The idea of a holiday for giving thanks is not unique to the United States as there are a handful of other countries with a similar type of holiday. That said, the level of importance of the Thanksgiving holiday, and how revered it is in American culture is unique. Here are few other interesting and unique tidbits about the American holiday:
- George Washington declared the first Thanksgiving holiday. It was not until Abraham Lincoln, however, when it became a federal holiday.
- They did not actually serve turkey at the “original” thanksgiving meal. In fact it was mostly likely lobster that was served at that meal.
- Jingle Bells was actually first a Thanksgiving song but it became so popular that it continued to be sung during the Christmas holidays and eventually migrated to that holiday instead.
- The idea for a TV dinner (another American creation – a packaged meal in a tray is heated in the oven and eaten while watching TV) was started by the Swanson food company because they had 260 tons of leftover turkey when they overestimated it’s demand one year.
- Benjamin Franklin actually wanted the national bird of the United States to be the turkey and not the eagle. If he had succeeded, we might actually be called the Dalat turkeys instead of the Dalat eagles.
The ultimate purpose of this holiday was and is to remind a nation of people that they should be grateful and give thanks for the blessings God has given them. The idea of being and showing gratitude is an important character trait we want to encourage in our students. Throughout the Thanksgiving week we focus on this idea in our classes in all three divisions. We do know that our students are grateful for at least one thing this week – a long weekend. Our hope, however, is that we encourage and inspire our students to make gratitude a part of their lives.