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Being Thankful On Thanksgiving

Updated on November 27, 2015

Thanksgiving then and now

The winter of 1620 was very hard on the settlers, nearly half of the 102 did not survive. In the spring of 1621 the pilgrims and the Indians decided to call a truce. This is when the pilgrims became know by the name pilgrim. Indians had taught the survivors of Plymouth Rock how to plant maize (corn), how to fish, and how to hunt. The pilgrims would not have survived if not for the help of the Indians.The first Thanksgiving was celebrated by the pilgrims and the Wampanoag Indians in the fall of 1621.

OK, enough of the history lesson. When I think of that first Thanksgiving I picture a few large table, kind of like rough carved picnic tables, set outside under the trees. The leaves on the trees are turning bright orange, gold, rust and browns. I can just see those table practically groaning with the weight of the goodies piled upon them. The food wasn't what we think of as traditional, there are many things we eat now that was not on the menu then. For example, according to historians, there was not: ham, sweet potatoes, corn on the cob, cranberry sauce, chicken or eggs, and milk. All of these things were not available to the pilgrims at that time

However, their table was not bare by any means. It was laden with goodies (well, goodies for that time period), such as cod, eel, clams, lobster and seal from the sea, thanks to the Indians. They also had goose, duck, crane, swan, partridge, eagles, venison, and wild turkey. The wild turkey is questionable, apparently at that time, any wildfowl was called turkey by the pilgrims. The vegetables on the menu were pumpkin ( no pie though), peas, beans, onions, carrots and parsnips. And for dessert they had grapes and plums.

All of the Pilgrims were dressed in their finest, in an array of white, beige, black, green, and brown. While the Indians were in their deerskin's mingling with the pilgrims. There they were everyone eating with their fingers, each enjoying their favorite food. It was a time of peace and fellowship.

Today Thanksgiving spending time with family, stuffing yourself with turkey and all of the trimmings. Watching the football game and parades on TV and hopefully giving thanks for all that you have.

The typical meal for today's family seems to be : turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole, corn, biscuits or rolls, and many other things depending upon the family. For dessert you may have; pumpkin pie, pecan pie, apple, blueberry or blackberry pie, a jello mold of some kind, and a large beautifully decorated cake. Again, dessert depends on family tradition.

Whatever you have at your Thanksgiving dinner I hope you enjoy it. I wiah you and your families a wonderful day and a blessed year to come. And to our Canadian friends - I hope you had a great Thanksgiving and hope you have many more.


Funny Thanksgiving quotes and sayings

  • What we're really talking about is a wonderful day set aside on the fourth Thursday of November when no one diets. I mean, why else would they call it Thanksgiving? - Erma Bombeck

  • An optimist is a person who starts a new diet on Thanksgiving Day. - Irv Kupcinet

  • Thanksgiving dinners take eighteen hours to prepare. They are consumed in twelve minutes. Half-time takes twelve minutes. This is not coincidence. - Erma Bombeck
  • Thanksgiving is America's national chow-down feast, the one occasion each year when gluttony becomes a patriotic duty. - Michael Dresser
  • Coexistence: what the farmer does with the turkey - until Thanksgiving. - Mike Connolly
  • The funny thing about Thanksgiving, or any huge meal, is that you spend 12 hours shopping for it and then chopping and braising and blanching. Then it takes 20 minutes to eat it and everybody sort of sits around in a food coma, and then it takes four hours to clean it up. - Ted Allen
  • The thing I'm most thankful for right now is elastic waistbands. - Author Unknown
  • On Thanksgiving Day, all over America, families sit down to dinner at the same moment - halftime. - Author Unknown
  • Turkey: A large bird whose flesh, when eaten on certain religious anniversaries has the peculiar property of attesting piety and gratitude. - Ambrose Bierce
  • Thanksgiving is an emotional holiday. People travel thousands of miles to be with people they only see once a year. And then discover once a year is way too often. - Johnny Carson
  • May your stuffing be tasty
    May your turkey plump,
    May your potatoes and gravy
    Have nary a lump.
    May your yams be delicious
    And your pies take the prize,
    And may your Thanksgiving dinner
    Stay off your thighs! - Author Unknown
  • I have strong doubts that the first Thanksgiving even remotely resembled the "history" I was told in second grade. But considering that (when it comes to holidays) mainstream America's traditions tend to be over-eating, shopping, or getting drunk, I suppose it's a miracle that the concept of giving thanks evens surfaces at all. - Ellen Orleans


Inspirational Thanksgiving quotes and sayings

  • He who thanks but with the lips thanks but in part; the full, the true Thanksgiving comes from the heart. - J. A. Shedd
  • On Thanksgiving Day we acknowledge our dependence. - William Jennings Bryan
  • This is the finest measure of thanksgiving: a thankfulness that springs from love. - William C. Skeath
  • Thanksgiving Day is a jewel, to set in the hearts of honest men; but be careful that you do not take the day, and leave out the gratitude. - E. P. Powell
  • Thanksgiving was never meant to be shut up in a single day. - Robert Caspar
  • Thanksgiving Day comes, by statute, once a year; to the honest man it comes as frequently as the heart of gratitude will allow. - Edward Sandford Martin
  • Not what wee say about our blessings, but how we use them, is the true measure of our thanksgiving. - W. T. Purkiser
  • Thanksgiving like contentment is a learned attribute. The person who hasn't learned to be content will not be thankful for he lives with the delusion he deserves more or something better. - Robert Flatt
  • Thanksgiving is the holiday of peace, the celebration of work and the simple life...a true folk-festival that speaks the poetry of the turn of the seasons, the beauty of seed time and harvest, the ripe product of the year - and the deep, deep connection of all these things with God. - Ray Stannard
  • Forever on Thanksgiving Day the heart will find the pathway home. - Wilber D. Nesbit
  • Thanksgiving is only possible for those who take time to remember; no one can give thanks who has a short memory. - Author Unknown
  • Stand up, on this Thanksgiving Day, stand upon your feet. Believe in man. Soberly and with clear eyes, believe in you own time and place. There is not, and there never has been a better time, or a better place to live in. - Phillips Brooks
  • The Pilgrims made seven times more graves than huts. No Americans have been more impoverished than these who, nevertheless, set aside a day of thanksgiving. - H. U. Westermayer


