Red Cup Turkeys and the Gift of Tradition

I have a confession to make—I am not very good with arts and crafts. But my granddaughter loves arts and crafts…… which compels me to try.

With that in mind, I like the idea, when we have family gatherings, of doing something together to decorate the table or the house. I want there to be hands-on time…. something fun that creates conversation.

 And of course, in the process, I hope to create the greatest gift of all… family traditions that are filled with love and laughter.

But sometimes, the creating of traditions can be a bit….. challenging.

For example, last Easter, I purchased a “Make-an-Egg-City” kit from Target. The pretty picture on the box implied all you had to do was peel the small body parts (eyes, nose, arms, etc.) off the sticker sheet and then press them on the egg and voila—you would have an egg person which you could set into your assembled Egg-City car or in the Egg-City yard.  How simple is that??


Instead, for whatever reason, the sticky would not stick to the egg and thus, the eyes or other body parts would slide off the egg.  The Egg-City people looked as if they needed to visit the Egg Hospital.

My daughter-in-law helped guide us quickly to Plan B which was to glue the various body parts onto the eggs and we also used markers to draw eyes or mouths onto the faces.

It turned out, well…..let’s just say that our Egg City people did not resemble the picture on the box. But, they had character. (Or, they were characters…not sure which!)


I did not let that somewhat choppy experience stop me from trying to have table decorations for our Family Thanksgiving Brunch which was yesterday.

I found this awesome looking turkey craft on the internet!


There were no instructions with the picture but I thought I could figure it out. I decided to pre-assemble most of the turkey and have us create and attach just the turkey feathers which would involve Chris and family tracing their hand; coloring and cutting it out; and then attaching their hand-feathers to the turkey.

It appeared to me that the turkey body was created by painting the cups a brown or gold color. As I was running short on time and did not have any paint, I tried coloring some white Styrofoam cups with brown crayon or brown markers but that looked awful…. as in Bleah.

So—time for Plan B which was to use non-Styrofoam cups—our turkeys would simply have colorful bodies! I tried cutting out the beaks and feet. Next was to glue them and the eyes to the pom-pom head with super glue. In the process, I glued two of my fingers together. The eyes would not stay still and would slide around on the pom-pom ball. I finally got my group of turkeys assembled.

They did not exactly resemble the Artsy-Craftsy Turkeys. Some of mine had a stunned, glazed look on their faces.


So, yesterday we gathered for our Family Thanksgiving Brunch. There were, of course, some issues such as I did not glue one of the heads on very well and when my granddaughter picked it up, the head fell off the turkey. (I told you—I am not good with arts and crafts!)  We quickly took care of that with a big blob of Elmer’s glue.

And, as with the Egg-City people, there were challenges trying to cut and color and attach the feathers. But in the midst of chaos, there was love and laughter and magically, table decorations were created.



As we were sitting at the table, my granddaughter asked “Nana, what will we make next year?” And she also asked what would we make at Christmas.

As I looked at her face, it occurred to me that the gift I wanted to give was being unwrapped…our family celebrations and traditions were growing in her heart.

She may never remember all our Nana days or outings, but I think she will carry forever memories of holiday celebrations…of sitting with her parents and brother in my kitchen….. making egg-city people and red-cup turkeys….. and these traditions will be remembered with love.

For that… for past and future traditions….. and for the love of my family and friends this past year…I am most thankful.

Happy Thanksgiving.


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