By Paula Slade
Ever since Plymouth, Massachusetts colonists and the Wampanoag Indians shared their autumn feast in 1621, the idea of giving thanks for bountiful blessings has become one of the most cherished annual celebrations.
Whether you and your children plan on spending the day cooking, eating, visiting, watching television or going to the theater, the origins of Thanksgiving are entertainingly explored on the History Channelâ€™s website,Â along with their upcoming holiday programming, which can be enjoyed by the whole family.
At the website, youâ€™ll find some surprising facts about the holiday, provided by Kathleen Curtin, Food Historian at Plimoth Plantation, which includes the mention of some unusual food items (lobster, seal and swan) that were on the first Thanksgiving menu.
There are also historical facts regarding typical seventeenth century table manners, and the Pilgrimâ€™s taste for spicy foods.
In addition, the site provides a copy of the original Thanksgiving Proclamation, a declaration of the holiday courtesy of The Library of Congress.
You can even encourage your kids to create a contest to test family members and guests on, â€œHow Much Do You REALLY Know About Thanksgiving?â€ (Losers do the dishes/winners get an extra piece of pie.)
In addition, there are short videos covering the following topics:
The History of the Thanksgiving Holiday
First Football Broadcast
Here Come the Cowboys
Macyâ€™s Day Float
American Eats: Turducken
Finally, for the big day, families can view special airings of, American Eats: Holiday Foods, and Home for the Holidays: The History of Thanksgiving.Â To find out more aboutÂ these programs and the airing times specific to your location, please click on the following link.
Ever wonder what goes into the packaging of your holiday bird? The History Channel provides a video glimpse below in, The Turkey Production Line, which also shows how those little thermometers get in your bird, and how they work.
Please link to this site for the video, which appears at the bottom of the page.