April Jeppson: Happiness doesn’t come from possessions

Published 8:45 pm Friday, November 25, 2022

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Every Little Thing by April Jeppson

Thanksgiving has come and gone. Now is the season to spend all the money that we barely have in an attempt to save money. It’s an odd system if you really step back and think about it.

April Jeppson

I was looking through all the Black Friday sales and genuinely trying to find good deals on items I actually needed. 

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There are giant televisions with so many awesome features and they are 50% off! However, I do not need a television, we already have two in our home. At the office we are looking to replace the TV at the front desk but we do not need all the fancy add-ons, just a larger one that has a nice picture. So although it’s tempting to “save” all that money, in reality, I’m actually spending $400 more than I would if I just bought a basic model that would do the trick. 

Then I virtually head over to the big box clothing stores. As I recently discovered, my child needs a new pair of snow pants. She likes to play outside during and after school, and the ones she was wearing yesterday have left her wet in the knees. So I start to look. These $80 ones are now marked down to $45 — that’s a great deal! And then I pause and talk to myself. 

April, your daughter is not snowboarding in the mountains or hiking the day away. She is playing in the backyard for an hour or two. I do not need the most up-to-date technology or to sustain below zero temps for days on end. I need a pair of pants that fit, will stay dry and possibly have some reinforcement in the knees. I do not need to spend $45 on a pair of snow pants for a child, keep looking. 

At one point I had eight different tabs open comparing prices for snow pants, bluetooth speakers and a bunch of random stuff I really don’t need. 

As a child, Christmas gifts were about want. I had zero dollars to my name and I wanted a CD Walkman. As a 13-year-old in the ’90s who was obsessed with music, that want felt more like a need to me.

Up until a few years ago there were many things on my Christmas list — things I didn’t have that would make my life easier or more enjoyable but were just out of my price range. Or perhaps they weren’t even that expensive, but they were at the bottom of my list because normal bills and groceries had first dibs at my money. A quality winter jacket, my favorite perfume, an Instant Pot… 

But now I want for nothing. 

Looking at sales and I’m just trying to find deals on stuff I’m going to buy anyway. When my mascara that I use every day is 50% off, now that’s a good deal. If I wait a month to buy it when I need it, it’ll be full price, so it actually makes sense for me to buy stuff like that during this weekend of mega sales. 

So here I sit online scoring deals on super exciting things like reusable food storage containers, socks and longer pants for my continually growing son. I’m OK with this. There is comfort in knowing that I have everything I need. And there is peace in knowing that happiness doesn’t come in the form of a 85-inch 4k LED Smart television. 

Albert Lean April Jeppson is a wife, mom, coach and encourager of dreams. Her column appears every Saturday.