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Everyone says it every year, but it doesn’t make it any less true: I can’t believe the holidays are almost here! And as much as we all love the food, music, time with loved ones, and general sense of happiness that this time of year brings, there is also an impending sense of doom.

Why do we succumb to the stress every single year? Why are we wracked with guilt when we considering bowing out of one of the many holiday parties we are invited to? Why do we get so down on ourselves when we we’re buying gifts for the people we love and care for?

Most importantly: why do we allow our negative emotions behind money to cloud everything else in our lives? It’s hard enough to keep up with work, school, family, hobbies and the holidays, yet our thoughts never stray too far from the financials behind it all.

And it makes a lot of sense. Every commercial on TV has something to do with purchasing something for a special someone. Everyone at work is talking about the different things they are going to buy for their friends, family and significant others. All of your friends are discussing their travel plans to see family for Christmas or their getaway for New Years’.

More than any other time of year, it’s impossible to not talk about money. But it’s possible to not put money at the center of everything. How do we do that? By focusing on gratitude.

Don’t miss out on this season because you’re too busy concerning yourself with money. Yes, money is an important part of your life; luckily, it’s not the only part of your life. That’s right: you don’t need to put money at the center of your universe because it doesn’t belong there. Remember that your financial life is just one segment of what’s going on. Remind yourself that your true core is your authentic self: not your money.

With that said, I know how easy it is to fall into the stresses this time of year inevitably brings. Instead of bracing for what’s coming, surround yourself in simple pleasure. Yes, this time of year ushers in stress. But fortunately for all of us, it’s also a beautiful time of gratitude. So live in that gratitude for every blessing you can count, and let each one humble you and ground you. Choose gratitude and let it encompass you.

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