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Autumn marks the beginning of a number of holidays in North America that come in quickly in a row. First is Labor Day in early September, where Americans celebrate the working man, Then, on October 31st comes Halloween, celebrated worldwide. Among the uniquely American holidays, though, is Thanksgiving. In the United States, the third Thursday in November is set aside to commemorate the first full year of Europeans surviving in North America. The Pilgrims, fleeing religious persecution in Europe, traveled the perilous journey across the Atlantic ocean by ship, to land in Plymouth Rock, in modern day Massachusetts, where they founded the first successful colony in 1620. The climate and times were extremely harsh and, without the help of the native American Indians, they would not have survived. Many legends and lore exists that tell of that harrowing first year, but by November of 1621, having survived the first winter and having harvested their first crops with the help from the Native Americans, they allegedly held a feast to celebrate their successful survival.

Today's Thanksgiving meal is much more lavish and full of extras than what the Pilgrims enjoyed, but as legend has it, they feasted on wild turkey and assorted vegetables, including the native cranberries, which is still a staple in any Thanksgiving feast.

Although relations with the native American Indians soured over time, the first Thanksgiving saw a cordial come-together where European settlers and native Americans alike feasted and gave thanks for the abundance of food that they managed to accumulate.

Today's modern celebration of Thanksgiving includes all the favorites from the historical traditional fare: yams, sweet potatoes, turkey, pumpkin pie, cranberries and more. But as Americans, our traditions change over time and now includes traveling great distances to reconnect with loved ones at a relative's house, stuffing oneself full of food, and watching American Football for the remainder of the day. Thanksgiving also marks the "unofficial" beginning of the Christmas shopping season and a new tradition has been established - rushing into the retail stores on the day after Thanksgiving to take advantage of the many sales and markdowns for the day that has become known as "Black Friday."

Whatever your Thanksgiving tradition, you're sure to find a bevy of decorating items here to help you make it a festive event. Be sure to come back from time to time as I'm constantly seeking out new and unusual products to help you to decorate your home and hearth in a unique and affordable way for the Thanksgiving season!

Happy Shopping - and Happy Thanksgiving!