Monday, November 21, 2011

Fun & Unkown Facts About Thanksgiving

Remember those Thanksgiving pageants you were in during your grade school years & the Pilgrims & Indians sat down to a meal of make-believe turkey, stuffing & yams? Today, in school, our children take part in Thanksgiving feasts with real food depicting the first Thanksgiving. Children across the United States are wearing the same black Pilgrim hats or colorful feathers, if they choose to be Indians--all made the week before from construction paper as an art project.

We were all raised thinking this was a fairly accurate picture of the meal the Indians shared with the Pilgrims & we passed this lore down to our children as it was told to us. But this isn't how it was at all. The only fact that is correct is the 1st Thanksgiving was celebrated in the fall of 1621. Did you know it lasted for three days?

Here are some other facts about the first Thanksgiving:

Pilgrims are shown as wearing black & white clothing, but actually that was only worn on Sundays & formal occasions. Women typically dressed in red, earthy green, brown, blue, violet & gray; while men wore clothing in white, beige, earthy green & brown.

List of foods that were available to the colonists at the time of the 1621 harvest feast & were probably on their menu:
  • SEAFOOD: lobster, clams, eel & cod
  • WILD FOWL: wild turkey, geese, duck, swans, partridges & eagles
  • MEAT: venison & seal
  • GRAIN: wheat
  • VEGETABLES: pumpkin, corn, peas, beans, onions, lettuce, raddishes & carrots
  • FRUIT: plums, grapes
  • NUTS: walnuts, chestnuts & acorns
  • HERBS & SEASONINGS: olive oil, liverwort, leeks, dried currants & parsnips
These traditional foods did not exist at the first Thanksgiving:
  • YAMS OR SWEET POTATOES: Potatoes of any kind were not grown in North America during this period.
  • CRANBERRY SAUCE: The colonists had cranberries, but no sugar. Cranberries were mainly used by the Indians for medicinal purposes.
  • PUMPKIN PIE: The recipes did not exist at this time--they stewed the pumpkins.
Comparing their menu to ours, I'm glad to be celebrating Thanksgiving in the 21st century--although I wouldn't mind lobster as an option.

This is the time of year that football is the #1 sport to watch or play. It's become associated with Thanksgiving whether professional teams are being watched on TV or family members play among themselves. The tradition of NFL football began in Detroit in 1934 when the Bears & Lions played......the Bears won 19 to 16. Football, obviously, was not around for the 1st Thanksgiving but sporting contests went on for the three day harvest festival in 1621. The Pilgrims displayed their shooting talents with guns while the Indians exhibited their skills with bows & arrows, racing, wrestling & other games.

 This is also the time of year when companies thank their loyal customers for their patronage by sending out holiday cards, inviting them to office parties or giving a gift to show their appreciation.

Keep in mind that even though you should have plenty of promotional imprinted products on hand, these should not be given out as holiday gifts. You client won't jump up & down with the .50 pen they've been writing with all year or the letter opener they've used everyday. Customized promotional items should definitely be used as holiday gifts, but they need to be special & more unique than what is usually distributed among the public for company recognition.

It's not what you spend, it's what you give. Whether it's the $1 candy bar boldly displaying your logo or a $50 computer laptop case discreetly showing it, your customized promotional gift should be something you haven't handed out during the year. Choose a gift that will make your client feel his business means something to you.

Just as important, make sure that gift makes an impact with your company name.
Happy Thanksgiving. I hope this is your best ever!

Have a wonderful & safe holiday season.

Ronni Sherman


  1. Interesting facts. Great cartoon.

  2. Bill Windham--Windham Ford and HondaNovember 22, 2011 at 12:28 PM

    no cornbread stuffing? no whipped cream on pie? no beer with football? just can't be thanksgiving without them!

  3. The first Thanksgiving did not include pumpkin pie?! That is very disappointing.

  4. Only 3 ingredients are missing from the settlers' list of foods to make a traditional Thanksgiving meal: bread (for stuffing), sugar & yams.

    Personally, I'd leave off a few items on their list: eagle & seal. Otherwise, think what a little sugar can do.