SHOW YOUR GRATITUDE this Thanksgiving. Researchers say it is good for your health. Expressing gratitude improves cardiovascular strength, sleep quality and more, according to Robert Emmons, a psychologist at the University of California, Davis.

“Gratitude enhances performance in every domain that’s been examined: psychological, relational, emotional and physical. A health behavior change is when someone that practices gratitude ends up engaging in more self-care behaviors or following the directions of their care provider more closely. That could lower your blood pressure.”

“If we want to encounter the first Thanksgiving as the Pilgrims experienced it in the fall of 1621, we must put aside our images of great wide Puritan collars and large buckles, roast turkey and cranberry sauce,” wrote Martyn Whittock in “Mayflower Lives.” It wasn’t that way.

Whittock said all we know about the original Thanksgiving comes to us from 115 words in a document known as “Mourt’s Relation,” written to persuade London investors not to give up on the colony. We know that the original feast lasted three days.

It was attended by the Pilgrims and about 90 Native Americans from the Wampanoag tribe. It featured a meal consisting of venison, supplied by the natives, and fowl, supplied by the English. That was it.

As with any story of a nation’s beginning, a cloud of legends surrounds the Mayflower journey and the early years of the Plymouth colony. Times were tough and some might question if the bounty was really a feast that would last for three days, but there was gratitude.

Whittock contended the Mayflower passengers didn’t come ashore by climbing onto the rock known as Plymouth Rock; makes you question the validity of other historical events. Many accounts of events were written years later by people that weren’t even born at the time.

The myth of Plymouth Rock began in 1715, when town records mentioned a great rock that measured the town’s boundaries. In 1774, some locals got the idea of promoting it as a symbol of liberty. They tried to transport the roughly 10-ton stone to the town’s meeting house in an ox cart.

The big stone tipped from the cart and split in two. The rock, now on display in Plymouth, Mass., the victim of that split and probably others, and of the gougings of relic-thieves, is much diminished in size. In any case, the Pilgrims almost certainly never stepped on it. Next, we’ll be told there is no Santa Claus living at the North Pole.

When the Pilgrims realized that they weren’t going to make it to Virginia, the original destination, but were bound instead for Cape Cod to the north, the men onboard the Mayflower drew up a covenant, the famous “Mayflower Compact.”

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REMEMBER ALL those times when you wished the weekend would last forever? Well, as the COVID-19 lockdown threat lingers, wish granted. Are you happy now? As people dealt with the pandemic and ran out of things to do, many families put up their Christmas trees and decorations in September.

I’d guess many people have already finished their holiday shopping. Are you a marketer’s dream or her worst nightmare?

Some people can walk into a huge super store or 300-store mega mall, walk around for several hours and see nothing that they really need or want to buy. For some, they don’t buy because they have no money, interest or storage space.

On the other hand, some people can walk into any store, regardless of size, and find a truckload of items to buy. They may not need the item, but they’ve got to have it.

Retailers love them.