Music Mondays – Most Wonderful Time of the Year

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It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

While I was in college, I worked as a cashier and customer service representative for Best Buy, and anyone who works or has worked in retail knows that the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas is one of the most hectic of the year. As I worked through lines of customers with baskets filled with holiday wish list items, I frequently sang this song in my mind. I didn’t sing it, though, for the reasons you would imagine, I sang it for the irony.

Or is it?

Despite the fact that the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas should be as Andy Williams so eloquently sings the most wonderful time of the year, it is often lost in the consumerism and commercialization of the holidays, and instead of celebrating the best of humanity, what is frequently on display in the malls and stores is the worst of humanity.

Just a quick search of Black Friday brings up a number of news articles sharing stories of shootings and tramplings as people clamored to get stuff, and none of this stuff was life changing. I think there was a fight this year over a Barbie doll. A Barbie doll? Really?

Years after I left Best Buy and joined the shopping ranks around the holiday season, I frequently sang this song ironically in my mind as I fought through crowds of people who rarely showed the slightest manners let alone holiday spirit. This is supposed to be the hap happiest season of all, and yet I think most people end a day of shopping in the worst mood possible.

A few years back, my hubby and I decided to cut back on our holiday spending as we re-focused our life goals, and this meant that I spent less time in the malls and stores, and I have to say, I don’t miss it for a minute. I feel as though the last few years, I have truly been able to listen to this song and feel the meaning of it.

For my clients who are not only trying to save money, but increase their spirits, I encourage them to avoid the holiday shopping and focus on deriving more meaning from this season. Replacing the stuff not only keeps money in your bank account, but it also keeps your sanity.

Why it should be

I really do believe this is the most wonderful time of the year. We start with Thanksgiving in the United States where we spend time with those we love and share a meal and moment of thanks. Lights, decorations and songs about love and hope then follow it, and it doesn’t matter what your religious beliefs are, the spirit of the season is one of hope and promise.

I am writing this post today to remind you to enjoy the season fully and make it the most wonderful time of the year. Take extra time in your days to be thankful for the year you have had and the promise of the next year. Even if this year was a bad one for you, you are almost at the end and you can be thankful that it’s almost over.

If you are venturing out to the stores, be kind to those poor souls who have to work in retail and see the worst of humanity on display in front of them constantly. Try to remember to show them kindness and decency wherever possible.

Do you think this is the most wonderful time of year or the worst time because consumerism is at the forefront of people’s minds? Have you ever worked in retail around the holiday season? If so, do you have any stories from the trenches?

 

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Shannon is a financial planner who left a “traditional” financial services firm to start her own company, The Financial Gym, because she felt traditional financial services firms did not have the tools or resources to help people in their 20s and 30s who are starting out and trying to build assets while also managing debt. She realized that the key to long-term personal financial success is a commitment to financial fitness and making smart financial choices. Through her blog, Financially Blonde, her book, Train Your Way To Financial Fitness, her podcast, Martinis and Your Money and The Financial Gym, Shannon is committed to making financial fitness fun, easy and accessible for everyone.

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