Thanksgiving is a nonreligious, nonsectarian holiday commemorating the first meal shared by both European settlers and Native Americans. It is a uniquely American holiday. It is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November. Most members will invite their own international visitors from the Friends Matching Program to come share a Thanksgiving meal in their homes.
BWF members invite international students to join them for their family activities during a holiday meal. The Thanksgiving dinner is a long meal that usually lasts three to four hours, and typically begins around 2:00 p.m. A traditional Thanksgiving meal includes turkey, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie. International visitors who are vegetarians do not need to worry about offending their host families if they do not eat the meat dishes.
Thanksgiving is not a time for exchanging gifts. Some families will pause during the meal to give each person present a chance to share what he or she is thankful for. Other families may have their own traditions associated with the holiday. International visitors are invited to participate in these traditions if they feel comfortable doing so.
Members unable to invite their international visitors to their homes for Thanksgiving should contact BWF at
to arrange for their international visitors to experience this uniquely American holiday with another family. Members should also advise BWF if they are able to take on additional international visitors during the holiday. Likewise, international visitors should contact BWF if they will need different arrangements.
Please make sure to contact BWF at least two weeks before Thanksgiving to make sure there is enough time to find a family for Thanksgiving!