Traditions & Photo Props


I just sent out the Oates Family Thanksgiving Card. You should be seeing those in your mailbox soon. Except for a few stragglers that I found still in my purse this morning. Oops.

Our Thanksgiving Card has become our little family’s tradition. It started as an impromptu photo shoot to prove to the world that I did indeed love me some Thanksgiving. Literally, I made our hats and headband that morning while we watched the Macy’s parade and took the photo with photobooth. Mark thought I was insane. But is obviously having the time of his life.


It’s grown over the last 5 years. This year we were thinking about Thanksgiving Cards before we thought about Halloween costumes. This year we’re actually going to get cards out before you go grocery shopping for turkey.

Yes. I’m bragging.

I didn’t grow up with lots of tradition. My family is the most flexible, go-with-the-flow family you will ever meet. Ever.

That flexibility means that there is no voice in our world saying, “No, this is how it’s done because this is how it was done last year and the year before that and the year before that…” and so on and so on. Sure, there’s a healthy dose of laziness in our mindset towards the holidays, but there’s also the reality that we simply enjoy hanging out together. We don’t really need to stand in line at Best Buy for 7 hours or fret over perfectly wrapped presents to make that time sweeter or more special.

But I’m not going to lie. I hope I become inflexible in this one area. I hope that the Oates Thanksgiving Card tradition continues. I hope that every year I take the time to do something to celebrate Thanksgiving via a goofy family picture. I hope that one day I have great-grandkids that think it’s completely normal to get an entire family together for the Thanksgiving Card. I hope it goes on so long that no one even remembers how it started or why we do it.

There were so many ideas for this year’s card. But after a tour around Pinterest I knew I had a winner with the Thanksgiving photobooth props.

I made the props in Paint. Yes. Microsoft Paint. What can I say? It’s how I roll.


pilgrim hat

turkey leg

I also had two talking bubbles, one blank and one with Happy Thanksgiving, but I didn’t think those were going to read well in a photo. I printed them off on card stock and cut them out. Want some for your Thanksgiving festivities? Just download these handy dandy Thanksgiving Printables.

The stick is my favorite part. I just took a sheet of paper and rolled it up really tight and voila! Photo prop sticks on the cheap.

Funny story: In second grade my dad decided that he was going to help me make Valentine’s Day cards for the class. We cut out hearts, stuck a piece of candy in the middle of it, and taped it to the top of  the aforementioned stick for 25 of my favorite classmates. By the end of the day all of the boys in the class had removed the hearts and turned the sticks into swords (they’re very sturdy). I was mortified that my sticks of love were used for destruction.

Then we had the photo shoot. I hadn’t thought that far ahead when I decided on my brilliant idea. Was Otis going to know what to do with the stick? Would he hold the props the right way? Would he play along?

It didn’t last long, but he was a complete ham. For 10 minutes my kid rocked out the photo booth. But once those 10 minutes were up he was done. Completely done. And insisted on seeing the camera so he could review the pictures. I have to say, I have a new found respect for the people that make kid commercials happen. They are obviously wizards.

I hope everyone enjoys their card! Let’s get the holidays started!

One thought on “Traditions & Photo Props

  1. […] McKinney-Oates Cereal « Traditions & Photo Props […]

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