“Women clad in aprons have traditionally prepared the Thanksgiving meal, and it is within our historical linkage to share our bounty.”
“The more who participate, the more who receive acts of kindness.”

On the eve of Thanksgiving some years ago, I wrapped a pie in an apron with a handwritten note of sympathy slipped into the pocket, and delivered it to a neighbor experiencing more heartbreak than should be. Her response of delight and warmth was unexpected and very touching.

In offering a small gesture of recognition to the family’s situation, I was surprised at the unexpected joyfulness that I experienced. The win-win of the exchange was so memorable, I knew it had to be shared. So I created TIE ONE ON DAY™.

Celebrated on the eve of Thanksgiving – Wednesday, November 23rd this year – TIE ONE ON DAY is an annual opportunity to share our good fortune by wrapping a loaf of bread or other baked good in domestic cloth and tuck in a sweet note; then tie one on…an apron, of course! and deliver the offering to a neighbor, friend or charity in need of a bit of kindness.


To encourage y’all adding TIE ONE ON DAY to your holiday tradition and embracing its message of sharing and gratefulness, a dedicated group of generous SPONSORS are putting some fabulous “give” into the TOODAY 2016 Goodie Giveaway!

To enter the TIE ONE ON DAY Giveaways, leave a comment at the end of this blog posting, sharing with others how you plan to be a part of this year’s TOOD. Your comment is your entry into the November 23rd drawing for the giveaways.   Four (4) Giveaway winners will be randomly selected and contacted via their provided email.

*TIE ONE ON DAY Giveaways are open only to entrants living within the United States

Thanksgiving is a holiday known for recollection, making new traditions and sharing. The apron symbolizes these concepts. A small bit of your time will make someone else’s day brilliantly brighter. And the more who participate, the more who receive. Such is the win-win of TOOD.

So please join me and tie one on…an apron, of course! and through Tie One On Day, make a difference in someone’s life.

Tie One On…Give from the heart…Then give thanks




To accompany your Tie One On Day delivery, this complimentary note card is available to download HERE.

TOOD 2016_NC







  1. I have done this for the past two years. Both years I gave an apron wrapped loaf to banana bread to a sister-in-law who was undergoing treatment for cancer. (Both are counting cancer-free months now!) I will find another worthy recipient this year and continue this tradition. Thanks, EllynAnne.

  2. Candy, how lovely to hear such good news about your sister-in-law. Thank you for continuing to participate in TOOD, and giving from your heart to someone new in need of your gesture of kindness. xxea

  3. I love this idea – i have a few of my Grandmothers aprons and have always planned on gifting them to my sisters with Grandma and Mom’s recipes. One of my sisters past away 2 years ago from cancer. I look forward to doing this in Beth’s honor, one for her daughter, one for my other sister and her daughter, but also to make one for a neighbor and one for my friend who is a single mom. Thank you for the inspiration.

  4. I love aprons, and your sharing of them. I have been participating in this for a few years now and will do so again this year. I sew my own aprons for almost every holiday. I will make banana bread and carry to a neighbor this year!

    1. Linda, hey! and thank you for sharing the love that is TOODay. Banana bread is such a favorite – certainly your neighbor will appreciate your kindness. xxea

  5. This Saturday, I am facilitating an APRON TALK and workshop at the Eden Valley Folk School and Art Community in Escondido, CA. I am going to have the participants make an apron and challenge them to use it for TIE ONE ON DAY!! I will have the notecards ready for them and will also include my famous “One Pan Banana Bread” recipe. Many of the attendants have been through many challenges in their lives and I know they will LOVE this idea. Thank you for starting this wonderful tradition!

  6. So happy I know about this from Country Woman. Aprons bring back wonderful memories from my childhood. I can’t wait to sew some aprons and bake some goodies to share.

  7. Robin, Country Woman magazine has sponsored TOODay for many years, and as a reader, that you are moved to participate and make someone’s life brighter is the best. Gestures of kindness come in all sizes, and an apron with a baked goodie is always appreciated!

  8. I’m not entirely sure who I will be gifting (I live in Baton Rouge and with our recent flooding, the list is long of women deserving a pick me up). I do know I’ll be making something sweet and wrapping it in one of my replica “traveling aprons”. 🙂
    Thank you for preserving the history of the apron!

