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When you reflect back on your life, you won't think of the things you had, but the times you had.

There’s no holiday quite like Thanksgiving. It’s the day we all eat too much, fall asleep in front of the TV, enjoy our families, and begin plotting our Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday strategies.

But as we officially start the mad dash toward year-end — and as Black Friday commences today — do yourself a favor. Take a minute between food, football and shopping to remember what this long holiday weekend is really about.

A few years ago at a bloggers conference, I stopped a couple of popular bloggers and asked them for their favorite frugal tips. One in particular I remember well.

It was from Bob Lotich of Christian Personal Finance. What I expected was a tip such as “buy used” or “use coupons.” But what he said was infinitely better:

“We live in a society where there’s so much. There are so many things we have that people didn’t have 100 years ago. We have heat inside of our houses, we don’t have to go out to an outhouse. Things are pretty good now, yet everyone wants to complain about how bad it is. I would just say appreciate what you have and enjoy it.”

Now there’s a great frugal tip: Rather than obsessing about buying things you want, keep your money in your pocket and appreciate the things you already have. That’s something we can all keep in mind as we rush into another frenzied season of shopping.

Material possessions, when it’s all said and done, are vastly overrated. In fact, in the big picture, they’re nearly irrelevant.

A decade ago, I was in Atlanta for Thanksgiving, sitting at my parents’ dining room table, stuffing my face and cracking jokes with my mom, dad, sister and assorted friends.

Today that house, dining room table and both my parents are gone. They’re only memories. But what awesome memories they are.

My Thanksgiving wish for you is to create as many memories as you can, today and every day. Go ahead, shop till you drop today and throughout the weekend. Have a great time.

Just remember that when you’re on your deathbed, you won’t be remembering the things you had, you’ll be remembering the times you had.

So as often as you possibly can, surround yourself with the people you love and make some memories. You’ll be glad you did.

Got some nice memories of your own to share? Take a minute to comment below or on our Facebook page.

Stacy Johnson

It's not the usual blah, blah, blah

I know... every site you visit wants you to subscribe to their newsletter. But our news and advice is actually worth reading! For 25 years, I've been making people richer without making their eyes glaze over. You'll be glad you did. I guarantee it!

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