We’ve heard it said over the last two years that we should each be “grateful” for the “little things” in life that “truly matter.”  In the last year an invisible wall of social distance and stay at home orders kept most of us from spending the quality time we were accustomed to with family and friends.  The news and social media were full of dire reports about a novel virus, poorly balanced with futile soundbites pointing out the silver linings to a country filled with fear induced shortsightedness.  


While the world felt more divided and scary during the last two years, there were our usual constants that we light heartedly poke fun of in easy-to-predict holiday movies, and cherish less often then we should.  Family.  Friendship.  Intangible things we too often take for granted, and so often fail to appreciate fully until they vanish due to time or neglect.  


As the world started to return to “normal” the news was full of statistics about soaring retail and restaurant sales.  Most recently it’s been about buying often and early for the holidays to prevent supply chain shortages from ruining this year’s gift giving opportunities.  As I read the news over the last six months I often wondered if we truly failed to learn as a society one of the greatest lessons the last two years tried to teach us.  




Sure, Oprah had gratitude journals years ago that were sold in brick-and-mortar bookstores (or on a new fangled bookselling website called Amazon).  If you check out social media, you can find new fangled gratitude journals (for those youngins not around for the Oprah version) sold in every color and material type, with fancy pens too.


It makes me tired just thinking about the material, retail business around gratitude.  An intangible thing we too often take for granted, but we’ll spend $29.95 on (not including shipping and handling… the fancy pen is extra too).


Maybe, just maybe, before the holiday season fully revs up its march towards the end of the year, we can pause for a moment and ponder.  What are YOU truly grateful for?  Have you expressed your gratitude to the people who matter in your life?  I’m not just talking about family, although I’ll get to them shortly (you can skip your goofy cousin with the hairbrained get-rich-quick schemes they pitch to you over turkey and mashed potatoes… seriously, it’s okay).  


Have you said a heartfelt “thank you” to the often invisible people who help you every day?  Your banker?  Your pet groomer?  Your hair stylist?  Your barista?  Your mail person or delivery person?  No, don’t go Google a list of “service people I should say thank you to.”  Just take the time to pause, make eye contact, and say what you’ve got to say to the people you appreciate.  


Spur of the moment works best.  It doesn’t need to be a soliloquy (that would be kinda awkward) and don’t rehearse it (that would also be kinda awkward… maybe more so).  Just be sincere and honest.  See what happens.  And go ahead and quash that urge you may have to go out and buy gifts for everyone – this isn’t about material items.  It’s about gratitude.  I’ve heard it’s a keystone for the season or some such nonsense (insert sarcasm here).


Now, on to those people we choose to have in our lives, and those we’re stuck with.  I’m not talking about our coworkers and the tax man (see the paragraph above re: your coworkers… and add your CPA or tax preparer to that list too for good measure).  


I’m talking about your friends and family.  Write a note in a holiday card, draft a handwritten letter, or carve out some quality time to share your gratitude.  It’s okay to get a bit sappy with these (maybe awkward to get sappy with others… except your barista, I mean, we all missed our baristas during lockdown).  Again, be sincere (don’t rehearse it) and speak from the heart.  I bet you’ll feel better about sharing your love and appreciation for each person then you will about giving each a tangible gift.  I promise you, the impression and memories you’ll both create by giving and receiving your gratitude through words will last a lifetime. 


Because really, at the end of the day when we Marie Kondo our lives all we have are the intangibles.  The relationships.  The love.  The memories.  The skills.  The knowledge.  The moral code.  The manner in which we lived our lives.  The way our deeds and words affected others in the world in ways we may never comprehend.  If we focused on these intangible items a bit more and let go of the material, bigger, better, tangible things, we might just have learned something these last two years after all. 


Happy Holidays y’all.  


Verde Capital Management, Inc. is a federally registered investment adviser. The information, statements and opinions expressed in this material are provided for general information only, are based on data we believe to be accurate at the time of writing, and are subject to change without notice. This material does not take into account your particular investment objectives, financial situation or needs, is not intended as a recommendation to purchase or sell any security, and is not intended as individual or specific advice. Investing involves risk and possible loss of principal capital. Diversification does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss. Past performance is not indicative of future returns. Advisory services are only offered to clients or prospective clients where Verde Capital Management, Inc.  and its representatives are properly licensed or exempt from licensure. No advice may be rendered by Verde Capital Management, Inc. unless a client service agreement is in place.

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