  9. Excited to participate in this wonderful tradition suggestion !!! Read about it in my latest publication of Country Woman. I’ve been collecting aprons for years and use some as window treatments in my kitchen and laundry room. Also looking forward to visiting the traveling Apron Musuem Display in Park City UT the middle of this month (October)

    1. Amber, aprons and their stories tie us together in the sweetest way…as you know! I’ll be at the Apron Chronicles venue in Park City November 3 and 4. Perhaps our paths might cross there!

  10. I started my business, Buttercrunch Aprons, about 5 years ago because I thought ‘what a great way to add festivity to cooking/serving occasions’ and have since sold over 500 aprons! Love this idea – thanks for getting it started.

  11. I am looking forward to joining this years celebration! I plan on making apple bread and sharing with an elderly neighbor. Thank you so much for bringing forth this movement! I love it!

  12. I was searching the internet for apron making ideas and to my delight I stumbled upon your website. The first thing that caught my eyes was the TOOD idea. What a beautiful way of expressing love to those around me. I will definetly get started today! Thank you for sharing

  13. I met Ellen Anne,
    I wish i had the smile and joy that she has each and everyday that i see her pretty smile… such a positive lady, makes my day when i see her walk through the door at the gym… i just want to squeeze her lol. i love and enjoy the positive vibes that she gives off on a daily basis… such a wonderful outlook on life, such a loving and caring lady. i wake up everyday looking forward to making a difference in someone life… i wish i had a mother figure like EllynAnne…

    1. Bernard, your sharing of recent gestures of kindness to the family at the grocery store had my heart a-leapin’! Thank you for recognizing the value of giving from the heart.

  14. I was diagnosed with cancer on Thanksgiving Day 22 years ago. I’m grateful to be cancer free, and for the time now spent during the holidays baking pies with my loved ones. I’ll be making our favorite Tawny Pumpkin Pie (from the Farm Journal Cookbook) with praline topping and sharing it with a dear friend currently undergoing treatments. I love this tradition! Thank you. <3

  15. I had never heard of this observance until yesterday (10/28/16). I am a library assistant at a public library. Each month we put together a display of national holidays/observances using books/audio CDs/videos/etc. National Tie One On Day was on the list that I’d printed off to go by. Naturally I thought of people getting drunk, tying one on. That’s the only way I’d ever heard that phrase used. To my utter pleasure, I learned that it’s all about giving to those in need…something that is near and dear to my heart.
    Aprons hold a special meaning for me, like for many others. My grandmothers used to wear aprons all the time as they cooked. And let me tell you, they were both EXCELLENT cooks. Just thinking about it, my mind is flooded with memories and I can almost smell the yeast rolls fresh from the oven and the chicken and dumplings simmering on the stove. Thank you for this. EllynAnne!! ♥♥

  16. Dana, greatly appreciated that you are inspired to participate in Tie One On Day! And when it comes to aprons holding special meaning, you and I are 2 peas in a pod!

    1. The only book I could find in our library about aprons was one titled ‘Aprons on a Clothesline’ by Traci DePree…a book about ‘life’s greatest battles being won by the power of friendship’. Appropriate, in a way. I made a bookmark for book with a description of Tie One On Day, and how to observe it. I hope this inspires others. Thank you again, EllynAnne! ♥

  17. I read about “Tie One On Day” in the Country Woman magazine and plan to participate this year. My Grandmother wore full aprons most everyday and I remember all of the wonderful things she carried in her pockets.

    I am also going to suggest this idea to my County 4-H group that coordinates an annual sewing project for community service. It is great to see young people excited about sewing and performing community service. My mind is spinning with possibilities for this project!

    1. Donna, over the years, I’ve heard many recollections about the apron’s pocket and the treats to Kleenex that it held. So sweet.

      A 4-H group in Oregon participated in Tie One On Day and the local newspaper did a feature on them. The photos shared a wonderful interaction between teen participants and the elderly beneficiaries. Would love to see photos of your group – knowing their giving will inspire many more to do the same.

  18. My mother-in-law gave me a bright and beautiful side tie apron yearsago.It was perfect before and after my first child-the ties extended the sides..

    Love the idea.. This is my third year to participate in Tie One On. Great fun deciding who receives the apron and bread..

    1. Judith, that expandable apron is new to me! What a functional and brilliant design element. I’m so pleased you’ve added Tie One on Day as part of your holiday tradition!

    1. That delayed luggage turned from bummerville to happy dance because of y’alls loving response to Tie One On Day. Thank you for adding TOODay to your Thanksgiving tradition.

