Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

The Thanksgiving Turkeys 2009
Happily made by 24 Cub Scout Beavers in London
(Thing Two did the one on the right)

Last night, I had to go to Thing Two's Cub Scout Beavers meeting to talk to the boys and girls about the most exotic of things: How Americans Celebrate Thanksgiving.

I had done this, once before, for Thing One three years ago. Luckily, I even still had feathers left over from the last time, handily stored away in our Party Box. In any case, we made the above turkeys using apples, pipe cleaners, feathers, toothpicks (or cocktail sticks, as they say here) and tape. I was pretty pleased with my handiwork.

I started off the evening by giving the Beavers a brief history of Thanksgiving. Here's a summary:
"The Pilgrims left England. They went to Holland, but didn't like that either. They finally found two boats (The Mayflower and The Speedwell) to take them to the "New World." Only the Mayflower made the whole journey. There were 102 passengers by the time they landed in Massachusetts on 11 November 1620. One baby was born en route. November is not the best time to start a new life in New England. By the time their first year was out, 50 people died. Their brave commander was Captain Miles Standish. The pilgrims were lucky to have help from the Indians, who taught them how to farm and what they could eat. The first Thanksgiving in 1621, about one year after they landed, was a three-day feast. The pilgrims even drank liquor!! Thanksgiving became a national holiday when George Washington was president in 1789. Abraham Lincoln proclaimed in 1862 that Thanksgiving will be celebrated forevermore on the fourth Thursday of November. FDR fiddled with it a little bit during the depression, to make it earlier in order to give beleaguered retailers a longer Christmas season, but public outcry led to a Congressional resolution which set Thanksgiving officially as the fourth Thursday in November. Americans have been proudly eating and drinking to excess on that day ever since."

Since we don't have the day off here in the U.K. today or tomorrow, we will formally celebrate Thanksgiving on Saturday, when we can eat and drink to excess, as our Founding Fathers intended.

Hope you all enjoy my most favourite holiday of the year.