Thanksgiving & The Pilgrims!

Thanksgiving gift baskets
The story of Thanksgiving is accepted by most, but in reality it is rather fanciful. Most people think of pilgrim hats and turkeys without delving any deeper. The accounts of the true first thanksgiving are sparse, but they do not fit the stereotypical Thanksgiving we see today.

The idea of giving thanks was not new in and of itself. Many cultures have celebratory feasts and harvest festivals (including the Native Americans who attended the first Thanksgiving). What distinguished Thanksgiving was that thanks were not being given to a god or goddess, or for a bountiful harvest, but to fellow man.

We all know that Thanksgiving was about people coming together – the Americans accepting help in a dire moment of need, and the Native Americans providing compassion and a guiding hand to help them overcome their hardships. Coming to America proved to be a more arduous task then anticipated but with the Native Americans help it was accomplished. Yet who started the feast is still debated – the Americans, out of gratitude, or the Native Americans, in aid? What is known is that it happened in the fall of 1921, and almost twice as many Wampanoags came than settlers but around 150 celebrated the first Thanksgiving.

Turn Their Head Gift Basket There are many common misconceptions about the settlers. No, they did not wear pilgrim’s hats! Our stereotypical image of their way of dress is factually inaccurate. Black and white outfits on unhappy faced people are myth. They were not only made up of Puritans. Also, most pilgrims shown in films are older men, but the reality is that most settlers were young and that most of the settlers at the first Thanksgiving were women and children! The first Thanksgiving was a one-off event, it was not so great that they repeated it. Thanksgiving became a holiday when a letter written about the first Thanksgiving was discovered and publicized. After accounts of the first Thanksgiving were looked over many years later Thanksgiving slowly grew in popularity.

In modern days Thanksgiving has become a time to come together with family and friends. Instead of celebrating food most Thanksgiving focus on the idea of what a person is thankful for – their family, friends, careers, positive changes like a new home, education, or new child, and so forth. Thanksgiving is a wonderful holiday to celebrate but is difficult to explain and given the history of the founding of America it is not without its darkness. Yet when one considers the fortitude and kindness of the two peoples who came together on that epic day it is clear that this holiday is worth marking.

From humble beginnings with under 200 people, to becoming a national holiday during Lincoln’s time, to modern day America, Thanksgiving is an iconic part of American history as well as many of our own personal histories.

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8 Responses to “Thanksgiving & The Pilgrims!”

Did anyone ever tell you to keep your comments to yourself? That wasn't me! I LOVE to hear from you. Thank you so much for visiting!

  • Sarah:

    Very interesting, thanks!

  • grey456:

    History is a hoax

  • Yana:

    Haha didn’t know that, thanks!

  • Gonta:

    Although it was notwhat everybody thinks it was, it’s still a very nice holiday and tradition. That’s what matters – the tradition.

  • Jerry:

    Hey guys, it’s a bit early for Thanksgiving, don’t you think?

  • Helen Page:

    You’re welcome, Sarah and Yana!

  • DonnyintheDark:

    I will never wear pilgrim hats again…

  • jenny:

    I’m glad to find out that they weren’t a bunch of sad Puritan guys

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