  19. I am so excited to learn about Tie-One-On Day! I work for a city department and we are actually doing a Vintage Apron display the week before Thanksgiving…with the last day being Tie-One-On Day! We just had a class yesterday learning to make aprons from men’s shirts! I plan to surprise some of my co-workers with a homemade apron and goodie inside the day before Thanksgiving! Thanks so much for this!

  20. Made a cute little apron and sent it to one of my favorite social media groups, The Chic Site. I am hoping she uses it for herself at home or pays it forward to one of her work associates.
    I put it into the mail today.

  21. My 9 year-old daughter heard about this unique day and wanted to participate so we baked muffins together, wearing matching aprons, to give to neighbors and friends. She wrote notes thanking them for their friendship and we delivered them together, explaining Tie One On Day to each recipient. We even gave treats for the dogs! Some we wrapped in scarves instead of aprons to mix it up a bit. Each person was touched and thrilled. Think we have a new tradition!

  22. After much thought, I decided to give a loaf of my grandma’s favorite pumpkin bread and a new turkey day apron to the lady who works at the dry cleaners. She is a dear soul who listens to everyone who comes though the door, day in and day out… rarely sharing much about herself. I found out (quite by accident) that she is having surgery next week. So TOODay is coming a bit early this year.

  23. It may not be a loaf of bread, but I plan to share something home cooked with a friend at church who will be having his first Thanksgiving without his beloved wife of 51 years. Thanks for the giveaway

  24. I just read about this fabulous giving tradition on Nancy Zeiman’s blog. I try and do this type of giving as often as I can, being on a very limited budget and being disabled it can be difficult to do so many things. Yet, sewing an apron and baking a special bread, I can do both of these!

  25. This is such a caring thing to do. I have a young friend who just got married. She and her husband worked so hard to get an education, and they are always so thoughtful of others. This would be so wonderful for her to start her new married life.

  26. Wow! This Sew Wonderful! I just found your post about Tie One On Day on my facebook feed from a Nancy Zeiman post. I never heard of it. I just made little girl and matching doll aprons this summer! Sew I am very excited to make my chocolate chip cookies and get to The Giving!

  27. Wow! This is Sew Wonderful! I just found your post about Tie One On Day on my facebook feed from a Nancy Zeiman post. I never heard of it. I just made little girl and matching doll aprons this summer! Sew…I am very excited to make my chocolate chip cookies and get to The Giving!

  28. I love to make aprons. My neighbor’s granddaughters ages 6 & 7-ish helped bake a cake for us. In return I made coordinating aprons for them which they loved!!

    I love this idea. I recently learned of a family in our area who lost a 6 mo old baby due to terrible toxic mold in the house they were living. They have 5 more children, the mom is pregnant, they had to move out and leave everything behind. I am hoping this gift will encourage them. Thank you for the idea.

  29. What a wonderful idea! I moved into my neighborhood one year ago after losing my husband suddenly. I have learned over the year that there are five of us on this street alone who have each lost a husband in the past two years. The apron and the bread are a great way to say ‘you have a new friend now who understands’.
    Thank you.

  30. My paternal grandmother wore an apron every day for the entire day. She was a large lady and made several aprons with crossed back straps for herself using cotton fabric and rickrack trims. When she died, each grand-daughter received one of her aprons. For Tie One On Day, I will use her recipes (including homemade crackers) and deliver the goodies to widows with no family near. Each package will have a ribbon of rickrack!

  31. I think I will embroider an apron for my sister with a Mastiff on it wrapped around a loaf of pecan cream cheese pumpkin bread. I embroidered a number of aprons with Mastiffs on them years ago for her to donate to the Mastiff rescue auction, but not one for her.

  32. I have been going through a lifetime of old pictures. In so many of them my Mom, Grandmothers, Aunts, friends Mothers, neighbor women, are pictured at festive gatherings all wearing their aprons. School picnics, family gatherings, church picnics, you name the reason, and the ladies are sporting their aprons. I remember as a teenager being asked to serve meals at weddings, and every young lady who volunteered to serve and clean up was given a beautiful apron as a memento and thank you. Many times these aprons were made by the bride and her Mother. These aprons were always beautiful and special. I just purchased a apron pattern and will definitely make some and since my husband, just today, suggested that
    perhaps I needed “to practice making pie crusts more often,” along with a loaf of bread, I just may include a pumpkin pie. TOOD is awesome!

