Holidays Thanksgiving

Despite the pandemic, count your blessings

The author's Thanksgiving meal. (Norah Springborn/YJI)

Pekin, Illinois, U.S.A. – Happy Thanksgiving! With everyone’s favorite food holiday coming up, now’s the time to put on those sweatpants and give thanks!

Every year on the fourth Thursday of November, Americans count their blessings. In other words, families and friends gather together and eat, eat, eat.

As tradition, many families make their own Thanksgiving feast, watch A Charlie Brown’s Thanksgiving, take part in the Presidential Turkey Pardon, view the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, and, most of all, start decorating for Christmas.

Americans like to model their Thanksgiving after the first Thanksgiving in 1621. In Plymouth, Massachusetts, the pilgrims who journeyed over to the New World along with the indigenous native people, the Wampanoag,  gathered to share a feast to give thanks for the plentiful harvest that the year brought.

Nowadays, Americans consume the traditional turkey, stuffing, gravy, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, cornbread, and pumpkin pie. This, however, doesn’t even compare to the pilgrim’s first Thanksgiving menu which included lobster, seal, and swan.

In 1779, President George Washington called for a Day of Thanksgiving for the establishment of a new nation with civil and religious liberty.

In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed that the last Thursday of November be observed as a Day of Thanksgiving and Praise.

In 1941, Thanksgiving became a national holiday United States.

According to a 2019 article in Business Insider, about 46 million turkeys are eaten and carved around Thanksgiving.

Americans consume 80 million pounds of cranberries for that good ole’ cranberry dressing and shoppers purchase 214 million pounds of potatoes to make mashed potatoes.

Approximately 19 million pumpkin pies are pre-made and ready to be purchased, Business Insider reported.

Given the 2020 global pandemic, this Thanksgiving will definitely have a different look. Americans are encouraged to celebrate with only immediate, nearby family and to not travel.  Many loved ones will come together over Zoom calls while others may even postpone their feasts to a later date.

This year, everyone might have to search a little harder to find the things to be grateful for. With 2020 almost in the books, the time is now to find the things that matter to us all the most. Whether thanking a schoolteacher, your boss, or even your mailman, it’s the little things that count.  After all, there is so much to be thankful for.

Norah Springborn is a Reporter with Youth Journalism International.

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