5 Reasons Thanksgiving Is Actually Super Weird

Bottoms up!

Thanksgiving, otherwise known as the day you're uncomfortably full, is just around the corner. 

But while you're thinking about stuffing yourself with turkey and pumpkin pie, consider these bizarre facts about your favorite holiday. We promise they will make for some interesting table conversation. 


1. The woman who wrote "Mary Had a Little Lamb" was so obsessed with Thanksgiving, that she campaigned for 17 years to make it a holiday.

Yup, you heard it straight from the horse's mouth. Or maybe in this case, the lamb's. 

19th-century magazine editor and poet Sarah Josepha Hale (who wrote the famous nursery rhyme) is basically responsible for the holiday of Thanksgiving. She loved the story of the pilgrams so much, she led a 17-year campaign to convince the government to make Thanksgiving an official celebration. 

Beginning in 1846, she built support for her cause  by writing an annual editorial in her magazine. She also wrote letters to all United States governors. 

Finally, in 1863 President Abraham Lincoln was convinced. He deemed the last Thursday of November "Thanksgiving." 

Now THAT'S dedication. 

2. The average American eats 4,500 calories on Thanksgiving -- the equivalent to 1.3 pounds of food. Oy vey.

Okay, so everyone knows Thanksgiving is a day where copious amounts of eating is not just accepted, it's encouraged.  You have to plan dinner just right so as not to get too full too fast. It's about pacing, people. Eat a little, take a break, eat some more, take a break, you know the routine. 

But how much are people in America really consuming?

According to research from the Calorie Control Council, the answer is about 4,500 calories ---  more than two times the amount of calories you'd take in on a normal meal. 

 Oh yeah, Americans also eat about 229 grams of fat on Thanksgiving, which is roughly equal to three whole sticks of butter. 

Nope. That is definitely not normal. 

3. "Jingle Bells" was meant to be a Thanksgiving song.

"How could the most Christmas-y song ever have been meant for Thanksgiving?" you ask. 

When James Pierpont composed the jingle in 1857 it was meant for a Boston Sunday school class to sing at their church's Thanksgiving performance. The song was originally inspired by sleigh races Pierpont had seen in Massachusetts. 

When the children sang "Jingle Bells" on Thanksgiving, however, it was so well-liked that they sang it again on Christmas. 

From there on out, the song has forever been associated with the wrong holiday.

4. The pilgrims had no forks at their first Thanksgiving meal.

Forks shmorks. Who needs 'em? Apparently not the pilgrims. 

So if you want a truly authentic Thanksgiving meal try carving your turkey with only a spoon, a knife and your fingers. 

The fork was not introduced until about a decade after the first Thanksgiving meal by Massachusetts Governor Winthrop. 

5. Oh and also, the pilgrims ate pigeon instead of turkey.

Perhaps because pigeon is easier to carve without using a fork? 

Contrary to popular belief, most of the food we eat at our Thanksgiving dinner is not actually traditional. Most likely pilgrims did not eat turkey, but instead they enjoyed duck, goose, swan and passenger pigeons. 

So this Thanksgiving, have some turkey with a side of swan and pigeon.

Just kidding. Don't. 


Subscribe to our newsletter and get the latest news and exclusive updates.