The Pilgrims who sailed to America were originally members of the English Separatist Church. Before going to America they had fled to Holland to escape religious persecution. Although, in Holland, they enjoyed more religious tolerance, but they eventually became disillusioned with the Dutch way of life. In the hope of a better life in, they took the help of a London stock company to move out to America. Most of those making this trip aboard the Mayflower were non-Separatists. Only about one-third of the original colonists were Separatists.
They reached Plymouth in 1620. There, they had to face a terrible winter. Around 46 of the original 102 had died by the next fall. But fortune turned in their favor and the harvest of the next year was bumper. And the remaining colonists decided to celebrate with a feast -- including 91 Indians who had helped the Pilgrims survive their first year. It is believed that the Pilgrims would not have made it through the year without the help of the natives. The feast was more of a traditional English harvest festival than a true "thanksgiving" observance. It lasted three days. Governor William Bradford sent "four men fowling" after wild ducks and geese. It is not certain that wild turkey was part of their feast. However, it is certain that they had venison. The term "turkey" was used by the Pilgrims to mean any sort of wild fowl.
Another modern staple at almost every Thanksgiving table is pumpkin pie. But it is unlikely that the first feast included that treat. The supply of flour had been long diminished, so there was no bread or pastries of any kind. However, they did eat boiled pumpkin, and they produced a type of fried bread from their corn crop. There was also no milk, cider, potatoes, or butter. There was no domestic cattle for dairy products, and the newly-discovered potato was still considered by many Europeans to be poisonous. But the feast did include fish, berries, watercress, lobster, dried fruit, clams, venison, and plums. This "thanksgiving" feast was not repeated the following year. But in 1623, during a severe drought, the pilgrims gathered in a prayer service, praying for rain. When a long, steady rain followed the very next day, Governor Bradford proclaimed another day of Thanksgiving, again inviting their Indian friends. It wasn't until June of 1676 that another Day of Thanksgiving was proclaimed.
On June 20, 1676, the governing council of Charlestown, Massachusetts, held a meeting to determine how best to express thanks for the good fortune that had seen their community securely established. By unanimous vote they instructed Edward Rawson, the clerk, to proclaim June 29 as a day of thanksgiving. It is notable that this thanksgiving celebration probably did not include the Indians, as the celebration was meant partly to be in recognition of the colonists' recent victory over the "heathen natives". October of 1777 marked the first time that all 13 colonies joined in a thanksgiving celebration. It also commemorated the patriotic victory over the British at Saratoga. But it was a one-time affair.
George Washington proclaimed a National Day of Thanksgiving in 1789, although some were opposed to it. There was discord among the colonies, many feeling the hardships of a few Pilgrims did not warrant a national holiday. And later, President Thomas Jefferson scoffed at the idea of having a day of thanksgiving. It was Sarah Josepha Hale, a magazine editor, whose efforts eventually led to what we recognize as Thanksgiving. Hale wrote many editorials championing her cause in her Boston Ladies' Magazine, and later, in Godey's Lady's Book. Finally, after a 40-year campaign of writing editorials and letters to governors and presidents, Hale's obsession became a reality when, in 1863, President Lincoln proclaimed the last Thursday in November as a national day of Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving was proclaimed by every president after Lincoln. The date was changed a couple of times, most recently by Franklin Roosevelt, who set it up one week to the next-to-last Thursday in order to create a longer Christmas shopping season. Public uproar against this decision caused the president to move Thanksgiving back to its original date two years later. And in 1941, Thanksgiving was finally sanctioned by Congress as a legal holiday, as the fourth Thursday in November.
