The Thanksgiving History You Never Hear

The Thanksgiving History You Never Hear

Modern media is flooded each Thanksgiving with tales of the myths and distortions of America’s most widely celebrated holiday. That is the most amazing thing about Thanksgiving. It is full of ironies and falsehoods and ignored facts. On one extreme you have those who cling to the Charlie Brown version of Thanksgiving. This is what most of us were taught in grade school – that the pilgrims walked off the Mayflower, made nice with the Indians and enjoyed a festive meal. On the other extreme you have those who say the Thanksgiving at Plymouth of 1621 never happened at allRead more

Josiah, His Turkeys and His Sweetheart

Josiah, His Turkeys and His Sweetheart

(Editor’s Note: This Thanksgiving story was published sometime in the early 19th century. Like A Visit from St. Nicholas it was published as a tradition year after year in many newspapers. We found it in the Boston Traveler from 1836, though we noted it dating back as far as 1824 in another newspaper. This is a delightful look an old American Thanksgiving traditions – as well as a great story of love.) Have you ever been in Windsor, Vermont? If so, you have heard of Josiah Baker. Indeed, you have heard of him even tho you have not been inRead more

Five Must See Movies Over Thanksgiving Weekend

Five Must See Movies Over Thanksgiving Weekend

Thanksgiving represents a lot of traditions in American culture. Some enjoy the parade, others get into the football and some are all about the food. For many, it is a simple day of being together and playing games. Thanksgiving, more than any other holiday, really is a true holiday. Everything stops for something different. Thanksgiving is also traditionally a time set aside to kick off the Christmas season. Many put up or cut down their Christmas tree on Thanksgiving weekend. Most have their Christmas lights hung and many use Thanksgiving night as their time for turning them all on. ByRead more

Ancient Connections of Thanksgiving and Christmas

Ancient Connections of Thanksgiving and Christmas

Here is some fodder for your Thanksgiving day discussions around the turkey — which is the more sacred holiday in America, Thanksgiving or Christmas? Check your learning of history at the door. This history of both holidays goes back further than you know — and both are related to each other in significant ways. Watch this video: Christmas, while constantly under a cloud in regular debates of what is politically correct or not, was NEVER a religious holiday in America. It may have been a religious holiday once-upon-a-time in Rome. The mashed-up words “Christ” and “mass”, which many historians sayRead more

Thanksgiving Debate of Stuffing or Dressing

Thanksgiving Debate of Stuffing or Dressing

While the world embroils itself in constant debates and controversies each holiday season and calls it the War on Christmas the skirmishes over Thanksgiving get a pass. That is mostly because the debates of Thanksgiving rage about food. There is no greater debate at Thanksgiving than the one of stuffing versus dressing. Which do you have? And how can you tell the difference? The debate could well date back to Civil War times — yes, a North versus South thing. Only Yankees “stuff” their bird. They will combine bread with celery and onions and cook it inside the bird. TheRead more

Thanksgiving is America’s Acknowledgement of God

Thanksgiving is America’s Acknowledgement of God

Thanksgiving is America’s only holiday invention and it may, in fact, be its most sacred. While the Christmas season is marked by repeated debates of “church vs. state” Thanksgiving is the only day of the year when American leadership calls for citizens to pray and actually acknowledges God. Anyone who grew up watching Charlie Brown and the Peanuts or attending public schools in the United States know of Thanksgiving’s early origins on the American continent. Fasting, prayer and days of feasting and thanksgiving were among the first seasonal observances celebrated by the pilgrims and puritans of ancient American history. TheirRead more

Thanksgiving Project Promises to Preserve History

Thanksgiving Project Promises to Preserve History

How would you like to hold a great event as part of your Thanksgiving celebration that also preserves your own family history? That is the hope of a project called The Great Thanksgiving Listen by StoryCorps. StoryCorps is a non-profit dedicated to preserving family stories and over the past 12 years they have recorded more than 100,000 such stories and archived them in the Library of Congress. They have developed a free smart phone app and are now working with high schools to spread the word about the event, which encourages students to interview their grandparents or other elders. TheRead more

Retailers Starting to Avoid Thanksgiving Openings

Retailers Starting to Avoid Thanksgiving Openings

In recent years the waters of Black Friday were significantly muddied by retailers pushing store openings to Thanksgiving Day. The move resulted in both a public and employee backlash who prefer Thanksgiving as a time for family and personal time off. Social media campaigns were launched to boycott Thanksgiving sales and holiday traditionalists were quick to criticize the money-grab. But retailers insisted they had to do something to combat online retailer who were capturing sales during Thanksgiving hours. Now it appears offline retailers are starting to cave. More than a week ago troubled retailer Staples announced it would not openRead more

Pumpkin Shortage Looms for Thanksgiving

Pumpkin Shortage Looms for Thanksgiving

2015 has not been a great year for the traditional foods of Thanksgiving. A bird flu virus threatened to wipe out the 2015 turkey flocks earlier in the year and now it appears canned pumpkin may be in short supply for Thanksgiving. According to crop experts in Illinois, the country’s top pumpkin-producing state, forecasts show supplies of canned pumpkin falling short compared to past years and consumers may find grocer shelves empty of the product by the middle of November. “I would not wait until Nov. 20,” University of Illinois professor Mohammad Babadoost said, referencing the Nov. 26 holiday. “I’dRead more