Thanksgiving is upon us and once again we here at Senior Lifestyle find ourselves grateful for the traditions we share, the opportunity to spend time with friends and family, and the official start of the holiday season. Every year at Senior Lifestyle we’re humbled by the giving spirit of the people in our communities. We are thankful for our team members for their contributions to each community, our residents and families for placing their trust in us, and our community volunteers for giving of themselves.
Whether you host a Thanksgiving feast or join friends for dinner out, we hope that somewhere between baking pies, basting turkeys and Black Friday shopping, you have the opportunity to truly reflect on the gifts of the holiday season. We’d also like to provide the following, a handy list of Thanksgiving facts to educate and amaze those friends and family members in the short interim between the last piece of pie and the kickoff of the football game!
The history of Thanksgiving as a recognized holiday begins with Sarah Josepha Hale, an editor and writer who repeatedly lobbied for a national day of thanksgiving in hopes that the holiday would bring unification to the states and “awaken in Americans’ hearts the love of home and country, of thankfulness to God, and peace between brethren.” A prolific writer, Hale was the author of several book and hundreds of poems, most notably “Mary Had a Little Lamb.” Her advocacy started in 1846 and paid off when President Abraham Lincoln supported legislation to make the holiday official in 1863.
Butterball has provided a much-needed service for novice turkey roasters since 1981, when a group of home economists answered 11,000 calls from anxious hosts with turkey related dilemmas. Since then the number of experts has grown to over 50, who answer over 100,000 questions via phone, online chat, email and text during the holiday season. Some of the more memorable calls include the confused cook who wondered if she could still safely cook her turkey when it was sudsing; she had apparently washed the bird in dish soap. Also noteworthy was a call from a man who had discovered a turkey from 1969 in his father’s freezer and wanted tips on how to cook a 30-year old bird. Just for the record, he was advised to dispose of it and buy a new one. The most common question: What’s the best way to thaw a turkey? Hint: NOT at room temperature on a bus trip home from a casino, as one gentleman attempted, and DEFINITELY not in the hot tub in the back yard as another gentleman opted to try.
Football has long been a part of the Thanksgiving tradition. The first Thanksgiving football game was held in 1876 between Yale and Princeton. The Detroit Lions first played football on Thanksgiving Day in 1934, hosting the Chicago Bears in front of 26,000 fans. The game was broadcast by the NBC radio network on 94 stations, and the Lions have played every Thanksgiving since then, except for the period between 1939 and 1944. The game was televised for the first time in 1956.
A final fact: it’s not the tryptophan in the turkey that makes us drowsy, it’s the carb-laden side dishes that bring on the yawns! Certain nuts and cheeses actually contain more tryptophan per serving than turkey, while yams, potatoes and dinner rolls are full of carbohydrates that cause sleepiness after a little overindulgence. And remember, if the room gets quiet after your Thanksgiving feast, you can always liven things up with your newfound Thanksgiving facts and wow the crowd with your knowledge!
Happy Thanksgiving from Senior Lifestyle!