Column: Maximize greatest joys in life that come from simple matters

It is no accident that some of the most popular holiday songs were penned during the Great Depression and World War II.

White Christmas, Winter Wonderland and I’ll Be Home for Christmas are just three examples dating to 1940, 1934 and 1943, respectively.

I doubt any of these songs will be as long lasting as the traditional carols, but they certainly speak to sacred memories of family and home. Of course durability of these songs has an important economic lesson for our times.

The holiday seasons remind us, in part, how we live a life. Individuals live with some desire toward obtaining happiness, which is termed in economic jargon as “utility maximizing behavior.” This is a complex process, of course, depending upon some level of physical well-being, the happiness of others, of loving and being loved. Beyond that, we also derive happiness in diverse things, from running marathons to stamp collecting, to finding success in our occupations.

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