a thankful box- no worries. As I tell my kindergartners, just being together and being thankful are what's most important.

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