Happy Thanksgiving!

Hey everyone, and happy thanksgiving!!! I hope you’re all having a wonderful day eating turkey and noodles, and remembering to give thanks in all things! And here I am, back with five facts about thanksgiving that might interest you this year!

Photo by ASHISH SHARMA on Pexels.com

Fact #1:What is the most popular thanksgiving dish?

Turkey (or ham) is ranked as the top thanksgiving dish. It’s a little obvious, since “turkey” and thanksgiving are almost synonymous with each other now. Mashed potatoes came second, though I will admit I was a little disappointed noodles weren’t on the list. They’re my favorite!

Fact #2: How much turkey is eaten on average every thanksgiving?

On average, 45-46 million turkeys are eaten on thanksgiving, compared to 22 million on Christmas. Those poor turkeys have a rough end of the year.

Fact #3: When was the first Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade?

The first Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade took place in 1924. I wonder how different it was back then compared to now.

Fact #4: What was an old thanksgiving tradition most people no longer do today?

Back in the day, most families made it a tradition to tell the story of the first thanksgiving before eating their thanksgiving food, reminding their children why they celebrated it. I do believe this is a tradition that would be nice to bring back.

Fact #5: Where did thanksgiving originate?

And of course, I cannot get away with this post without paying tribute to the real reason Thanksgiving exists. In 1608, a group of people traveled to Holland in order to worship God as they pleased. They did this because in England, they could not pray and form their own churches as they believed the Lord was telling them. But in Holland, life was hard and they worried about their children. So in 1620, they decided to set off for the “New World” on the ship the Mayflower.

Approximately one hundred and thirty two people squeezed onto the small boat, and not all of these people got along. The sailors did not like the Pilgrims and their prayers and holy songs. The Pilgrims did not like the sailors and their mockery and bad language. But by the end of the voyage, the sailors and Pilgrims were able to tolerate each other.

Life on the Mayflower wasn’t easy. Every day the food was the same, and most of the time, it was cold. Beer and water was all there was to drink, but soon the water went bad and everyone had to drink beer. Not only that, but bugs were everywhere, and close to the end of the voyage, all the food was going bad. The sleeping quarters were just as bad. Everyone had to sleep together on the hard floor under the main deck, and most sailors had to sleep on the deck.

And then there were the awful storms. As the Mayflower traveled alone, if something bad were to happen, all the occupants would probably drown. And during one storm, they nearly did, as the main beam cracked. The ship might have sunk, but thank God someone remembered an iron screw they had brought to help build houses, and they used this to keep the beam in place.

Finally, there was the sickness. At first, most of the passengers just suffered from sea-sickness, but soon more deadly sicknesses came over them. The doctor’s servant, Will Butten, died first, and many others took sick after him. Now even the sailors prayed for the end of the terrible voyage.

Finally on November 9th, 1620, after sixty-six days of sailing, they landed, and the Pilgrims fell on their knees and blessed God for bringing them safely to shore. But shortly afterwards, quarreling broke out, as some pilgrims wanted to go explore where they wanted and leave the group, while others felt it would be safer if they stuck together. Thus, they wrote out the Mayflower Compact, the first set of laws in America that stated the majority should rule, not one single man.

But they decided they could not stay in the particular spot they’d landed. The harbor was too hard to get into, and there were too many Indians. So they traveled and finally landed on a place called Plymouth. There were running brooks and fields ready for planting, the harbor was safe for small boats, and they saw no Indians, and decided here is where they would stay.

But the Pilgrims couldn’t build houses for everyone that year, because winter was coming. The first house they build was called the Common House, where they stored their tools and a shelter for the men who were working. However, they also used it for a church and hospital later on.

That winter was very hard for the Pilgrims. Half of the Pilgrims and sailors were dead, including three entire families. Some days in February, only six or seven people were well enough to take care of the sick.

But finally in March, their first breakthrough came. An Indian named Samoset befriended them, having learned English from visiting English fishermen. He told the Pilgrims about the land and surrounding Indian tribes, and later brought back the Pilgrim’s future best friend, an Indian named Squanto who lived in Plymouth with the Pilgrims for the rest of his life. Squanto saved the Pilgrim’s lives. He showed them how to catch fish and hunt deer, turkey, and other game. He also showed them how to plant corn and what herbs to use to flavor their food.

Soon, the nearby Indian chief, Chief Massasoit came to meet with the Pilgrims. They greeted each other and ate and drank together as friends, and got to work on a peace treaty. This peace treaty lasted for fifty years.

Finally, on April 5, 1621, the Mayflower sailed back to England, offering to take any Pilgrims who wished to return home with them. But none left. Things were just starting to perk up. In May, the first wedding took place among the Pilgrims, and in the middle of October, the first Thanksgiving took place.

The Pilgrims had plenty of things to be thankful for. They weren’t hungry, and the corn grew well, several houses were finished and no one was sick, and the Indians were their friends. But most of all, they were grateful that they finally had a place where they could worship God as they chose. Therefore, they decided to give thanks to Him through the first thanksgiving.

The first thanksgiving actually lasted three days. All the Pilgrims and more than ninety of their Indian friends took part in the celebration. They ate wild turkeys, cranberries, pumpkins, and meat pies. There were also wild geese, wild duck, lobsters, eels, oysters, and many kinds of fish. The Indians chipped in too, bringing five deer for the feast.

Corn was a major part of the dinner, as they cooked it all sorts of ways, including making popcorn. Vegetables from the Pilgrim’s gardens were also served, and for dessert, fruit and wild berries were provided.

The Pilgrims also had fun at the Thanksgiving feast. They played games, and even held a little parade. But above all, they remembered to thank God, and that is the reason we have thanksgiving today: to give thanks to God for all the wonderful blessings He has provided for us.

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving and remember to give thanks to God for at least one thing He has done for you this year… even if it is just the chance to eat turkey on thanksgiving again. God bless you all! ~ Kay Leigh

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