In just a week, many families and friends will be gathering to celebrate Thanksgiving Day. It is a day filled with food, football and the official arrival of Santa Claus at the end of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade!

Turkeys, sweet potatoes, cranberries, stuffing, green bean casseroles, and apple and pumpkin pies will be devoured, belt buckles will be loosened 😊, and leftovers will be refrigerated. And, of course, if you remembered to brush your teeth and clean your tongue with your TUNG Brush and Gel on Thanksgiving morning, everything will taste even more amazing!

Let’s talk turkey!

Turkey is a staple of the American Thanksgiving dinner table. But did you know that at the first Thanksgiving turkey was not on the menu? Just for fun, we thought we would provide you with some fun facts to share around the table next week:

Historians tell us that, indeed, there was no turkey on the first Thanksgiving table in 1621. Venison, goose and duck were probably the primary meats, accompanied by pumpkin (not pie) and cranberries (not sauce).

Turkey later became such a staple, that the Swanson company had so much extra turkey after the holidays a salesman suggested that the company package it in aluminum trays with a side dish, like potatoes, and, in 1953, the TV dinner was born!

In 1947, President Harry Truman began the tradition of pardoning a turkey! This year marks the 70th anniversary of this Presidential tradition. The last turkey pardoned was named “Courage” and served as the grand marshal of the Thanksgiving parade at Disneyland!

And, had it been up to Benjamin Franklin, the national bird would have been the turkey, not the eagle!

A long time ago, at meal in Plymouth, Massachusetts…

 In the Autumn of 1621, 50 Pilgrims and 90 Wampanoag Indians spent three days at what was to be known as the first Thanksgiving. Had it been up to the settlers, the time would have been spent abstaining from food and in days of prayer, but the Native Americans convinced them that the first harvest should be celebrated with a feast rather than a fast.

No forks, few females!

The fork was invented 10 years after the first Thanksgiving and was not widely utilized until sometime in the 18th century. Have no fear, though – there were spoons and knives.

Historians think that of the 50 Pilgrims present, the chances are good that only 5 were women, since so many women perished during the first year in the new land.

Parades and Punts –  It’s not just about the food!

 The first Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade was held in 1924 and featured 400 company employees and live animals from the Central Park Zoo. The company introduced Felix the Cat as its first balloon in 1927, but used no helium (helium was added in 1928) so the giant feline was held up with sticks. In 2016, the parade featured over 8,000 participants from across the country, 26 floats and 16 giant balloons – it is estimated that it was viewed by over 3.5 million spectators and over 22 million TV viewers! And as we all know, the REAL Santa and Mrs. Claus come from the North Pole to wrap up the parade and kick off the official Christmas season!

Thanksgiving Day is also a day to gather round the TV for some post prandial football. The NFL began the “Thanksgiving Classic” games way back in 1920, and ever since the Detroit Lions and the Dallas Cowboys have hosted Thanksgiving games. In 2006, a third game was added and different teams host the match.

Thanksgiving – more than food, fun and football!

 As we all gather together next week and partake of our meals, watch our parades and enjoy our football games, let us all remember that the name of this holiday means to give thanks.

Let us remember to do just that as we celebrate the day, and to give thanks for our families and friends. Let us not forget those who may not have the bounty that we are sharing on this day. Please remember the true meaning of the holiday, and be thankful.

Happy Thanksgiving to all from the TUNG Brush and Gel team!