And the card attached would say…Thank You for Letting Me Scrub the Potatos: Thanksgiving Box

21 Nov

In my family, everyone contributes something to the Thanksgiving table. Momma makes the meal and the pies but we’re all grown-ups now, so everyone else is in charge of the appetizers, side dishes, drinks, condiments, and table settings…everyone else except me.

Since I was four years old, and my mother pulled a chair up to the kitchen sink for me to stand on, my sole Thanksgiving duty has been to scrub and poke the potatos. I don’t buy them beforehand, I don’t cook them afterward. To be perfectly honest, I’m not even all that thorough about the Scrub N’ Poke and we’ve probably eaten some dirty potatos under my reign. It’s not that I don’t enjoy cooking, I do. But the thing about being the baby of the family is: you can never let on that you know how to do things for yourself. You know that Shel Silverstein poem about the dishes? “If you have to dry the dishes, such an awful boring chore….if you have to dry the dishes and you drop one on the floor, maybe they won’t let you dry the dishes anymore…”? That poem was a life lesson for me. If I start bringing dish to pass on Thanksgiving, what’s next? Paying for my bowling shoes and movie tickets? Scooping my own ice cream? Or even (gasp) yard work? I just can’t let that happen, even if it means knocking my six-year-old niece off of that chair by the sink and telling her to move along. Pass the tradition down? I don’t think so. Hand me that fork. I’ve got some taters to poke.

To the other Babies out there who, for their own well-being, can’t let on that they know how to use an oven, or a salad spinner, or a whisk, there is still a way you can contribute without blowing your cover. For a low low cost, and a heap of thought, you can make your family a Thanks on Thanksgiving Box.

This box is exactly what it sounds like: a box full of reasons to be grateful. You can fill the box ahead of time with things that you, personally, are thankful for (ex: “Thanks for doing everything for me while I continue to act like a four year old”); or bring the box with empty slips of paper and have everyone write their own reasons down, then read it out loud before dinner (ex: “Thanks to: Annie not letting us eat until we make up reasons we’re grateful for each other”). The box is nice because A) if you’re not actually a four-year-old, it will look nice and B) you’ll be able to keep the it and fill it up with reasons year after year, plus have a record of all the things you were grateful for in Thanksgivings past.

To make the box, I first…bought a box. I haven’t mastered woodworking yet and these suckers are $1.99 at craft stores. Then I painted it an antique-y blue, hot glued a little pillow that I made out of scrap fabric and stuffing into the bottom and Mod-Podged the top and inside of the box with some pretty paper I found in a discarded library book about fancy wallpaper (wonder why that one didn’t make the cut, hmmm…?).

Minus a not so severe hot glue scalding, the process went swimmingly. But the important part is what to fill the box up with. I used more of the paper from my old library book and cut little strips of paper to write on, then curled them with scissors (my all-time favorite craft skill) so the reasons would look nice and pretty sittin’ on that pillow:

I plan on taking this hot little number to my family Thanksgiving, filling it with everyone’s reasons for being thankful this year, and placing it on top of the plastic tablecloth on the dining room table…right next to the questionably-clean potatos.


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