Gratitude changes our attitudes and our actions. It changes how we live. This is the power of living a life of thanks; of gratitude for our blessings, whether those blessings are great or small. This is the power of Thanksgiving.
Photo by Kiy Turk on Unsplash
Here are some fun Thanksgiving trivia facts from the Good Housekeeping Magazine.
Question: What town canceled Thanksgiving because they couldn’t make pumpkin pies?
Answer: Colchester, Connecticut
A frigid bout of cold weather in the middle of October led to the Connecticut River freezing, so settlers couldn’t get their usual liquid sugar shipped on time from across the pond. Thus, the townspeople decided to postpone the holiday for a week in 1705. It was so legendary, Rose Mill Powers actually wrote a poem about it in a July 1908 issue of Good Housekeeping.
Question: What professional football team has played almost every Thanksgiving since 1934?
Answer: The Detroit Lions
George A. Richards, a former owner, purchased the Portsmouth Ohio Spartans in 1934 and moved them to Detroit. Rebranded as the Detroit Lions, George decided to host a Thanksgiving Day game against the world-champion Chicago Bears in hopes of attracting fans. The team has always played on Thanksgiving except between 1939-1944 due to World War II. The Dallas Cowboys also joined in on the Turkey Day tradition in 1966 and have played every Thanksgiving except in 1975 and 1977.
Question: What city is home to the oldest Thanksgiving parade?
The Philadelphia Gimbel Brothers Department Store parade in 1920 had only 50 people, 15 cars and a fireman dressed as Santa Claus. The parade ended with Santa on his sleigh, signifying the arrival of the holiday season. Today, it’s much bigger and called the 6abc Dunkin’ Donuts Thanksgiving Day Parade instead. It was the inspiration behind the Macy’s Day Thanksgiving Day Parade which started in 1924.
Question: What did President Calvin Coolidge famously receive as a Thanksgiving gift?
Answer: A live raccoon
In November 1926, Vinnie Joyce of Nitta Yuma, Mississippi, sent the 30th President of the United States a live raccoon to be served as Thanksgiving dinner. However, the President became so smitten with the furry animal that he pardoned it and adopted it as a pet. He named it Rebecca.
Question: What wasn’t part of the first Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade?
If you can’t imagine the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade without giant floats featuring your favorite characters, you’d barely recognize the first parade in the early 1920s. It did have puppets riding the iconic floats, as well as singers and celebrities and of course, Santa Claus. That said, when the Thanksgiving parade made its big debut in 1924, it did have something that might be even crazier than balloons: animals from the Central Park Zoo.
Question: What happens to the turkeys that are pardoned by the president each year?
Answer: The turkeys pardoned by the president go on to live fulfilled lives.
President George H.W. Bush pardoned the first turkey in 1989 after he noticed the 50-pound bird at his official Thanksgiving proclamation looked a little nervous. Every president has upheld the tradition, ever since. But what happens to that lucky bird that lives to squawk another day? In 2005 and 2009, the turkeys went to Disneyland and Walt Disney World parks to serve as grand marshals in their annual Thanksgiving parades.
Question: According to Americans, what’s the best part of Thanksgiving?
Answer: The leftovers
Fans of the beloved turkey, stuffing and mashed potato leftover sandwich: You’re in the majority. Most Americans prefer Thanksgiving leftovers to the actual meal. Almost eight in 10 Americans agree that the second helpings of stuffing, mashed potatoes and of course pie beat out the big dinner itself.
Question: Do other countries celebrate the holiday?
Answer: Yes! Canada also celebrates Thanksgiving — but on a different day.
Our neighbors to the north also celebrate Thanksgiving, but they do so on a different day and for an unrelated reason. While American Thanksgiving pays homage to a feast between the pilgrims and the Native Americans, the Canadian celebration commemorates a feast between English explorer Martin Frobisher and his crew after their successful sail from England to the Canadian territory in 1578. Canadian Thanksgiving takes place on the second Monday of October every year.