Thanksgiving gifts can be categorized according to the person you are gifting. Like there will be a wide range of gift items for kids, for parents, brothers, sisters, husbands, wives, friends, relatives and grandparents. So you have to keep in mind whom you are gifting. Now for kids your gift has to more creative and innovative. They prefer gifts with unusual theme and unique wrapping. You have to be different in packaging your gift. Like for instance you can go for a basket with a combination of various items. Like chocolate, cookies, color pencil set, pencil box, tiffin box for school and a handmade Thanksgiving cartoon card. You can also decorate the basket yourself with colorful papers and ribbons. Toys can also be a good option. Like dolls for girls and cars for boys. You can also give them craft making books, which will have ideas and different methods on how to make crafts at home. It will be good for them, as it will build their creative ability. Even storybooks are also a nice gift item. There are books available on the theme of thanksgiving.
For adults you can opt from a wide range of gift items like you can gift your mother recipe books on different types of cooking. Than there are thanksgiving baskets, which contains various items like assorted cookies, dry fruits, chocolates, wine, etc. Even you can go for exclusive gift baskets like bakery gift baskets, fruit gift baskets, gourmet gift baskets, spa gift baskets, and wine gift baskets. Even video CD's and DVD's are good Thanksgiving gifts. They are based on Thanksgiving stories. There are CD's available on Thanksgiving music too. Flowers are also a good gift items depending on your budget you can opt for various floral arrangements, as there is are substitute for fresh flowers. And flowers are the best way to convey the message of thanks. You can gift your friends and relatives from a wide range of aroma candles on a decorative candle stand or a showpiece to decorate home.
Here are some examlples for you:
Thanksgiving Flower Gift
Flowers are a perfect gift to express your gratitude to your near and dear ones. They don't cost much but say it all. Fresh flowers can lift someone's spirits, while dried flowers can be used to decorate homes.
Thanksgiving Gift Baskets
Goodies Gift Baskets are a much appreciated Thanksgiving Gift. This is because edibles such as snacks, cookies, food grains and fruits have always been associated with prosperity and happiness. You may also add chocolates and wine bottles to your gift basket and make it even more attractive for the recipient.
Gold jewellery and other precious metal and stone accessories are popular gifts items during Thanksgiving celebrations. An estimated of 16% of shoppers splurged on jewelry during thanksgiving weekend. Religious jewellery such as rosary beads and bracelet makes for an interesting gift. You may also opt for designer fashion jewelry which are cost effective and much appreciated in present times.
Another popular option for gifting is chocolate. Available in different flavors, shapes and sizes, chocolates are a favourite Thanksgiving gift among children and even grown ups. Club the chocolates with flowers and see that million dollar smile on your dear one's face.
Thanksgiving Teddy Bear
Cuddly Teddy Bears and other stuffed toys make a cute and cozy Thanksgiving gift for children and sweethearts.
Decorative make a thoughtful Thanksgiving Gift especially for ladies. These days a wide range of decorative are available in the market. You may choose from vase, table lamps, show pieces, candle holders, paintings, photo frames etc.
Scrumptious Cakes make an exotic Thanksgiving Gift for dear ones. Select the cake in recipient's favorite flavor to increase the impact of the gift. If you are good at baking, prepare the cake yourself for, nothing can match the feeling and zest of a homemade cake baked with love.
A nice way to express your admiration for someone would be to present a mesmerizing perfume as a thanksgiving gift. Select an impressive bottle and recipient's favorite fragrance for heightened impact.
Thanksgiving Household Gifts
Household gifts like coasters, mats, cutlery, crockery are of high utility. Available in attractive designs, they enhance the beauty of interiors and make a thoughtful Thanksgiving gift.
Turkey and Trimmings
From the first Thanksgiving to today's turkey burgers, turkeys are an American tradition dating back centuries. According to the National Turkey Federation, 95 percent of Americans eat turkey at Thanksgiving. Regional twists offer variations on the traditional roasted bird, including coffee rubbed turkey from Hawaii, salt encrusted turkey from New England, and deep fried turkey from the South.
Time Out for the Pigskin
Throughout the United States, football on Thanksgiving Day is as big a part of the celebration as turkey and pumpkin pie. Dating back to the first intercollegiate football championship held on Thanksgiving Day in 1876, traditional holiday football rivalries have become so popular that a reporter once called Thanksgiving "a holiday granted by the State and the Nation to see a game of football."
