Being in the Midst of a Thankful Forest

I’m pretty sure that it’s quite safe to say that I enjoy THE CRAFTING about as much as I enjoy THE COOKING.

Which is all slightly less than I happen to enjoy THE LAUNDRY.  Because honestly?  Given the choice of standing in my laundry room, folding a load of whites and wondering what catastrophic event will have to occur before the boy learns to put his socks into the dirty clothes hamper RIGHT SIDE OUT, or the choice of gluing scraps of fabric to a cardboard paper towel tube to make a Christmas ornament, or the choice of dicing carrots and celery and pan-searing a pork loin roast, I will choose the laundry every day of the week.

And, people?  I really hate folding laundry.  So that’s simply saying something.

Oh, I know that there are those out there who find it quite therapeutic to saute the onions in butter until they caramelize, and I know there are those who find peace and perfect harmony in painting orange pumpkins gold, but that person is not me.  What I usually find in these events is a whole lot of stress, as well as a string of foul words that somehow pours forth when I burn the onions and superglue my fingers together.

But look at my friend, Susan!  Look what she made with an old, wooden pallet, some leftover paint from her garage, some stencils and some talent — it’s a decorative masterpiece for her living room wall:

And look at my friend, Tara.  She has an entire blog devoted to her own recipes.  She makes things like Balsamic-Glazed Pork Tenderloin with Garlic and Lime Sauce, Accompanied by Pan-Browned Brussels Sprouts on WEEKNIGHTS, people, because it isn’t really very challenging for her.  I get the vapors just typing the words; Tara finds comfort in glazing the tenderloin.

(However, I find GREAT THERAPY in scrubbing a bathroom sink down, stepping back, and admiring the sparkle.)

But then, as strange as it sounds, I have an entire folder on my Big Mac computer (You’re welcome for that, McDonald’s!) that is dedicated to neat craft ideas that I would like to try out.  Clearly, I have the sickness of The Hoarder, as I save these ideas with distant thoughts of actually MAKING THEM HAPPEN ONE DAY, which we all know WILL NEVER ACTUALLY PRODUCE ANY FRUIT.

So imagine our surprise when I took the boy last Friday afternoon to the craft store to buy some things.  (It was right after I took him to the grocery store, to buy essential ingredients for Addicting Slop for Your Graham Cracker.  We were on a roll that night, people.  It made my head swoon with all the crossing off our lists that we were making happen.)

You see, I had seen an idea for a Thankful Tree online, and I had saved the picture into my desktop file folder.  (Thank goodness all of this is just VIRTUAL SAVING and not really REAL PAPER SAVING, because I’d be a genuine hoarder overnight.) And then on Sunday afternoon, Hubs and the boy and I sat down at our dining room table and we brought CRAFTING MAGIC to the Jedi Manor. We had paper scraps flying and string bits scattered everywhere.

It all started with a tree branch.  And then we used our newly-purchased circle puncher to cut perfectly-shaped circles out of fall-colored craft paper.  And then we used our newly-purchased tiny hole puncher to add… well… tiny holes.  And then we added some newly-purchased string.  And then we wrote one thing that we were thankful for on each circle, and we hung those circles all over our tree.

And, throughout the week, every single time one of us thought of something new or remembered something else that we were thankful for, we grabbed another circle of paper, and we wrote it down.

And then we added string and hung it from the Thankful Tree, because, y’all!  We are a CRAFTING FAMILY NOW, and we have a homemade centerpiece for the holiday table.

(Hopefully I can muster up the strength and stamina and fight off the tunnel vision long enough to have homemade food on the holiday table, too.)

And those, people, are just the beginning of the Thankful Circles that adorn our Thankful Tree.  Its branches are heavy with all the people and things that have touched our hearts to their cores in the past year.  As the boy so wisely put it, “Our Thankful Tree might get a little too full.  We might have to do another one.  We might have to do a whole Thankful FOREST!”

And because our family could most certainly fill a Thankful Forest, we give thanks.

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