The roads were a little lighter this morning.

Many of us are still working, but I know of plenty of folks who have already taken time away from work, starting today.

But no rest for the business owners, right?

Whatever your faith background, it’s hard to ignore the holiday clamor. In my opinion, it’s a shame that a season of reflection and prayer (Christmas, Hanukkah, etc) would become transformed into something so… busy. People are rushing around seeking to create nostalgic moments and experiences — and buying them online — without realizing that in the past they just … happened.

Now look — as a proud business owner, I’ve got no problem with people earning (or spending) money during this season. I just wonder when it’s time to say “enough”?

However, as I’ve mentioned, this week, while everyone else is attempting to slow down, we tax professionals are gearing up. The ACA is creating a whole ‘nother level of complexity for the tax return and I pity the taxpayer who chooses this year (of all years) to “go it alone”.

But still, I thought I would take a break from my usual “business and financial” strategy tips, for the holidays, and pause a moment for reflection with you.

Because as I’ve been meeting with tax clients in getting ready for the season, I’ve discovered that many of you are worried and stressed — about finances, family, personal circumstances, etc. It’s not my job to save the world on your behalf of course, but I do appreciate that I get to be somebody in your world that can encourage you to slow down, take a breather and keep your perspective on what’s really important.

Thanks for your friendship, and for your business in 2014, and (hopefully) in 2015!

This week’s post is to help us all keep perspective, this week…and into next year.

Michael Kessler’s Prayer For The Holidays
“People travel to wonder at the height of the mountains, at the huge waves of the seas, at the long course of the rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motion of the stars, and yet they pass by themselves without wondering.” -St. Augustine

“God, help us remember that the jerk who cut us off in traffic last night is a single mother who worked nine hours that day and is rushing home to cook dinner, help with homework, do the laundry and spend a few precious moments with her children.

“Help us to remember that the pierced, tattooed, disinterested young man who can’t make change correctly is a worried 19-year-old college student, balancing his apprehension over final exams with his fear of not getting his student loans for next semester.

“Remind us, Lord, that the scary-looking bum, begging for money in the same spot every day (who really ought to get a job!) is a slave to addictions that we can only imagine in our worst nightmares …

“Help us to remember that the old couple walking annoyingly slow through the store aisles and blocking our shopping progress are savoring this moment, knowing that, based on the biopsy report she got back last week, this will be the last year that they go shopping together.

“Father, remind us each day that, of all the gifts you give us, the greatest gift is love. It is not enough to share that love with those we hold dear. Open our hearts not to just those who are close to us, but to all humanity. Let us be slow to judge and quick to forgive, show patience, empathy and love. ”

Amen.

Best to you. May your season be truly bright.

Feel very free forward this article to a Long Island and Stamford business associate or client you know who could benefit from our assistance — or simply send them our way? These particular articles usually relate to business strategy because, as you know, we are Profitability Consultants also specializing in tax preparation and planning for Long Island and Stamford families and business owners. And we always make room for referrals from trusted sources like you.

Warmly (and until next week),

Michael J. Kessler, CPA
(516) 449-2852
(203) 658-5092