Our Noble Pursuits

Living the good life. And writing about it.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Giving Thanks

As any of you who have read this blog before already know, I’m kind of a holiday tradition freak this year.  And in my constant awareness of possible new traditions (yes, I know that’s an oxymoron, new tradition), I have found inspiration in some other blogs that I frequently read.  I figure I would be flattered if someone blatantly stole an idea that I wrote about on here, so other bloggers must feel the same way, right?  At any rate, I stumbled across an idea the people over at Young House Love have used the last couple of Thanksgivings (I would put a link to the blog here if I was tech savvy enough to know how to do that.  As it stands, feel free to google it and I’m sure you can get connected to this clever and creative couple’s page).  It’s basically an idea for a “Thanks” jar – a place where your family can drop in daily thoughts of what they are thankful for.  The talented DIY-ers I stole this idea from bought an inexpensive glass jar and used etching cream to make it look all classy and store-bought.  I decided that wasn’t really the look I was going for.  Instead, I wanted to make the Noble family “Thanks” jar a touch on the tacky side…and off I went to the dollar store to make it happen.

I was envisioning some sort of ceramic turkey in jar-type form.  Maybe something like this…

Photo of Weavers Turkey Cookie Jar- Large

I had no idea how hard such a thing is to find.  I’m certain I’ve seen it at least 12 times when I wasn’t looking for it.  But a week before Thanksgiving didn’t turn out to be the best time to search for turkey-themed pottery.

My first stop was Dollar King, a store I had never actually set foot in before.  I love the concept of these types of stores – I mean why wouldn’t you want to be able to pick up both Homer Simpson stickers and a 1960s-era plastic rain bonnet all in one stop – and for $0.99 each?  But alas, Dollar King did not have a single Thanksgiving-themed item, much less a turkey jar.

So I headed next door to Gabriel Brothers, a cross between TJ Maxx and, well, Dollar King.  Gabriel Brothers also failed to deliver in the ceramic turkey department, but I did happen upon this little gem…

Yes, that’s right.  It’s a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle nutcracker.  Just what every holiday mantle needs.  If it wasn’t for his missing hand (or whatever it is you call turtle appendages), he just may have found a new home at our place.

But no turkey.  So I gathered all of my hopes of a tacky “Thanks” jar and headed to Walmart.  Surely Walmart would have what I was looking for, right?  Wrong!  There was not a single piece of poultry pottery in the place!  But my trip to Walmart did lead me to two important conclusions: 1) Thanksgiving useless stuff is eclipsed entirely by Christmas useless stuff.  If I had been looking for a Santa head or snowman or gingerbread house to drop my “I’m thankful for…” cards into I would have been swimming in options.  But turkeys, cornucopia, and the like really get the short end of the gaudy trinket stick.  And 2) If you want me to buy a candle, any candy, just slap a $1.00 price sticker on it and add the word “holiday” to whatever scent it is and we have a deal.  While I would not have batted an eye at a cinnamon or cookie-scented candle today, thanks to the clever marketers who decided to sell “holiday cinnamon” and “holiday vanilla cookie” scented items for one dollar a piece, I am now the proud owner of two more candles I don’t really need.

Anyway, to make what should have been a short story even longer, when it became clear to me that a rational woman doesn’t really go to more than three stores to find an ironic holiday item, I decided I would have to improvise for our “Thanks” jar.  So one glass jar, a packet of stickers, and two placecard packets later, here is the Noble Family Thanks Jar, ready to be filled with proclamations of our thankfulness…
I figured it would kind of holiday things up to write what we are thankful for on Thanksgiving-themed paper.

And while I made a bigger production than necessary out of finding the item that would hold our documented blessings, I think the idea is such a worthy one.  Some days it is much easier to be thankful than others and some seasons of our lives make our blessings far more obvious than they might be at other times.  And some times thankfulness is more of a choice than a natural response to our circumstances.  But if there’s ever a time to pause for just a few seconds each day and actually think of one thing to be thankful for, it is now.  So that’s what we will do, David and I.  From now until the end of the month, I hope we will write down one thing each day that we give thanks about.  And then at the end of the experiment we can take out all those individual pieces of paper and read them and see just how many ways we are blessed.

This one’s an obvious blessing…
Her "I just woke up and you're taking my picture" face.

Enjoying her first rice cereal experience.

I’m excited to see what else we can come up with.

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