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Talking Turkey Collecting Style

A Lack of Celebrating Thanksgiving with Collectibles

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Thanksgiving Greeting Postcard

Thanksgiving greeting postcard from the early 1900s

-Pamela Wiggins
Poor Thanksgiving, sandwiched in between Halloween and Christmas, gets less attention than most any other holiday. If we didn't have turkey and pumpkin pie to look forward to, we'd probably skip right over it. And this is true when it comes to collectibles, too.

My Shameful Confession

Why am I aware of this? Because of the serious lack of Thanksgiving collectibles adorning my home from year to year. I have a potpourri burner from the '80s shaped like a bear wearing a pilgrim hat, a pair of really cheesy turkey salt and pepper shakers of the same vintage, and a brand new cornucopia filled with pretty, albeit fake, leaves and berries.

The pilgrim potpourri bear, although out of style functionally, is just too cute to get rid of. And, I’m predicting that unusual potpourri burners will be collectible at some point in the future, so I might be happy I like it so much one of these days.

I also have a vintage plate decorated with a very regal looking turkey, which I finally managed to find and stick on a plate stand when I put the Halloween decorations away this year. I also found some of my Thanksgiving postcards, and put those out on display. My mother’s turkey platter is around here somewhere, and I might manage to locate it before it’s time to put this stuff away to make room for Santa’s arrival.

Honestly, I’m doing a little better in the Thanksgiving decorating department in comparison to years past, but it’s still pretty pathetic.

A Puzzling Situation in Pamela’s Household

The thing that really puzzles me from year to year is why I haven’t found a really nice pair of vintage salt and pepper shakers to replace those ugly turkeys. I’m still neglecting Thanksgiving, that’s why.

Sure, I had the house all decked out for Halloween with a mixture of old and new and in between. I most always add something to my stash of spooky collections each year, even if it’s just a postcard or two.

Very soon I’ll haul out all my Christmas decorations and merrily deck the halls with cowboy Santas (I live in Texas, remember?) and all the holiday fanfare that goes along with them. But in the meantime, I have to deal with my Thanksgiving neglect.

I used to know I was in trouble when I packed up the Halloween stuff at the beginning of November and brought my paltry Thanksgiving offerings. My ex-husband would look at me curiously and say, "That’s it? That's just pitiful!" My significant other of late didn’t have quite the same reaction, but he was probably just being polite. I'll give him another year or two before he says something.

Of course, I always figured with my ex-husband that if a regular old man noticed a severe lack of décor, I knew I was in trouble. He never went as far as telling me I needed to buy something, of course. I never needed encouragement in that department. But, I got the hint just the same, and always thought I’d rectify the situation at some point.

Once Again, a Plan of Attack

First on my list will be to go ahead and locate Mom’s turkey platter. It’s a fitting tribute to someone who prepared so many wonderful Thanksgiving dinners, and taught me how to continue the tradition. Sounds simple, but properly displayed that's actually a really nice addition to the decorating mix.

Next stop, the antique mall where I have a few things for sale. At the very least, I’m still hoping to buy a charming pair of turkey shakers with some age on them. If I don’t have any luck there, they always have a big flea market style antique show in Austin, City Wide Garage Sale, just after Thanksgiving, so there's indeed hope. Maybe I’ll even find some cute pilgrims or a turkey candy container to go with them, although given my track record with Thanksgiving collectibles that might be a tad ambitious.

Relegating Some of the Blame

Of course, I can’t take all the blame for giving Thanksgiving decorating less than proper respect. Even before the Halloween stuff came down in the stores, the Christmas goodies magically popped up everywhere.

I might be fighting a losing battle, but I’m still going to do my best to right this wrong and give Thanksgiving its due respect. After all, pausing to truly celebrate Thanksgiving is a way to acknowledge the blessings my collecting hobby continually brings into my life and home.

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