While you and your family are eating yourselves into a food coma, you may forget why you get to chow down on delicious food, partake in some wanted (or unwanted) family time and watch football for hours on the couch. It’s because it’s Thanksgiving after all, a time we all cherish, a time to be grateful and give back to others…

Thanksgiving is a harvest time celebration, as we all know, it started with the pilgrims, (a group of English religious separatists who sailed to North America from Europe) history shows that the colony had a harsh first winter, with half of the colonists killed. In the spring of 1621 Squanto and Samoset from the Patuxent and the Wampanoag Tribe taught them how to survive. They learned how to fish, hunt, and tap maple trees, plant corn and more. William Bradford, the Governor of the colony at the time, decided to arrange a harvest festival at the beginning of autumn to give thanks and recognize the help the Indians had given. The harvest festival lasted 3 days, the food included turkey, geese, duck, venison, cod, bass, corn, barley and cornbread. More than 3,000 years later, the tradition lives on, even though it may be much different than it once was. In 1941, Congress permanently changed the holiday to the 4th Thursday of November.

So before you go and indulge on all the Thanksgiving guilty pleasures (i.e. food, family, football and yummy beverages), think about the real meaning of this holiday (giving, thankfulness, bravery and love).

Bet ya didn’t know these fun facts:

Fun Thanksgiving Facts

  • The American Automobile Association estimated that 42.2 million Americans traveled 50 miles or more from home over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.
  • 46 million turkeys are eaten in the U.S. on Thanksgiving.
  • Macy’s Christmas Parade signifies the launch of the Christmas shopping season- it first took place in NYC in 1924.
  • Californians consume the most turkey in the U.S. on Thanksgiving Day.
  • Black Friday is the biggest shopping day of the year, in 2011 sales totaled $52.4 billion.
  • 40 million green bean casseroles are served on Thanksgiving.
  • The first Thanksgiving lasted for three days.
  • Turkey is actually healthier than chicken.
  • Benjamin Franklin wanted the national bird of the United States to be the turkey.
  • Only male turkey’s gobble, hens do not.
  • The biggest pumpkin pie was made in 2010, it weighed 3,699 pounds!
  • NBC reported that 3.5 million spectators are expected to watch the parade live, and anticipates a viewing audience of 50 million people.

First Thanksgiving Menu-

Wild goose or duck, wild turkey, deer, flint corn, fish, shellfish, eels.