Thanksgiving has its beginnings in the early American history when a group of European settlers, know as the Pilgrims, came to an uninhabited region of North America to escape religious persecution in the Old World. Native Americans (called Indians) befriended them and helped them in the strange new land. At harvest time the Indians brought harvest fruits and game to the new neighbors to celebrate the bounty of fall. The Pilgrims were very thankful for kindness of their new friends and even more for the provision of God. The focus was on thankfulness. Unfortunately, in recent years the focus on thankfulness has become blurred with other traditions like American football, and even more recently, by "Black Friday" shopping for deals (which is recently slopping over into Thanksgiving Thursday afternoon.) We encourage you to take advantage of the traditions observed by your host family, and not get distracted by Black Friday/Thursday shopping.