Cornucopia of Thanksgiving Nuggets by Sharla Lee Shults


Within the Thanksgiving Holiday, opportunities abound with blessings that Embrace the Past, Empower the Present, and Enrich the Future. History books are filled with accounts of the first Thanksgiving. Within that history are some of the coolest nuggets of trivia surrounding this day that nudge at the heart and tickle the funny bone.

Embrace the Past…

With the coming of Thanksgiving comes a special time to embrace the past. The feast of which we are most familiar took place when the Pilgrims arrived and the Wampanoag Indians gathered in Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1621. This was a time of autumn celebration and that’s right, it took place in the 17th century!

Did you know?

  • Turkey may not have been the main meat that filled the guests’ bellies at the first feast,
  • George Washington declared Thanksgiving to be a February holiday,
  • Fledgling colonists lacked butter and wheat flour for baking, thus no pumpkin pie,
  • Whether mashed or roasted, white or sweet, potatoes had no place at the first Thanksgiving, and
  • While cranberries were plentiful, in wasn’t until 50 years later that sauces and relishes were made with the tart orbs.

Even though turkey may NOT have been the main meat that filled the Pilgrim’s bellies at that first feast, one can rest assured that today very few tables will be void of Mr. Tom Turkey with all the trimmings. In fact, if it had been left up to Benjamin Franklin, the Turkey, not the Bald Eagle, would have been designated as our national bird. Mr. Tom would have been fed his own feast at Thanksgiving, rather than being the bird feasted upon!

What about corn?

With no mention having been made of corn brings about thoughts of popcorn, one of America’s favorite snacks that has become ever so popular during Thanksgiving with flavors such as garlic mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie. Would you believe there is even a turkey-flavored, as well as dressing, variety? Since corn was a staple of the Pilgrim’s diet and ubiquitous to the Americas, this brings about the question…

Did Pilgrims Eat Popcorn?

Some believe to this day
Popcorn as a “parched” treat
Was brought by the Indians
To the first Thanksgiving feast

Banquets of harvest tradition
Surpass any myth of yore
Hearty, bountiful plenty
Did grace every table galore

Venison, goose, duck, and eel
Beckoned the most squeamish lad
Time of rejoicing and feasting
Meant only the best to be had

A cornucopia of fresh fruits
Berries, grapes, apples, and plums
Competed with homegrown veggies
Squash, peas, beans, even white corn

No potatoes to be had
Pumpkin pie hadn’t been invented
Bread puddings, milk, and honey
Left no appetite unattended

Indeed much more beer than water
Quenched the harshest of thirsts
With gin and wine not far behind
Unbeknownst which came first

But what about the popcorn?
Were pilgrims the early munchers
Of that salty, puffed corn treat
Or was someone else the launcher?

Not until over a century later
Did sweet yellow corn none the least
Become corn that traditionally “popped”
As part of a Thanksgiving feast

©2012 Awakenings
Sharla Lee Shults

With popcorn prevalent today, it is no wonder it finds a place on and off the Thanksgiving dinner table like never before. Just think you can enjoy all the succulent flavors of a traditional Thanksgiving meal with the only utensil to wash being your hands!

Empower the Present…

Did you know there are two sides to the Thanksgiving holiday? One is celebration with a holiday feast often referred to as Turkey Day. The other is a celebration of gratitude known as thankfulness. Which will you celebrate this holiday, perhaps like me it will be both!

Thanksgiving Day: A Holiday Feast

Cornucopias of fruits and veggies
Turkey, trimmings, cakes, and pies
More than anyone could ask
Instead of a treat, become our demise

All time family favorites
Homemade dishes galore
Make us gluttons for punishment
Beckoning more, more, more

Thirsts quenched, bellies overstuffed
Rocking chair conversation not too deep
Is it rocking motions or Tom Turkey
That puts everyone to sleep?

