Guest Post: Have a Puritan Thanksgiving! | Days of Chalk and Chocolate

Guest Post: Have a Puritan Thanksgiving!

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Happy Thanksgiving!  Today I have a guest blogger for you!  Maddy is going to give us a little history on the holiday and some suggestions on how to give your day a little authentic flair!

Have a Puritan Thanksgiving


Maddy Olson blogs on a variety of subjects that are deep topics and can change lives. Writing about the Costume Supercenter is a very rewarding way to express her creativity and she absolutely loves it! Having four children of her own has allowed her to use the imagination she was gifted with and share that with you.


We have all heard the story a million times about how the Pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock and settled in, farming their land being shown how by the Native Americans. Then, when the harvest came about that year, they all celebrate together and had turkey and mashed potatoes and gravy. Right? Well, not exactly. There are small truths in how we have been taught, yet some inaccuracies in there too. Do you think that maybe getting back to our early American roots might be a great adventure? It can be done.

The first American Thanksgiving that is talked about did have the Native Americans as a part of the celebration. It was written that they brought five deer and the pilgrim men went out hunting fowl. It is really debated if there was really a turkey on the table, but there were plenty of other birds to feed the group. If you want to celebrate the early Thanksgiving legend dinner, a variety of poultry, venison, corn dishes, and native berries would be present on the table. Think about going camping out in the wild. What would you really have access to? Not much. The corn that they were taught to grow made up the majority of foods. There were no potatoes yet, no apples, and little sugar so there were few pastries, it is believed.

Not quite as appealing?

The Thanksgiving holiday was not an annual affair until the mid 1800’s when President Lincoln signed it as a national holiday. That is one consistency in all the reading I have done. Many other leaders had tried to make it a collaborative celebration, but they failed or left it up to each individual state or territory to figure out. Sometimes, there were many celebrations. Like when a people would overcome illness, tragedy, or drought. It was a religious time to thank God for his blessings. But even if you are not religious by nature, you can still observe the holiday and be thankful for all the positive things in your life.

If you want to step back in time, and want some tasty food that were true recipes of old, here are some ideas:

·         Back in the 1700s and 1800s, people didn’t mail their family an invitation to Thanksgiving Dinner, generally. The family would know to gather together or would start their own traditions as a young family. However, to share your sincerity in your invitation, hand-write a small handwritten note asking them to join you. Be sure to explain the wearing of costumes at this party!

·         Yes, I said costumes. Have everyone come as a Puritan or a Pilgrim and Native Americans are fun too! Have the adults and the kids get involved and make it a year to remember.

·         You don’t have to have the most beautiful table or dishes or even d├ęcor. The early celebrations were nothing fancy, not until the late 1800s was presentation even thought of really. To be able to celebrate life, food, and God, was all they thought of. So, push aside your fears of not living up to standards you feel you might lack and simply gather and share wonderful food from another time in history.

·         And for the part most famous for making the holiday special, the food. This year, use the recipes to forge an authentic early American Thanksgiving dinner. Have the traditional turkey present, but fill the table with other period details like Hasty Pudding and stewed pumpkin or “pompions”, as they used to call them. Or even cook up some very early foods that might have been at that first party in the brand new country. Decorate with bowls of jams in all colors.

 Exploring the world that we have evolved from could prove to be an amazing adventure. Gather for a day, not the original three, and strip off the evidence of today’s society. Bring it home, simple and satisfying. Light a fire in the fireplace and retire to have a sing-a-long in the evening. Whatever you do, make it count. Family and life are too important to not celebrate!

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