The first American Thanksgiving Day parade was held in 1920, organized by Gimbel's Department Store in Philadelphia, not Macy's as most people believe. The NYC Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade tradition actually began in 1924, and has grown into an annual event of balloons, bands, and floats, enjoyed by more than 46 million people each year in person and on TV.
Making a Wish
Does your family fight over the wishbone from the Thanksgiving turkey? Known as a "lucky break" the tradition of tugging on either end of a fowl's bone to win the larger piece and its accompanying "wish" dates back to the Etruscans of 322 B.C. The Romans brought the tradition with them when they conquered England and the English colonists carried the tradition on to America.
Last, but certainly not least, Thanksgiving is about giving thanks for the people and blessings of the past year. From pre-meal prayers to providing holiday meals to the homeless, the holiday is truly a celebration of praise and thanksgiving.
Poem and Songs
Ode to Thanksgiving
On this Thanksgiving Day, I am thankful for life
and to be able to share it with my friends, kids and wife.
Everyone celebrates Thanksgiving in their own way
But let's take a look at the original Thanksgiving day.
It was many, many years ago when Pilgrims arrived
and the Native Americans taught them how to survive.
And, in return the Pilgrims gave them things brand new
like measles, cholera, chicken pox, and all types of flu.
They destroyed a great nation and took their land
and killed their families whenever they took a stand.
So, when you give thanks for things this time of year,
I am just grateful that some of my people are still here.
Written by Marty Lostheart
I'm Thankful For My Family And My Friends Living
I'm Thankful For My Family And My Friends Living,
I'm Happy To See Parts Of My Family Giving,
I'm Happy For The Poor Who Have A Wonderful Meal To Eat,
I Don't Have To Wonder With The Poor Beneath My Feet,
Another Meal To Celebrate The Thanks We Have To Share And Say,
A Special Meal To Bring Us Together On Thank giving Day,
I Thank The Lord For Everything I Have, My Family And My Friends,
I'm Thankful For God's Angel s's He Sends,
Parts Of My Dead Family I Give Thank To You,
You Made Parts Of My Family Happy, Thanksgiving Too,
The Turkey, The Food, I Give Thanks To Angel's He Sends,
I'm Thankful For My Family And Friends,
I Give Thanks And Thankful Is What I Shall Say,
I Thank You God On Thanksgiving Day.
Written by Bernadette C
Now Thank We All Our God
Now thank we all our God,
With heart and hands and voices,
Who wondrous things has done,
In whom this world rejoices;
Who from our mothers' arms
Has blessed us on our way
With countless gifts of love,
And still is ours today.
O may this bounteous God
Through all our life be near us,
With ever joyful hearts
And blessed peace to cheer us;
And keep us still in grace,
And guide us when perplexed;
And free us from all ills,
In this world and the next.
All praise and thanks to God
The Father now be given;
The Son, and him who reigns
With them in highest heaven;
The one eternal God,
Whom earth and heaven adore;
For thus it was, is now,
And shall be evermore.
Written by Martin Rinkart
Gettin' together to smile an' rejoice,
An' eatin' an' laughin' with folks of your choice;
An' kissin' the girls an' declarin' that they
Are growin more beautiful day after day;
Chattin' an' braggin' a bit with the men,
Buildin' the old family circle again;
Livin' the wholesome an' old-fashioned cheer,
Just for awhile at the end of the year.
Greetings fly fast as we crowd through the door
And under the old roof we gather once more
Just as we did when the youngsters were small;
Mother's a little bit grayer, that's all.
Father's a little bit older, but still
Ready to romp an' to laugh with a will.
Here we are back at the table again
Tellin' our stories as women an men.
Bowed are our heads for a moment in prayer;
Oh, but we're grateful an' glad to be there.
Home from the east land an' home from the west,
Home with the folks that are dearest an' best.
Out of the sham of the cities afar
We've come for a time to be just what we are.
Here we can talk of ourselves an' be frank,
Forgettin' position an' station an' rank.
