The Cost of Happiness

Christmas gifts hiding SantaIt is Christmas season. Yay!

Actually, for most people, the reaction would be a sinking feeling at the pit of their stomach, caused by the idea of the excessive (some say insane) shopping set in motion by the coming holiday. Previously a European-style Christian celebration of the birth of Jesus, Christmas has been transformed by massive retail chains into a worldwide shopping frenzy observed by followers of pretty much every possible faith.

On the face of it, all this buying and sharing of gifts is intended to increase the happiness of both givers and receivers and create a festive and generous atmosphere. But in reality, people spend hours agonizing over gift ideas, finding out where they can buy them without mortgaging their clothes, actually buying them, wrapping them, hiding them, keeping the secret of what they are and wondering how they will be received by loved ones and those we just had to buy gifts for.

On the receiving end, people (especially kids) spend months waiting to get the special things they put on their wish list for Christmas, only to be disappointed with what they actually get, because nobody ever gets everything on their list, even if they get some of it.

Can you see the level of happiness going up here? I sure don’t.

Read more about having a happy Christmas

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