Thanksgiving: The Forgotten Holiday

19 Nov
Turkey lights

Yes, Virginia, there are turkey lights.

Well, not really.  But it does seem like with the growing marketability of Halloween (the average person spent over $70 on Halloween costumes and decorations in 2011), and all-consuming Christmas frenzy, Thanksgiving kind of gets lost in the middle.  I went to Lowes to buy (among other things) a chrysanthemum, and they didn’t have any!  Five million ginormous Christmas bl0w-ups, Christmas trees already and ten thousand different kind of lights, but no chrysanthemums.  What is this world coming to?

I really love holidays so it’s hard to pick a favorite, but Thanksgiving is really up there.  We’ve always been a “more the merrier” family, and my father has for years had a “pre-Thanksgiving” party the Sunday before (going on as I write!) and entertains 30 or 40 people.  When I moved to Austin I started inviting all the orphans over to my house. It started out as a mostly-singleton event, but has evolved over the years to include the now-married former singletons and offspring, the now-moved-to-Austin parents of said singletons and of course Mr. Handsome and the kids.

Painting leaves

The Divine Miss L, working like a pro with her mask on (safety first!)

So back to my original complaint.  There aren’t very good Thanksgiving decorations.  Sure, there are some reddish/orangish/brownish things to be found, but has anyone noticed there aren’t any Thanksgiving lights?  Not that I’m saying I want to decorate with glow-in-the-dark turkeys or anything, but a tasteful garland with some golden lights would be nice.  Yes, I could make one (and maybe I will next year) but this year this little business venture has kept me pretty busy, so I had to think small.

Given my recent enamorment (is that a word?) with spray-paint, and the fact that we had some metallic paint laying around**,  I figured we’d paint something. We had the kids around this weekend, so I conscripted The Divine Miss L to help.  We went around the yard and picked up leaves, then painted them with gold, copper and bronze spray paint.  We got out my grandmother’s 80 year-old damask napkins and I taught L how to iron (score!) and then we tied them up with a simple brown ribbon and tucked the leaves in them.  I think they turned out pretty nifty!  And it was easy.

Napkins with leaf decorations

The left is a hackberry leaf with a wild onion seedhead, the right is a maple leaf with ligustrum berries. All found in the backyard!

We experimented with a few centerpieces as well, but I’m not sure we’re quite there yet.  I always lean toward tall ones, and then am annoyed with myself as I have to move them in order to see my dinner companions.  But here are a few tries.

Not quite there yet. The first one is my attempt at “artsy”, which I never quite get right. The second is too tall. We’ll keep at it.

For some ideas from more accomplished decorators,  check out Camille Styles, and our new favorite blog, Curbly.

However you decide to decorate (or not), enjoy a Thanksgiving filled with great food and good friends.

** Why we have gold spray paint.

Stepson #2, Mr. Enthusiasm, is obsessed with weaponry, as most 10 year-old boys are.  I don’t like it, but it seems inevitable and hopefully temporary.  He convinced his father to make  him a gun out of wood, which Daddy did a little too capably.  Painted black, it looked scarily real.  I told him that he couldn’t take it in to the front yard unless we painted the tip orange to minimize the chance he’s confused with a very small, non-stop talking gangsta.  He was horrified that I would consider defacing his prize possession, so we were at a standoff. We were saved by shiny gold spray paint.  I agreed that it would be very hard to confuse this gilded hunk of wood with a real gun, and he thought a gold gun was the coolest thing ever.  Thank you Mr. Bond.

3 Responses to “Thanksgiving: The Forgotten Holiday”

  1. Carol Spafford Aufdenkamkp November 19, 2012 at 10:21 pm #

    I love your blog..chit-chatty, witty, fun and entertaining! You go, Girl! Carol

    • redchairmarket November 19, 2012 at 10:23 pm #

      Thanks! It’s a ton of fun, and hopefully useful on occasion.


  1. 11 Creative and Cheap Things to do with Spray Paint (Part One: Holiday Ideas) « Red Chair Market - December 12, 2012

    […] after a creative problem-solving exercise with my stepson, Mr. Enthusiasm (see the story at the end of this post). It has blossomed to such a degree that Mr. Enthusiasm had the audacity to suggest I need an […]

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