Give me the end of the year an' its fun
When most of the plannin' an' toilin' is done;
Bring all the wanderers home to the nest,
Let me sit down with the ones I love best,
Hear the old voices still ringin' with song,
See the old faces unblemished by wrong,
See the old table with all of its chairs
An I'll put soul in my Thanksgivin' prayers.
Written by Edgar Albert Guest
T is for the trust the pilgrims had so many years ago
H is for the harvest the settlers learnt to grow
A is for America, the land in which we live
N is for nature and beauty which she gives
K is for kindness, gentle words, thoughtful deeds
S is for smiles, the sunshine everyone needs
G is for gratitude... our blessings big and small
I is for ideas, letting wisdom grow tall
V is for voices, singing, laughing, always caring
I is for Indians, who taught them about sharing
N is for neighbors, across the street, over the sea
G is for giving of myself to make a better me
Written by Judith.A. Lindberg
Here are some recipes for you:
Pineapple Cheese Salad
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
2 cans tinned pineapple chunks, save the juice
1 - 2 cups small marshmallows (optional)
250 gms cheese (paneer)
2 1/2 tbsp. cornstarch (mixed with 1/4 cup water)
l tbsp. sugar
Method of Preparation:
Put pineapple juice, cornstarch mixture, sugar in a bowl and blend. Add beaten eggs to form a smooth mixture. Cook on slow flame, stirring continuously until the mixture thickens. Let the mixture cool, then add pineapple chunks, small marshmallows and cheese. A tasty salad is ready to eat
Preparation Time: 25 minutes
1 Packet (12 ounces) fresh cranberries
1/2 Cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 Cup sugar
1 Teaspoon nutmeg powder
1 Teaspoon cinnamon powder
1 Teaspoon pepper
1 Teaspoon cumin powder
Method of Preparation:
Cook cranberries, vinegar and sugar on high flame in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Add nutmeg, cinnamon, cumin and pepper. Simmer and keep stirring until the mixture is of thick consistency.
Traditional Turkey Sandwich
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 10-20 minutes
1/2 cup cream cheese/mayonnaise
4 teaspoons brown mustard
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup chopped walnuts, if desired
1/ tsp ground cinnamon
8 slices Whole Wheat Bread, toasted, if desired
4 leaves curly leaf lettuce
3/4 pound thinly sliced Turkey Breast
1 large apple, cored,cut in 8 rings
Method of Preparation
For Cheese Spread: In small bowl, mix together cream cheese, mustard, dried cranberries, walnuts and cinnamon. For sandwiches: Spread each slice of bread with cream cheese spread. Top 4 slices with lettuce leaves, turkey and apple rings. Complete sandwich with remaining bread.
Roasted Turkey with Butter Glaze
Preparation time: 30-45 minutes
Roasting Time: 3-4 hours
1 14- to 16-pound turkey
1/2 cup softened butter
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons snipped fresh marjoram or 2 teaspoons dried marjoram, crushed
1 teaspoon finely shredded lemon peel
1/4 cup bourbon
Salt to taste
2 teaspoon Pepper
Fresh herbs (optional)
Method of Preparation:
1.Combine butter, brown sugar, marjoram, and lemon peel in a small mixing bowl for glazing.
2. Put turkey, breast side up, on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. separate turkey skin from breast meat, with your hands, taking care not to tear the meat or skin. Spread half of the glaze over the breast meat under the skin.
3. Melt and cool remaining glaze. Stir in bourbon. Brush mixture over outside of turkey. Season turkey with salt and pepper. Pull neck skin to back and fasten with a short skewer. Tuck drumsticks under the band of skin that crosses the tail. If there isn't a band, tie drumsticks to tail. Twist wing tips under back.
