Hand turkey. You know you’ve made one. And if you haven’t, well, perhaps it’s time you did.

I hadn’t really given a thought to hand turkeys for years until three days ago, when I walked into a hand turkey drawing session in my neighbor’s apartment: four, or five, thirty-somethings hovering around a single sliver sheet of poster board, in various states of tracing, or decorating, their hand turkeys with pens and black sharpies.

And these birds were awesome.

A ballerina; a punk-rock bird; one had cat paws; another with Santa boots and dollar sign bling.

Bottom line is, all hand turkeys start with the simple act of putting your hand down on a piece of paper and tracing around it. How you decorate it; whether or not you cut it out; hell, your choice of material and drawing medium is just the start of a chance personal expression that will never be replicated. Because it’s your hand!

In a nod to the ubiquitousness of the hand turkey’s importance to the Thanksgiving holiday, within the same time frame, both Google and the New York Times have given the hand turkey a nod.

Here, a few other inspired birds (click on each image for the source):

Hand turkey not going down without a fight (deviantart.com)

Hand pilgrim turkey.

The Beatles bird (scienceblogs.com)

Hand turkeys in love (via 0.tqn.com)

Hand turkey (the other side is always greener) (via brainfuel.tv)

Oh My Gawd  I know some New Yorkers that would die for that coat

Hand turkey moonlighting as songbird.

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Editor’s Note: We are also celebrating Thanksgiving on Hyperallergic LABS, our tumblelog.


So … submit images of your Thanksgiving — photos of your meal: whether an artwork in itself, the result of hours of intensive labor, or perhaps merely arranged artfully on your plate, an expression of your holiday.

Submit also illustrations or videos of your Thanksgiving day: the food, the people you share it with, the gratitude, the happy or painful recollections of a complex personal and/or national history, or the utter absence of any of these things.

Show us, via Instagram, Hipstamatic, Lightbox, Picplz, your Holga, your cheapo point-and-shoot, your 35mm, your own drawings, your collages, your imagination: Eating with dozens of loved ones? Eating with people you’re reluctantly stuck with? Vegan? Kosher? Halal? Turducken? Fasting? Starving? Alone? At home? At the bus station? At a soup kitchen? At a turkey trot? What are you giving thanks for?

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Erin Lindholm

Erin Lindholm writes, blogs and tweets about food, art, fashion and culture in New York City and beyond. She has contributed to Art in America, Women’s Wear Daily, The Village Voice, SF Weekly, The Brooklyn...