  33. This is such an awesome idea! I’m definitely doing this! I started making aprons 8 years ago when we lost our precious 11 year old daughter, Emma. I couldn’t bear letting go of all of her beautiful dresses, so I made aprons from them so I could wrap myself and special people in her life in her love. I’ve since been making aprons to sell using purchased fabrics, but always make a special one each year with something from her closet.

  34. What a wonderful idea, I used to give a cook book and used an apron I made as the gift wrap, but I love this idea baking a loaf of bread. Love from the heart!

  35. Again this year I plan to bake loaves and make aprons for at least a half-dozen family, friends and neighbors. It is a great way to introduce yourself to a new neighbor – or a not-so-new neighbor you just haven’t gotten a chance to know.

  36. My right hand is in a cast, but I’m going to get the apron pattern and the recipe and get my husband to help me. Between the two of us, we should be able to make an apron and a load of bread and have one for ourselves.

  37. After receiving and reading about this great idea, I have had two friends who have lost a husband and a wife….the bread will be an appropriate gift as well as a new apron for their cooking needs. A memory that will last and hopefully give them comfort during the coming holidays.

  38. I LOVE this idea and am thinking of a few people that I could do this for. Have been recovering from some major surgery so am not able to do a whole lot but figure I can do this to a couple of neighbors. Thanks for the idea and look forward to more.

  39. My mother’s apron had a string of safety pins hanging on it, and the smell of good food that my hungry father needed. Everything from gravy to cakes to roasts and mashed potatoes were the combined fragrances of her aprons. When I married, I decided to make myself a new apron each year at county fair time, and thus far this has guaranteed that I have a fun, colorful, cover up for all my efforts in the kitchen AND the sewing room. The apron catches pie dough as easily as errant threads. Now I have beautiful fabrics set aside to “Tie One On” this year. The cake and the apron make for double fun! I thank you for sharing this idea, as will my needy recipient.

  40. This is exciting! I have always baked and presented to friends or neighbors that need to be picked up or “just because”. This year I will do with an apron, I am a landlord, and I think the best, so I will give to my deserving tenant that has struggled all year and is finally coming out of her darkness on making payments. I have continued to have faith and trust her to not leave me high in dry with back rent. I was going to give her some groceries anyways with a ham for the holidays, but will include this Tie One On as her gift from me and my husband. Thanks for the idea and kind gestures! Karen

  41. Just looking at Nancy’s Blog for Christmas Stockings and learned about Tie-One-On. I LOVE it! The family I have in mind is an elderly couple who are diabetic. Therefore, I plan to substitute a nutritious Turkey Casserole meal gift that they can put into their freezer and enjoy whenever they wish. My mom, may she rest in peace, gave me her vintage apron patterns from the 1940’s. I now have the perfect opportunity to try one out! I can’t wait! Thank you Ellyn for the inspiration!

  42. What a great idea. I make my own aprons and often give them as gifts to neighbors just because. I also live in a neighborhood where a few of us often 2 desserts-one for us and one to share. I may not do this on the day before Thanksgiving but rather randomly throughout the year.

  43. We will be traveling for thanksgiving, so I think I will bring an apron and goodies for our hostess. My almost 10 year old just made an apron for herself and wants to make one for her sister (but has informed me that her sister ‘needs a full body one’). I think she will be full of ideas once I tell her about ‘tie one on’ day!

  44. We so need more acts of kindness and giving. TOODay is now one of my beloved Thanksgiving traditions I look forward to every year. This is my 3rd year. The person receiving this year’s apron and goodies gives so much to her community. Blessings to you EllynAnne and to all who give selflessly.

    1. Taking a break from packaging my last final TOODay deliveries to check in on everyone’s postings, and what a nice surprise to hear from you! Thank you for including TOOD as a beloved Thanksgiving tradition…made my heart so glad. xxxea

  45. I am to be a recipient of good cheer and caramel cake from a wonderful baking friend who is also a co-worker! I’ll gift her with a modified vintage apron for tie one on day.

  46. I have decided to bring the apron back to the kitchen. I went to a women’s luncheon at my mother-in-laws church and the theme was aprons. They had a guest speaker from a local museum who brought over 300 aprons from over 100 years old to modern ones and she talked about the history of aprons. I loved it and decided right then we need to bring them back. This is a wonderful way to get started! Thank you for the idea.

  47. I don’t know how to bake bread and this is the first I’ve heard of TOOD but I’m excited to celebrate it tomorrow, even though my apron will probably be tied around a plate of cookies.

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