4. Insert a meat thermometer in the center of an inside thigh muscle. The thermometer bulb should not touch bone. Cover turkey loosely with foil. Roast in a 325 degree F oven for 3-3/4 to 4-1/4 hours or until thermometer registers 180 degrees F. After 3 hours, cut the skin or string between drumsticks. For browning, remove foil in the last 30 minutes of roasting Turkey is done when drumsticks move very easily in their sockets and their thickest parts feel soft when pressed. Remove turkey from oven and cover loosely with foil. Let stand 15 to 20 minutes before carving. garnish platter with fresh herbs and kumquats. Makes 12 to 15 servings.
Thanksgiving Day Myths
Thanksgiving dinner: never has the history of a meal been so obscured by myth. Every year on the fourth Thursday in November, Americans sit down to eat with family and friends. Some gather to give thanks for all that they have received over the previous year; others get together just to enjoy turkey and football. We all celebrate Thanksgiving in our own ways.
So what do most Americans believe happened on that first Thanksgiving Day? Most still cling to what they learned in elementary school. The Pilgrims sat down with Indians for a big meal of turkey, cornbread, cranberries and pumpkin pie. The Pilgrims dressed in black, and the Indians wore feathers and colorful beads. In fact, many Americans today still recall if they were "pilgrims" or "Indians" in their school pageants.
It's a charming story, but it's a myth. To be sure, it's a powerful one -- one that will be repeated many times this November. The fact that it's so pervasive is evidence that American myths have long lives.
So what are the facts of that first Thanksgiving? In fact, the Pilgrims of the Plymouth Colony in today's Massachusetts did share a meal with the Wampanoag Indians in the autumn of 1621, but the rest of the details are uncertain. The only documentary evidence of the event comes from the journal of Plymouth Colony's governor, Edward Winslow, who noted simply that the colonists met with Chief Massasoit and 90 of his men for a feast that lasted four days. No one worried about cholesterol or obesity in 1621!
Though they don't have much evidence, historians and archaeologists do have an educated hypothesis of what the Pilgrims ate, how they ate, when they ate and what they wore at that first Thanksgiving meal. The historical facts are not at all like the scene usually painted in elementary school.
Start with the menu. It's not likely that the Pilgrims and the Indians consumed any bread dressing, mashed potatoes or pumpkin pie. In fact, it is not likely that they ate any roast turkey either. The only items listed in Winslow's journal were "venison and wild fowl," and it is likely that dried corn and fruit filled out the bill of fare. In colonial times, a person ate what was available, when it was available. No one back then saved room for pumpkin pie.
Another myth has to do with how the meal was served. The Pilgrims and the Indians did not, as the myth has it, sit down at tables, bless their food or pass the serving dishes. It's more likely that food was set out on every available flat surface: tables, boxes, benches, and tree stumps. The meal was consumed without ceremony over three days, whenever someone was hungry.
No one used plates or eating utensils. Although both the colonists and the Indians occasionally used cloths or napkins if the food was hot, they usually ate with their hands. And not everyone ate everything that was served. Most diners ate what they liked or whatever dish was closest to them.
Finally, it's important to dispel one last Thanksgiving myth -- that the Pilgrims dressed in black and white clothing, wore pointed hats and starched bonnets and favored buckles on their shoes. It's true that they dressed in black on Sundays; but on most days, including the first Thanksgiving, they dressed in white, beige, black, green and brown. And it's likely that the Indians were fully clothed to ward off the chill of autumn in New England. Who would wear only a loincloth in Massachusetts in November?
So it's a good thing that Americans today are not tested on the history of that first Thanksgiving, because few of us would earn a passing grade. It seems that the historical evidence of Thanksgiving is not as compelling as the myths that cloud our memories. It's too bad that childhood images of Pilgrims and Indians aren't based on historical facts.
And yet there's a legacy about this holiday that threads its way from past to the present and defies both myth and historical evidence. That legacy is generosity. To be sure, Americans today may not be as religious as the Pilgrims, but most Americans do share their plenty with their family and friends on this special day. It's a holiday that brings all Americans, no matter their creed or disposition, together. And that's something worthy of our thanks.
http://www.thanksgiving-day.org/ - Here you can see a lot of different jokes, songs, cards ets.