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Home > Publications > Historic New England Magazine > Fall 2001 > Greetings for a New England Holiday

Greetings for a New England Holiday

Many Thanksgiving postcards feature a large turkey, sometimes dressed, roasted, and arrayed on a platter; other times almost as a mascot for a feast or a football game.


"Thrice welcome the day in its annual round

What treasures of love in the bosom are found;

New England’s high holiday, ancient and dear,

‘Twould be twice as welcome if twice in a year."

This message is typical of those printed on hundreds of different post-cards designed to augment Thanksgiving celebrations during the first quarter of the twentieth century. The cards were popular and inexpensive ways of sending messages to friends and family during this nostalgic time of year. SPNEA’s growing collection of Thanksgiving postcards expresses themes of hospitality, plenty, and family continuity with images of turkeys, bountiful tables, glowing fireplaces, and grandfather clocks. Many cards illustrate fanciful ideas about the Pilgrims’ first thanksgiving at Plymouth, Massachusetts. A few cards, amid the predominant depictions of cooking and eating, illustrate fall activities like hunting or football. However you choose to celebrate the season, we wish you and yours a Happy Thanksgiving!

—Jane C. Nylander

Greetings for a New England Holiday