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More than Turkey and Football

It is officially Thanksgiving week!!

I am very thankful for this holiday and very annoyed at all the Santa's and Reindeers that have moved in on top of the Pilgrims! What is it with people just skipping over Thanksgiving decorations? I love the celebration of Christmas, but I also like it in its proper place - you know, like after the fourth Thursday of November? The best blowup front yard decoration I've seen this season was a giant Santa Claus tipped over and a turkey sitting on top of him. The sign in front said "Move over, fat guy, it's my turn!" :)

Below I have some tidbits of fun facts and history snippets about the people who celebrated the "first Thanksgiving". (Hint: It wasn't about roasted turkey and football.)

2 years ago in 2020, my aunt and I worked together to post some information about the Pilgrims in honor of the 400 anniversary of their landing in America. I have pasted them below, and if you consider yourself an expert on the events of the colony that settled in Plymouth, New England in 1620, than you are excused from the rest of this post. If you don't consider yourself an expert, than please, read on! You might just learn something!

(And just saying, although turkey and football weren't the in thing for the pilgrims, at their harvest feast {a.k.a first Thanksgiving} in 1621 {not 1620!} I will admit that roasted venison and foot races were actually on the schedule!)


Did you know that the Mayflower had only 1500 square feet of living space? In late summer of 1620, 102 Pilgrims boarded the Mayflower. Only 51 would survive the journey and the first winter.

I hate delays. Did you know...? After boarding the Mayflower and the Speedwell, the Pilgrims waited in harbor for 10 days. Then they had to turn back twice to repair the Speedwell. Eventually, the Speedwell was deemed unseaworthy. It and 20 passengers were left behind. Finally, having lived one month and one day on the crowded boat, the real voyage to the new land began!

402 years ago, the small group of pilgrims reached their destination. After two months at sea and 13 years of exile from their homes in England, they finally realized their dream – a land where they could worship God as they felt right. Every country in Europe (their known world) had rules and traditions which dictated how one must approach the God of the universe. These courageous pilgrims believed that each individual must be free to know and serve God.

402 years later, these people set an amazing and inspiring example to us today. The pilgrims fought through physical hardships such as we will most likely never face. They were stranded on an unknown and unexplored continent with no possible person to look to for relief except the Lord God. They cast themselves and their future fully and completely into his arms. And while He allowed them many difficulties and trials, He did provide. He built a nation out of those fifty-one struggling Pilgrims. Through Him, they were indeed overcomers!

FUN FACT: On the men’s first exploration on foot, William Bradford, the scribe for the Mayflower Compact and 2nd governor of the Plymouth Plantation, got caught in an Indian’s deer trap and was swung upside down from a tree!

The Pilgrims worked hard to prepare everything they could for the coming generation; training, equipping, and then transmitting to them both the vision and the responsibility. As explained by the Pilgrim’s governor, William Bradford:

“A great hope [the Pilgrims] had of laying some good foundations for the advancing of the Gospel of the kingdom of Christ in those remote parts of the world, yea, though they should be even as stepping-stones unto others for the performing of so great a work.”

Stepping-stones. One generation was willing to become a stepping-stone for the next. What a fantastic lesson to learn today: if you see that you won’t accomplish the goals you have set or that God has given you, don’t quit and drop out in discouragement; instead, find those who are younger and equip, train, and pass the vision on to them. Each of us must work to make ourselves stepping-stones for future generations.

It has now been 400 years {402 this year} since the landing of the Pilgrims on Plymouth’s shores. It was the true beginning of the nation of America. This was the first in a long chain of God-ordained events that led to our country’s founding. It is a monumental anniversary!

“We have noted these things so that you might see their worth and not negligently lose what your fathers have obtained with so much hardship.” – William Bradford


Can you remember some of the pilgrim children's unusual names? Many reflected the Pilgrim's beliefs and character goals. Take a guess! I'll respond to your comments with the answers!

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