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Defining Thanksgiving

November 23, 2011

Tomorrow is my favorite holiday.  Thanksgiving.  It has the all the needed components….family, football games, and food.  Lots of food.  Probably too much food.  Many of you may see me wearing sweatpants at the FSA conference next week as I will still be in recovery. Certainly there is more to Thanksgiving than just these things, right?

Let’s pause for a moment, gentle readers, and consider some common definitions of Thanksgiving.  I decided to consult my definitive source of information. The Urban Dictionary. Here are a few Thanksgiving definitions for your consideration:

  • Another excuse for Americans to spend an entire day eating
  • The one before Christmas
  • A turkey’s worst nightmare
  • A federal holiday to remember what we are thankful for, immediately followed by the largest shopping day of the year to max out our credit cards for the next holiday, Christmas.
  • Conveniently situated on a Thursday, meaning most people end up with a 4-day weekend.

One could perceive these descriptions as having a cynical undertone…I, however, celebrate these facets. Maybe Thanksgiving is all of these things, but it also means much more.

It means my son, who is a college freshman and far away from home, will be here for a few days. (Incidentally, I think he is planning to drop off his stuff and hang out with his friends who are all home from college as well…but still he is HOME)  It means my house will be filled with family, the people that matter the most to me in the entire world.

I am also thankful that I have a great job.  I get to work with my best friends. I couldn’t imagine being anywhere else.  I also get to work with our school partners. All of you. I have met so many great people over the years.  I am very fortunate.

 I wish a very Happy Thanksgiving from the bottom of my heart to all of you. Enjoy the day no matter how you define it in your own life.  Be a glutton.  We can worry about the calories next week.

I hope to see many of you at the FSA conference.


Jim Harris, National Director, Nelnet Partner Solutions


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