389 Years of Thanksgiving

It’s generally acknowledged by most historians that the first Thanksgiving celebration occurred 389 years ago, back in 1621.  After an especially difficult first year in the Americas, Plymouth Colonists and Wampanaog Indians joined together in an Autumn Feast to share in that year’s harvest as a symbol of cooperation and interaction.

I wonder if there was a guy like my Uncle Bud at the First Thanksgiving.

Uncle Bud tends to show up early, have a few too many Bloody Mary’s and then fall asleep on the couch while silently passing gas for the rest of the afternoon.

The Plymouth settlers may have been saved by the fact that they probably didn’t have couches at the First Thanksgiving and most of their relatives were 3,000 miles away in England, which doesn’t sound ALL bad, does it?

The first national proclamation of Thanksgiving was issued by the Continental Congress in 1777 and in 1863 President Abraham Lincoln formally proclaimed that the Thanksgiving holiday should fall on the last Thursday in November.

No one is exactly sure who declared that the Dallas Cowboys and the Detroit Lions should both be required to play football on Thanksgiving Day but estimates are that today’s Lions game will be the only one all season seen by a viewing audience of more than 6 people.

According to the US Department of agriculture, Americans will purchase and cook 45 million turkeys this thanksgiving.

Approximately 44 million of them will either be dangerously undercooked or so dry that you could use the leftover turkey slices as sand paper the next day.

The remaining 1 million perfectly cooked turkeys will all be prepared by Martha Stewart.

Not everyone knows this, but only male turkeys make that famous gobble-gobble sound.  Female turkeys actually make a clicking sound.  Scientists have yet to figure out how to translate the clicking sounds but their best guess is that the female turkeys are actually saying “Holiday’s over pal.  Get off the couch and go hang the Christmas lights.”  Or something to that effect.

Kidding aside, while Thanksgiving may not pack the emotional wallop of the Christmas Holiday, it is an important time to take stock of all the many things we have to be grateful for and to remember that even with all the challenges life throws at us, there’s a lot to celebrate.

My 5 year old daughter wrote a Thanksgiving poem yesterday at school that seemed to be a pretty good summary of the holiday.

It goes like this:

I’m thankful for…..the green grass…..the good Earth…..the tall trees…..cool clear rivers and lakes….the high mountains…..warm sunshine…..fresh air….and you……..

That pretty much covers it….doesn’t it?

Happy Thanksgiving.  And remember, steer clear of Uncle Bud after he falls asleep on the couch.

One Comment

  • Aunt Buddy wrote:

    Love it, Mike! We hope that all the Denver family had a wonderful Thanksgiving and I think that Uncle Joe is my “Uncle Bud” Yikes!!! Loved JoJo’s poem.

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