Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Happy Dolladays!

“Happy holidays,” everyone says when a day comes around that is designated to be celebrated. But has anyone ever thought about the amount of money that’s spent on celebrating these one day spend-fests? Take July 4th since it has recently passed. How many of us went out there and spent money ear-marked for routine monthly expenses that we’ve been praying we can pay on a monthly basis? Secondly, given the many accidents that have been caused by fireworks, it should make us take a second glance at our wallets before taking already tight funds out and spending them on such a dangerous product. I’m thinking back on the horrible accident that took place near my home town, last year involving five individuals who were transporting fireworks to a location and started removing them and placing them into another vehicle, only to become victims of an explosion that non of them could have foreseen.

Four people lost their lives while the fifth is alive, but traumatized to the point that, I’m sure, when July 4th comes around each year, she can never be in a celebratory mood again. How many other accidents happen but have gone unreported? I haven’t bought fireworks in years and even if I could afford them now, I’d still opt to take my youngest two sons to watch the beautiful displays at a neighborhood park and not have to worry about the possibility of rushing someone to the emergency room, in the name of celebration.

Now that’s just July 4th, what about Easter, which is sometimes called, the fashion show at church, Thanksgiving, (everyday is a day of thanksgiving), Christmas, which in recent years, has been referred to as Xmas, which clearly takes the Christ out of the celebration for those who choose to use that word? Then there’s Mother’s and Father’s Day and recently, Grandparent’s Day was added, where we give honor to the individuals who brought us into the world or who spoiled us when momma and daddy wouldn’t. There are countless other holidays sprinkled on the dates of the calendar that have us spending money that would have normally been spent on living expenses.
Now if celebrating these various holidays does not put a pinch on your pocketbook, then I say, spend on. But for those of us who are still itching for a scratch trying to figure out how we’re gonna make ends meet, plus have a little enjoyment, I say it’s quite alright if we don’t spend what we already don’t have on some of them. And although it feels good to be able to provide a special gift for this or that occasion, if the money isn’t really there, the good feeling will soon be replaced with dread and worry as we hope and pray that somehow more money will come from somewhere so that we can make that bill payment.

I’m not saying we can’t enjoy life, but it’s how you do it, which in my opinion, is much more important than how much money you spend on doing it. Things done in moderation seem to leave me with a sense of accomplishment knowing I was able to do something nice for someone and yet, not have cut myself short in the pockets by doing so.

As food and gas prices continue to rise and a roof on top of our heads are not to be taken for granted, we must pay more attention to the pennies we are forever trying to stretch; every penny certainly does count. As each of these designated holidays approach, pick and choose wisely, and should you decide to participate, do it moderately, you’ll enjoy it for days to come.

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