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Thanksgiving Gift Baskets Every year, on the fourth Thursday in November, Thanksgiving is celebrated.

Abraham Lincoln was known to officially declare the first Thanksgiving in 1863. However, there are different stories about when, where, and how the first Thanksgiving actually took place along with many myths to accommodate these stories. For example, the food that Americans eat at the table during Thanksgiving dinner today, are not the same foods that were eaten in 1621. The truths and myths, like those stated before, of Thanksgiving create controversy today. One myth about Thanksgiving deals with the fact that Pilgrims didn't have pies or cranberries and no one really knows if they had turkey, although they were used to eating turkey. First off, the pilgrims did not have ovens to bake pies and also sugar was low. Food for Thanksgiving included codfish, lobster, goose, and deer brought by the Indians. Another myth about Thanksgiving is about it being strictly about religion. If Thanksgiving was about religion then I highly doubt the Pilgrims would have easily welcomed the Indians to sit and have a meal with them. The original story of Thanksgiving that most children learn in elementary school is how the Indians and Pilgrims came together and ate turkey. However, this is far from the truth. The Pilgrims believe they were on a mission from God and were unprepared for the cold winter that lay ahead of them. Many died of fever or malnutrition and only 52 settlers were known to be alive. Squanto, a Native American man, came into the Plymouth colony with advice for the unprepared Pilgrims. The advice of Squanto saved the Plymouth colony and made a new harvest which ended in a celebration. In 1621 the settlers invited Indians to celebrate the harvest with a dinner. Other new information that I learned was about what the Pilgrims ate during the Thanksgiving Dinner like the codfish, lobster, goose and deer. Also Thanksgiving was thought to be originated in Texas or Virginia, not in Plymouth. In 1541, food and water were discovered by Francisco Vasquez de Coronado and his men and they held a service of thanksgiving. However these events of Thanksgiving did not get credit for the holiday and how it began. Information such as Thanksgiving being spent largely in church to give thanks for blessings and to correct sins was also new information to me. I also learned about Sarah Hall and that she thought that Thanksgiving would bring the country together during abolition, because she thought it was pulling the country apart. Thanksgiving creates many controversies between myth and the truth. For example the first Thanksgiving is debated upon all the time. Some believe it was when Francisco Vasquez de Coronado and his men held the service of Thanksgiving, or others believe it was when the Pilgrims and Indians came together in celebration of the great harvest in 1621. A controversy about Thanksgiving being a religious holiday or not was created as well. In New York they celebrated Christmas and Thanksgiving was unheard of to them. There is also controversy about the parades and idea’s of Thanksgiving today. If you were to see a parade for Thanksgiving, you would see a Pilgrim often with a bible in one hand and a rifle in the other which caused controversy. Also, some people argue the idea that Thanksgiving isn’t about home and family, however others don’t and they believe it is a sacred date and truly an American Holiday. In addition to theses arguments over Thanksgiving there is also the argument that the Natives in Plymouth had nothing to be thankful for. The ideas of thanksgiving creates many debates today on what is right and wrong about the holiday that people everywhere in the United States celebrate in November. Despite the controversies and myths, many people, today, find Thanksgiving a time to be with family and to be thankful for everything that you have. The myths learned by young children are untrue but they do make a good story, and also most

adults probably would not know the truth about Thanksgiving if you asked them. The aspects of Thanksgiving such as food, origin, religion, and myths all cause controversies. However, even with these controversies, Thanksgiving will go on as a day of being home with your family eating a roasted turkey with pumpkin pie and cranberries.