I want to wish all my fabulous readers a Happy Thanksgiving. And I want to rant about materialism.
This is my very favorite holiday. I like the idea of being grateful, and being happy with what you have, and not obsessing about how you wish you had a bigger home, or a cooler car, or some other material possession.
It seems as though Thanksgiving is becoming a lost holiday, since really, anymore, everyone just wants to get the dinner over with because, dammit, there’s a line to stand on somewhere. I think it’s really too bad, because I think that gratitude is an important part of financial success.
Here are some ways that gratitude can help your finances:
- Contentment with what you have means that you don’t feel like you “have” to run out and buy more stuff to be happy.
- Gratitude encourages introspection. It encourages you to look inside and recognize what’s really important. And that can lead to you no longer wasting money on the things that aren’t truly important to you.
- When you are grateful for what you have, you can look around and see how you can help others. Using your money resources to help others can actually help you improve your own financial situation.
- Thankfulness can actually help you be happier, and happier people have a lesser need for shopping therapy.
Really, I think many of us would be in better financial shape if we spent more time expressing gratitude, and less trying to figure out what we can buy — and how we can get a “good deal” on it.
As Black Friday continues to encroach upon my favorite holiday (some stores are opening at 8 p.m. Thanksgiving night; I shudder to think of when people will start lining up), it becomes increasingly important, for me, to just sit and be thankful. I’ve never thought Black Friday a good use of my time. Time is a resource you can’t renew, and it’s more important to me than saving a few bucks. Plus, it just encourages materialism, and consumerism that is, too often, thoughtless.
So, on Thanksgiving, I will be thankful. And my gratitude will continue on Black Friday, and beyond. It’s not just about one day. Our culture could use a little more gratitude and a lot less materialism.