On Tuesday some students at The Christian Academy in Sikeston discussed exactly what they know about the holiday and what they're thankful for this year.
"Thanksgiving is a day to give thanks to the Lord, at least that's what I think," said second grader Rachel Grubbs.
Alyssa Nolen, a first grader, said President Abraham Lincoln made Thanksgiving a holiday.
"It's about when we can spend together with our family," Alyssa said about the holiday. "I think the Pilgrims started Thanksgiving, and we thank the Pilgrims and Indians."
First grader Jonathan Degen said Lincoln made it a day "to celebrate all the thankfulness and freedoms we have to worship Jesus and go to church."
"I'm thankful for the turkeys and God's food that he made us," Jonathan said. According to the official Web site of the Pilgrim Hall Museum in Plymouth, Mass., in spring 1621, the English colonists called Pilgrims planted their first crops in abandoned fields. While they had limited success with wheat and barley, their corn crop proved very successful, thanks to Squanto (Tisquantum) who taught them how to plant corn in hills, using fish as a fertilizer.
In October 1621, the Pilgrims celebrated their first harvest with feasting and games, which was the custom in England, along with prayer, the Museum site said. The celebration boosted the morale of the 50 remaining colonists and also impressed their allies. Among the native people attending were the Massasoit and 40 Wampanoag men.
The religious day of thanksgiving gradually evolved into a yearly customary Thanksgiving held on the fourth Thursday in November, according to the site. It didn't become an annual national holiday until Lincoln's 1863 proclamation.
"The Pilgrims sailed across the sea and met the Indians," Jonathan said. "The Indians helped the Pilgrims and they became friends. After they became friends, they helped get turkeys to eat."
The Pilgrims had to sail on the Mayflower for seven weeks before arriving in America.
"Many people got sick on the Mayflower. There was also a big storm and one man fell overboard," Rachel said.
When the Pilgrims arrived, they met Squanto, Rachel added.
"Squanto taught the Indians to plant with corn as fertilizer. He told them a lot about land," said Rachel, who wrote a paper about Squanto this year.
About 140 people were present at the first Thanksgiving, Rachel said.
"Not too many people survived the winter at the first Thanksgiving," she said.
Finally, no Thanksgiving discussion is complete without talking about the food.
"The turkey is always really dry, and I don't like it. I like ham," Rachel said. Austin Burnett, a first grader, said he said he likes to eat turkey.
"We get turkeys and eat them," Austin said, adding he and his family usually go to his grandma's for Thanksgiving.
Austin said he's thankful because God gave him food to eat.
Alyssa said her family eats turkey, sweet potatoes, rolls, soda and juice on Thanksgiving.
As for the Pilgrims and Indians, they ate meats like turkey and deer, Alyssa said.
"Their feast lasted for three days," Alyssa said and then added: "The ladies had to clean up, and the boys played."