Turkey Quotes and Sayings

  • Don't assume you're always going to be understood. I wrote a column that one should put a cup of liquid in the cavity of a turkey when roasting it. Someone wrote me that 'the turkey tasted great, but the plastic cup melted'. - Hints from Heloise
  • Turkey, unlike chicken, has very elegant characteristics. It has more of a cache than chicken. Turkey is a delicacy, so it should be presented in such a way. - Todd English
  • A turkey never voted for an early Christmas. - Anonymous (Or an early Thanksgiving)
  • Turkey is undoubtedly one of the best gifts that the New World has made to the Old. Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin
  • No more turkey, but I'd like another helping of that bread he ate. - Anonymous
  • Most turkeys taste better the day after, my mother's tasted better the day before. - Rita Rudner
  • My favorite meal is turkey and mashed potatoes. I love Thanksgiving, it's just my favorite. I can have Thanksgiving all year round. - Cindy Margolis

First Thanksgiving
First Thanksgiving | Source

Thanksgiving fun facts and trivia

  • The Pilgrim leader, Governor William Bradford, had organized the first Thanksgiving feast in 1621 and invited the Wampanoag Indians.
  • By the fall of 1621 only half of the pilgrims who had sailed over on the Mayflower had survived. The survivors, thankful to still be alive, decided to give a thanksgiving feast.
  • The Plymouth pilgrims were the first ones to celebrate Thanksgiving.
  • Abraham Lincoln issued a Thanksgiving Proclamation on October 3, 1863 and officially set aside the last Thursday of the month of November as the national day for Thanksgiving. Before then the presidents used to make an annual proclamation to specify when Thanksgiving was to be held.
  • The state of New York officially made Thanksgiving Day an annual custom in 1817.
  • The first Thanksgiving celebration lasted three days.
  • Thanksgiving Day is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November in the U.S. and the second Monday in October in Canada.
  • Ben Franklin wanted the turkey to be named the national symbol rather than the eagle.


Symbols of Thanksgiving

  • Turkey It wouldn't be Thanksgiving without a big. beautiful, golden brown turkey sitting in the place of honor on your table. The turkey got it's name from the sound it makes when it is scared 'turk, turk, turk'.
  • Cornucopia - Also know as the 'horn of plenty' the cornucopia is probably the best known symbol of the harvest time. Traditionally, the cornucopia was a curved goat's horn filled with the bounty of the harvest.
  • Corn - Another popular Thanksgiving symbol is corn. It's variety of colors with is various meaning make for an interesting symbol. Corn has been traditionally used as a decoration for doors, table and wreaths. It is said to have been one of the foods eaten at the first Thanksgiving.
  • Pumpkin Pie - I don't know about you but my family would stage a mutiny if I didn't have a pumpkin pie for dessert at Thanksgiving. According to historians pumpkins have been a favorite harvest time symbol for over 400 years.
  • Beans - Way back in the year of 1620 the Native Americans taught the pilgrims how to grow bean, alongside the corn, making them a favorite for harvest time. Pole beans especially have been a Thanksgiving day favorite since the pilgrims.
  • Cranberry - The cranberry received it's name from the pilgrims when they saw a resemblance to the drooping head of the bird, crane. It didn't take them long to make this bitter fruit a Thanksgiving favorite. They quickly learned how to sweeten it with maple sugar.


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    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile imageAUTHOR

      Susan Hazelton 

      7 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Mcmillen, I like that poem too. It's too bad the author is unknown.

    • Mcmillen Writes profile image

      Mcmillen Writes 

      7 years ago from Dallas-Fort Worth Metro

      Awesome I love the little poem! I have to save that!

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile imageAUTHOR

      Susan Hazelton 

      7 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Dexi, I've been there and they certainly deserve a mention. They do a wonderful job. I wish I could take my class there for a field trip. Alas, I don't think the bus would make it from Florida and back by 1:30 PM when leaving at 9 AM. It really is a great experience for kids of all ages - even the ones that feel old enough to have been there for the original Thanksgiving.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Plymouth Plantation is a fun place to visit. An experience not to be missed if you are traveling to the Massachusetts area. They do an excellent job portraying what life may have been like in 1620. All ages love it.

      Happy Thanksgiving!!

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile imageAUTHOR

      Susan Hazelton 

      7 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Thanks Patti Ann. It's great hearing from you.

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile imageAUTHOR

      Susan Hazelton 

      7 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Thanks, dahoglund. Thanks for stopping by.

    • Patti Ann profile image

      Patti Ann 

      7 years ago from Florida

      Excellent as usual!! You really found some good ones!!

    • dahoglund profile image

      Don A. Hoglund 

      7 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      Very good collection of sayings for Thanksgiving.


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