This week Thanksgiving Day arrives. The day marks an end to the Fall and serves as a harbinger of the busy holiday season ahead. On this day we stop our routines, gather together with friends and family, consume thousands of calories and watch parades and football on TV. In households across the country, adults surround the dining table while children eat at the ‘kids’ table’ placed in whatever space the house allows. The smell of turkey basting in the oven and the warm aroma of pumpkin pies fill our homes, and we pause to give thanks for all our blessings.
Every year we celebrate these traditions with some distant recognition of why we are doing it. Somewhere in the back of our minds we recall stories of The First Thanksgiving and the reason it all began. But here are a few unusual facts you might not know.
*Thanksgiving is not only celebrated in the United States. Canada also celebrates a Thanksgiving Day on the 2nd Monday in October.
*The Mayflower was never meant to carry passengers. It was originally designed for wine transport.
*Only 5 women survived the first year at the Plymouth settlement. Those women cooked the first Thanksgiving meal.
*The first Thanksgiving was celebrated in 1621. That first celebration lasted for 3 days!
*President Abraham Lincoln established the last Thursday in November as a day of Thanksgiving.
*Congress passed legislation in 1941 which declared Thanksgiving a national holiday.
*The first Thanksgiving Day Parade took place in Philadelphia in 1920, sponsored by Gimbel’s Department Store. The Macy’s Parade began in 1924.
*In 1947, President Truman began a tradition which continues to this day. Each year, the President pardons a turkey and sends it to a public farm in Virginia named Frying Pan Park.
*The average American consumes 4500 calories on Thanksgiving Day.**
Thanksgiving provides a perfect opportunity to offer thanks for the many blessings in our lives. Enjoy the time this week to reflect and pause in gratitude.
Wishing each of you a very Happy Thanksgiving!