Over the past months, as I slipped the papers from their plastic sacks, slick full page advertisements splayed onto our kitchen table.

I was offed ten dollar coupons, extra shopping hours, power hour specials, early bird specials, night owl shopping, and three day only sales.

If I had young children, I might have taken advantage of these sales and found a burst of excitement and joy in such shopping.

But in recent times, these ads made me wonder if we’re gotten off track somehow.

Sure, I know retailers depend on Christmas sales, but I still wonder what’s behind the frenzied shopping, this rush to acquire this year’s hottest product.

Is there’s a deep need that we are trying to fulfill?

Could it have something to do with our obsession with happiness?

Ask a parent today what they want for their children, and the response is often “I just want them to be happy.”

Is happiness the ultimate goal in life? Or do we really seek something more meaningful?

We can own the best of everything, yet be filled with unhappiness and discontent.

We think we will be happy if we win the lottery or get the newest electronic device for Christmas.

But in the famous 1978 study of lottery winners, it was found that one year after winning the lottery, winners ended up no happier than those who hadn’t won.

Yes, things were different in l978. But some things remain constant.

Beyond a certain necessary income level, extra money or possessions do not seem to bring happiness.

Part of the problem is that material happiness is often fleeting

I’m often delighted and surprised by a new possession, then the novelty wears off and I want the next new thing that comes along.

Don’t get me wrong. I like nice things.

But sometimes I have to remind myself that much of our happiness can’t be bought.

It is the result of that challenging, sometimes frustrating, ultimately rewarding endeavor that fits any budget.

It’s that gift that’s too big to gift wrap.

It’s called love.

I wish all my readers much love during these Holy Days.

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  1. Ouizy says:

    Ahhhh true I know hapiness comes from love and the exchange between people, priceless gifts those, however I would love to experience that lottery win! 🙂

    • Val McCullough says:

      Hi Ouizy,

      Here's a take on the lottery: Money doesn't make you happy, but it sure makes misery a lot easier to live with.

      Have a great New Year.

      And thanks for reading Musings.

      Val McC

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