That doesn’t mean there are zero similarities between the two holidays. Both American and Canadian Thanksgiving menus often revolve around turkey, and revelers in both countries frequently spend the day watching football marathons and festive parades. In Canada, the biggest one is the Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Question: How many people go shopping on Black Friday?
Answer: Over 32 million people
Even though many consumers think stores shouldn’t be open on Thanksgiving, a good chunk of us still shop on the holiday, according to the National Retail Federation. But not everyone heads to the mall before their meal settles. Black Friday still draws the biggest crowd of the entire holiday weekend, with 115 million people. A total of 69 percent of Americans chase those deals like a retail-driven Olympic sport.
Question: How much pumpkin pie do Americans eat every Thanksgiving?
Answer: An estimated 50 million pumpkin pies are devoured every November.
Some of us consider pumpkin pie a vehicle for whipped topping and could take it or leave it. If you’d also rather leave your pumpkins for Halloween and dig into another Thanksgiving dessert, you’re not alone. According to The American Pie Council, more Americans prefer apple pie overall – pumpkin pie only comes in second place.
HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO EVERYONE
We in Arizona have made it through another hot summer. We have had more rain this year though, which is a good thing when so many have endured drought. Now we can enjoy the cool Fall days and spend some quality time outdoors with friends and family. Hike or take a bike ride on the trails and take in all the beauty in this great cool weather. There are numerous Fall Festivals that are held every year that can be found in almost every city or town.
Grab a good book and go sit out in the cool air and enjoy this time of year. If you’re looking for something to read, check out my website. For something chilling try– Vengeance of the Wolf, for an adventure with dragons and time travel – The Dragomeir Series, or my new book The Atrium, which reveals the inner reflections of a man examining his life, not knowing if he will live or die. You’ll find other books and extras that might interest you as well.
Whatever you do to experience the Fall weather, fill up your days and weekends with the things that make you feel refreshed and balanced. It’s always a great time to count your blessings and be grateful for everything and everyone around you.
Authoring a book is not an easy endeavor. Setting goals – daily, monthly, and yearly keeps you on track to a finished project and a successful career if that’s what you are after. If you are a short story writer, you might aim for one story per month. Writing a novel may be more difficult so finishing a certain number of pages a day or week could be your goal. Developing good habits, like writing at a certain time or number of hours per day, keeps you productive and gives you the right mind-set for finishing your project. Schedules always change and you need not feel guilty if something comes up and you have to adjust yours. It’s all part of a writer’s world.
Do authors need a detailed outline before starting a novel? It really depends on the author. Some authors may have an outline in their head and can just sit down and start writing or create as they go along, while others find it beneficial to create a story structure beforehand. It gives you the opportunity to break the story down into smaller parts, even chapters, helps to keep your timelines straight, and gives you a direction for your story line. In the end, you might do a little of both since you can change anything necessary to flesh out your story. However your creative process works will be the best roadmap for you.
Life continues to go on around you, which also determines how much work can be done at any one time. For instance, right now we’re having our yard landscaped and the amount of noise can get crazy. Most of that cacophony is provided by two medium-sized dogs who seem to think that their territory is being invaded and that it is their sworn duty to protect us from said invaders. The fact that we invited the crew onto our property makes no sense or difference to our canine protectors, so they continue to do their jobs relentlessly and with a good deal of commotion. It is endearing, but at the same time hard to concentrate on writing.
It’s always going to be something that infringes upon your work time. You just learn to go with the flow and carry on, believing that your goals will be achieved. Aim to make your goals attainable, not so high that it sets you up for failure. Manage your time wisely. Rather than a rigid schedule, be devoted to your writing passion.
As we celebrate Memorial Day Monday, May 30th, 2022 across the nation, let us remember to take a moment to honor those who have given their lives in service to our country. No matter what we do this Memorial Day weekend and on Memorial Day itself, the holiday offers a chance for the solemn remembrance of those who served our country and are no longer here with us, but who are in our hearts forever. To the brave men and women who have fought valiantly to keep our country free:
Thank you! May God Bless You!
– John F. Kennedy
“Our flag does not fly because the wind moves it. it flies with the last breath of each soldier who died protecting it.”