Thanksgiving: A Celebration of Gratitude

Cornucopias of thoughts with gratitude
Thanks from the heart, as well as the lips
More blessings than anyone could ask
Comes with all the trimmings this day equips

Family and friends unite in fellowship
Granting praise for all the gifts of the year
A candle is lit and with prayerful hands
The blessed meaning of Thanksgiving is clear

Whether heart-to-heart, hand-in-hand
Meaning never scatters
It’s the power of gratitude
Why Thanksgiving matters

©2009 Remembering
Sharla Lee Shults


This day forward may the message remain resolute during daily meetings
Thoughtfulness begets thankfulness within hugs & smiles of holiday greetings!



Enrich the Future…

Thanksgiving is a day of celebration not only for the blessings of today but for blessings to be extended into tomorrow’s tomorrows. Take a moment to count your blessings but most importantly ask yourself how you can bless someone else. Perhaps something as simple as a smile could brighten someone’s day. Bring blessings into the world around you—one moment, one day, one person at a time. The future is in your hands!

There will be many empty seats at tables across our nation this Thanksgiving as conflict still rages overseas. Thousands of brave young men and women in uniform are defending our nation on foreign shores. Remember them: Our troops—men and women— who are away from home, separated from the ones they love, for the greater good of America.

Support our Troops: Support America!

On this day, every day may each soldier be blessed
’Til reunited with loved ones to hold, to caress!

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4 thoughts on “Cornucopia of Thanksgiving Nuggets by Sharla Lee Shults

  1. James L. Secor

    It’s difficult to follow this, Sharla, when the First Thanksgiving is a lie, a hoax. The Indians, without whom these upright Christian theocrats would have died, were excluded. We ought to bring up another myth for giving thanks that is positive and forward looking and not linear or delimiting. Thanks for something deeper and more supportive of humanity as part of a greater context. No one is isolated and freedom does not exist without others.
    Thanksgiving has been cheapened and become meaningless. What the hell are we celebrating? Gathering unto us more food than we can possibly eat and then throwing the bulk of the rest away?
    I have no family. This year I had to chose between pairs of friends because of logistics. And there are only these 4 people.
    I am thankful for my psychiatrist who has rallied round my need and has worked hard to erase the desperation. I have never met such supportive people. The world is a better place for people like this, his family and his entire staff. The first time I’ve felt part of anything since returning to this country 5 yrs ago. So, now, I can go out and do something. And I am buoyed up, for I am losing myself in fear and anxiety for a very close, very dear friend who has disappeared off the face of the earth. She and her husband. I will be truly thankful when she reappears. And I will be truly thankful when I am able to reunite with my adopted girls in China, yet my country is engaged in making this more and more difficult to accomplish.
    I am thankful for your recipes. I have no one to cook for at the moment but you’ve given me something to hold in readiness. I do have someone in mind. . .

    1. Shults

      James, Thanksgiving is a time to be not only thankful but grateful in the most earnest sense of those words. Much fact, as well as just as much fiction, has been related about the Indians. We learn from what we have been taught passed down from generation to generation and recorded correctly, as well as incorrectly, in history books. It is very sad that Thanksgiving has become so much about how much one can eat on a given day, rather than its deeper meaning of thankfulness. I am so thankful that I have yet another Thanksgiving to spend with my husband and grateful that we have been blessed to be together! Best wishes in hopes of reuniting with your loved ones! May your Thanksgiving be blessed in many, many ways!

  2. Kenneth Weene

    The real first Thanksgiving was declared by Abraham Lincoln in celebration of the Battle of Gettysburg and the resulting salvation of the Union. That it was wrapped in the mythology of the Pilgrims was part of the hagiography of a country desperate to create a sense of its unitary nature. Today, the day is more about merchandising, football, and overeating and less about being American. I was amused to see, for example, that the second part of Thanksgiving, the new tradition of Black Friday, has taken great hold in Britain. At any rate, I think it lovely to remind ourselves one a year to be thankful for those things that matter, each to his/herself. For my part, I am thankful for the great group of people I have gotten to know through this blog and other writing endeavors. Let us make use of those turkey quills.


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