Ten Fun Facts for Thanksgiving

Yes, it’s true. As a country, we desperately need to work on our civil discourse skills, but Thanksgiving may not be the best time to practice those skills. With that in mind, here are 10 fun facts that you can bring up to steer the conversation away from politics at your Thanksgiving feast. Pull these out as needed to prevent heartburn and hurt feelings.

  1. Thanksgiving is to blame for TV dinners. In 1953, a Swanson employee accidentally ordered way too many turkeys for Thanksgiving. To get rid of them all, salesman Gerry Thomas came up with the idea of filling 5,000 aluminum trays with the turkey – along with cornbread dressing, gravy, peas and sweet potatoes. They were sold for 98 cents, and were a hit. Within one year, over ten million were sold. Triumph or tragedy?

2. Since 2006, more people in the US have died in Black Friday accidents than in shark attacks. Statistically, the most dangerous place to shop on Black Friday is Wal-Mart. #arkansasproud

3. Encanto–A new Disney movie is coming out Thanksgiving Weekend. With songs by Hamilton’s Lin-Manuel Miranda, the plot focuses on Mirabela, a girl who lives with her magically talented family in the mountains of Colombia.  Mirabela faces challenges when she realizes she’s the only member of her family without magic. Regular followers know how much I LOVE an good unlikely hero story.

4. In related facts, movie trailers are called “trailers” because they were originally shown after the feature film.

5. The Bible is the most shoplifted book in the world.

6. Ask people to do the math on how many gifts would be given if someone gave all the gifts in the 12 days of Christmas song (spoiler alert: 364)

7. It takes about 600 cows to make one season’s worth of NFL footballs.

8. Americans prepare 46 million turkeys for Thanksgiving each year. Eighty-eight percent of Americas eat turkey on Thanksgiving.

9. The Butterball Turkey Talk Line answers almost 100,000 calls each season. So if you’re having a turkey crisis (or just a question) you can call 1-800-Butterball.

10. Black Friday is the busiest year for plumbers. So scrape those plates before putting them in the dishwasher and don’t try to get rid of those turkey bones in the disposal.

Keep these fun facts in your back pocket and apply as necessary.

Happy Thanksgiving!


Rev. Anne Russ is an ordained pastor in the Presbyterian Church (USA), currently based in New York City. Doubting Believer provides tools and encouragement for the rollercoaster ride of your faith journey. Follow me on Facebook , Instagram and YouTube. You can also follow on TikTok. Get emails to keep up with all that is happening.

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