When I realized that I’d be posting this blog on Christmas, well at least the legal holiday since the spiritual holiday was Sunday, I thought it was a great opportunity to talk about values.  A season of celebration gives time for reflection on what is important to each and every one of us.  Whether or not you celebrate Christmas isn’t the theme here.  What is important is the question, “Why?”  Why are we doing this?  Why are we saving and investing?  Why are we sacrificing for tomorrow?  Why do we have to learn about our benefits at work and plan our estate?  It all seems like a chore sometimes.

I guess a chore is a fair analogy because I have noticed the moment I clean up the kitchen or clear out the clutter in the house, it seems to get all messed up again.  Chores need to be done constantly!  Your money seems to be the same way.  We can lose sight of what is important when life seems to be a constant to do list.

Think about what is important to you?  Your money should support your values and not the other way around. 

Money is only money.  This season money is buying some lift tickets for my three sons so they can all snowboard together which will be a lasting memory for them.  Money bought the plane tickets and will buy their equipment rental, as well as a few sandwiches and beers.  I can see them sitting at the lodge laughing, telling stories and making fun of each other.  Brothers from across the country spending time together and having fund — that is important to me.

What is important to you?  How is your money going to support your values next year?  Last year, I did something different for my New Year’s Resolution and decided to try 52 new things.  It started on New Year’s eve when we went to my friends cabin and their heater went out, but we stayed during a snow storm and built a roaring fire.  I went to an international sheep dog trail and watched these amazing dogs (attempt to) round up very wary sheep.  My 52 new experiences ended up including new foods, new museums, a new haircut, going to a Mass in Spanish, a private wine tasting, and taking my granddaughter to the zoo to see her first giraffe.  I easily hit my 52 because my husband and I moved to Utah from California where everything was new to me!  New mountain bike trails and new restaurants.  It could very well be the mindset I had about being open to new things that helped me embrace the move and the mountain town away from my dear friends.  Being open to new experiences and celebrating life, at least once a week was something very important to me.

What is important to you?  Consider in 2012 putting together a “bucket list” of what is important to you, and set up a special savings account just for that purpose.  In the meantime, celebrate!  Enjoy! 

Have a wonderful holiday and an incredible New Year!