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What Were the First Thanksgiving Favors?

By Edited Jun 15, 2014 0 0

Let me start off by saying that I haven't the foggiest idea. As someone who stays on top of party favor trends for a living, I just have a healthy curiosity about stuff like that. I've even taken a magnifying glass to some of the most famous paintings and etchings of that seminal moment in U.S. history to see if I could spot a place card holder made from maize or a tallow candle in the shape of a turkey.

Since I've seen nothing in the paintings that might be construed as Thanksgiving table favors, I thought it might be fun to speculate on what small token of thanks the colonists would have placed on the table for their Native American friends and the catchy names these new Americans gave the favors (possibly with the idea to export them to England in the future or open a chain of favor stores in the colonies.)

  • "Tree Tea" Gourmet Maple Syrup

Maple syrup doesn't get any fresher than this! A full half-cup of mouth-watering maple syrup beautifully presented in a small, hand-crafted wood bowl covered with a piece of hand-woven black fabric taken from Biddy Hobgood's wardrobe (though it could have been anybody's) and secured with a hemp twine bow. [The name of the favor was a hint to the Native Americans, who significantly outnumbered the colonists.]

  • "Leaf Us in Peace" Leaf Favor Bag

No artificial materials here! This charming fall-themed favor bag actually is a leaf, filled with yummy, colorful just-picked berries and sewn shut with pieces of pine straw. Only the most fresh and flexible leaves are used in this delightful favor so the bag doesn't break, spilling all the bite-size berries on the ground. [The name was chosen in the hope that no one would fight over who gets the turkey drumsticks.]

  • "Soap Pleased You Are Here!" Scented, Rabbit-Shaped Lye Soap

Fabulous! Feast your eyes on a small rabbit-shaped soap intricately hand-carved by elder Goodman Thatcher from a big batch of pure-white lye soap expertly whipped up by his wife, Goody Thatcher, one of the premier lye soap-makers in the region. Each charming, fully detailed rabbit is presented in a bed of natural pine straw. The soap's intoxicating fragrance comes from a few drops of honeysuckle essence-Goody Thatcher nose how to sweeten a soap! [The couple made enough for both the colonists and the Native Americans-all of whom would (and should) make good use of the soap in preparation for next year's Thanksgiving celebration. One more thing to be thankful for!]

  • "Bark 'n' Park" Eco-Friendly Tree Bark Coasters

Oh, so practical! Family and friends alike absolutely love parking their cups of hard apple cider, beer or tea on these cleverly designed tree-bark coasters, perfect for preventing those hard-to-remove rings from priceless antique furniture (have you watched Antiques Road Show lately?) and leather surfaces. The bark is carefully pulled from the tree and artistically carved into an unrecognizable shape big enough to hold even the largest cup or tankard! Cheers!

  • "Light Up the Night" Hand-Picked Pumpkin Lanterns

Also terrific for table décor, these classic, autumn-orange pumpkin lantern favors are created from the smaller pumpkins collected during the harvest. Skillfully seeded and beautifully carved so the light from the tallow candle (included) inside shines through, these pretty, practical pumpkin lanterns will help light the way through dark forest paths on chilly fall evenings!

And there you have it! I like to think Thanksgiving table favors would have been a big hit at the event -good food, good friends, good favors, good feelings-and a good time was had by all!

The First Thanksgiving


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