The first Thanksgiving was celebrated in the Fall of 1621 at Plymouth Plantation. The year before had been devastating because the Pilgrims had a poor harvest and many of them died over the winter. But the friendly Indians had shown them better planting techniques which resulted in a good harvest. To show their gratitude they hosted a three day feast, invited the Indians (who brought venison) and gave thanks for their bounty. They had lots of meats and some vegetables, but no breads or pastries because they had no flour and no ovens. Below you see a picture of what the first Thanksgiving might have looked like.
Thanksgiving was celebrated sporadically over the next two hundred years, but was not an official holiday. In 1863 Abraham Lincoln proclaimed the first official Thanksgiving as the last Thursday in November and it has been celebrated in America ever since.
Below is the average American Thanksgiving dinner in the 1950s. My earliest memories resemble this photo quite closely. They were held at my Granny's house. There was always turkey with bread stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans, some kind of jello salad, and pumpkin pie for dessert. It was all homemade from scratch by my stay-at-home Mom and Grandmother.
Now days families still get together to reconnect, relax, and feast on turkey, but the menu and preparations are much more flexible. Some families go out to eat, some order it all precooked from a local grocer or restaurant, some purchase premade things at Cosco while some still make it all from scratch. Some families don't feast at all, but volunteer at a local charity to serve food to the less fortunate. However we celebrate Thanksgiving, the important part is to give thanks for our blessings, and celebrate the bounty of the season.
There are also other traditional activities on Thanksgiving like watching football on TV, taking a nap after dinner, and planning your Black Friday Christmas shopping spree, but I don't do any of those things so I'll let others tell those tales.
(lifted from the Internet, not my family)
So how will your family celebrate Thanksgiving this year? I'm sure we'd all love to hear, so please share it on the comments. And Thanks for visiting Amongst The Oaks.