Though Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays, I have to admit its resident mascot--the turkey--kind of freaks me out. The birds are big. They make scary sounds (does it actually sound like gobble, gobble?). And, they have that ugly flap of skin around their necks.
For the record, I don't care much for the cooked version, either.
However, what I do like at this time of year is holiday-themed artwork made by my kids, specifically the kind incorporating their chubby hands.
At Thanksgiving, there is no denying that those little hands were made to create cute turkey crafts. This explains my fixation with handprint turkeys despite my dislike of the actual bird.
When placed on paper, the thumb makes the perfect shape for a turkey's face. The other four fingers beg to be used as feathers, each one a different color. Fill in the palm with brown, add some dots for eyes, and you are done.
The best part? What you just read are only the most basic instructions for making handprint turkeys.
I have also painted my girls' hands to put down on cardstock and traced them on patterned paper. With both options, I drew on eyes, feet and beaks with a marker. My favorite version so far included handprints traced and cut out of orange paper. We glued red, yellow and brown felt "feathers" to the backs of each finger and clipped mini-clothespins to the bottom as feet.
Since my oldest daughter's first Thanksgiving, I have created some form of turkey from the shape of her hand. Now that her sister also participates in my Thanksgiving craftiness, I have quite a collection of handprint turkeys.
The crafts come out each November as holiday decor on a bulletin board or in small frames on a table. I want to try stringing them together as a garland for our fireplace so we can easily compare their size and changing designs.
Each year, these paper turkeys grow bigger, serving as tangible proof that my daughters won't stay little forever.
But, unlike the real thing, these handprint turkeys only make me smile. They remind to be thankful for the two girls who help create them and for the memories made through the process. To me, that is Thanksgiving and why it remains a favorite holiday, even with the scary bird.