xmas-turkeyHave you ever been chewing on a kernel of an idea for a post, which needed just the right image then, while searching for said image, gotten completely sidetracked by the search results?

That’s what happened to me this morning. I was all set to tell you about this different sort of plan I have for our Thanksgiving, the US holiday happening this Thursday. It’s a rare four-day weekend for us, so I figured we should make it interesting.

Our parents have other plans. Two of our three kids are on the West Coast. Kid number three works in a restaurant, so I assumed he’d be working, but he’s actually going to spend the day with his wife’s family. We could invite friends over, or go out and share a meal, but most of our friends have families of their own or, I assume, plans with others.

So I decided we should do something we’d never done before. Which I was going to tell you about in that post. So I went to Google Images and searched for something like “turkey car thanksgiving” and got completely sidetracked.

I must say, there’s a lot of weird stuff on the Internet, in case you didn’t know that already. It can be quite entertaining, nostalgic, appalling, perplexing, and more.

Pilgrim in Corn Car with His Turkey
Pilgrim in Corn Car with His Turkey

The images that I enjoyed most were the vintage postcards. I mean, I like postcards in general, but vintage postcards can be rather unique. They were so entertaining, I figured sharing some of the gems I discovered would entertain you all more than some boring “guess what we’re going to do on Thanksgiving” sort of story.

NOTE: None of these images are mine. I searched the Internet, saved them, and re-posted them here. I usually check image licenses, you know, to see if it’s okay to share them, but I didn’t this time. So share at your own risk. And, if you don’t hear from me for a while, I may be in a jail with no Wifi.

Thanksgiving in Britain?

There’s my turkey in a car. But it’s a British car. I think. Did cars in the US ever have steering wheels on the left? Brits only recently started acknowledging Thanksgiving, supposedly because so many Americans are now in the UK, not because the Brits themselves find the need to celebrate.

Generic Thanksgiving Greeting

Honestly, I never knew Thanksgiving was an occasion to send postcards. Or greeting cards, even, which I guess these could also be.

Racing to Dinner?

Maybe there was once a tradition to race cars on Thanksgiving? Before the whole American football and Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade thing began.

British Corn Car?

Is there some tradition I don’t know about with corn cars and orange-slice wheels? And why is this image also British? I suppose the steering wheel could be in the middle, but Tom is clearly driving. How can I be so sure? This is a vintage card, remember. They’d never let a female turkey actually drive the corn car back then.

God Bless America

I wonder what message that card is supposed to be sending? Maybe it was created during a time of war and folks were supposed to send this image of a pretty lady, clearly American, accompanied by a turkey couple to a soldier fighting abroad. To remind them of home.

What’s more joyful than a kid driving a turkey and load of produce around?

Kids in vintage images like these creep me out. There’s almost always something wrong or at least a bit off about their faces. That face isn’t horrible, though.


Here’s a pretty gal who dressed her young turkey friend up all nice and pretty, with a lovely pink ribbon to pull the pumpkin wagon. Maybe in a parade? But, behind her friend’s back, the gal is prepared to stab and eat said clueless friend. What kind of message is that?

Ummm… I’m at a complete loss.

Put all care away? Looks to me like this is more about hiding your true self. You know, so your family thinks you are well and normal.

Or maybe the artist’s kid dressed as a turkey for Halloween. The artist wanted to share the drawing with friends and family, procrastinated, so made it a Thanksgiving card to mask his tardiness.

I bet this was very risque, dark humor for its time.

It probably wasn’t polite to even refer to the turkey actually getting having to get murdered so people can enjoy the traditional meal.

I’m guessing this next one is another war-time greeting.

We bow to thee, oh Turkey God.

How odd.

Speaking of odd…

Because it’s tradition to dress kids up like jesters (or small clowns?), sit them on a wheeled pumpkin, and have Tom turkey take the kid for a ride. The flag was added just to make sure folks knew this was an American card. You know, because people is so many other countries would do this sort of thing, too.

Fun with Turkey

That’s a really small image, but I HAD to share it anyway. Maybe it was once part of the holiday tradition for kids to befriend and cavort with Tom Turkey before he was beheaded, plucked, stuffed, and cooked? Rural kids, of course. Stuff like that would never fly in a city.

Maybe that’s why there’s an annual Presidential turkey pardon? As the American population became more and more concentrated in cities, the pre-Thanksgiving turkey-trot deception became less and less popular…
Coming Out?

Is that supposed to convey having fun on Thanksgiving? Or perhaps indicate that the sender had enjoyed a well-dressed turkey?

This next one really made me chuckle. The turkey looks well and alive, but the child looks like she’s been stuffed, dressed, then laid-out on a decorative platter.

Who ate who?

The last one is my favorite.

Telling It Like It Is

No subterfuge there. No making the turkeys look like anything but the murdered, dead turkeys that they are. Surrounded by some vegetables, a big bundle of Popsicle sticks, wine, and a big fish. On a desk by the rocky coast, just like the Pilgrims would have done. How festive.

I hope your Thanksgiving is as interesting, straightforward, adventurous, different, fun, and love-filled as I hope mine will be. Even if you can’t be with family or friends, I hope you are able to find a way to surround yourself with love, good times, and good cheer on this thankful day.

5 Replies to “Sidetracked”

  1. I had no idea they used to have Thanksgiving postcards.

    We too will be enjoying a 4-day weekend. No plans so far though, as we stay far away from the roads as possible on the biggest travel holiday of the year.

  2. I didn’t either!

    I figure if you avoid major interstates and main thoroughfares, it should be okay. I think we have a lot more back roads than you though. Enjoy the break!

  3. Interesting collection of postcard images. I would’ve never guessed that there ever was a demand for Thanksgiving postcards.

    Sooo, what was the original post going to be about?

  4. I thought I had the market cornered on getting totally distracted online, so much so, that I never post at all! LOL

    My favorite is the first corn car. I had no idea that Thanksgiving was a greeting-sending occasion, now we all know!

    So, back to the original topic. I guess we will have to wait until your adventure is complete and you write about it!

    Happy Turkey day!

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