It’s the most wonderful time of the year! (Or is it?)

I will never forget the back-to-school commercial that still, to this day, haunts me. I couldn’t even tell you what company it was for. I just remember sitting horrified in front of the tv, dreading having to face the reality of September.

What I do remember, though, is watching a parent push a cart down a back-to-school aisle, skipping and laughing, while one of my all time favorite Christmas songs played in the background- It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year. I just sat there realizing that some marketing guy somewhere thought it would be hilarious to associate parents freedom from their kids for the summer with the best time of the year. And of course, they were right. My mom was dying laughing while I sat there looking as annoyed as the kids in the commercial.

Don’t get me wrong, I loved school and still do. I just didn’t like how it meant no more summer vacation or lazy days at home. I also didn’t like how excited my mom got every time she saw a school bus back on the road (which was basically the ultimate sign of doom). Growing up now, though, I think back-to-school season might just be one of my favorite times of the year, too. Here’s why:

1. Shopping. For. Days.- There’s usually great deals on all the cute fall clothes that make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

2. Fresh school supplies.- I’m sorry, but nothing says “clean slate for a new year” like opening up a band new, blank notebook.

3. Friends.- Going back to school means seeing all of the friends you saw every day over the summer, but now you’re all together in the same condensed area.

4. Less working.- I not only love to go to classes and meet people and see friends, but it also breaks up my days instead of a solid 9-5 work day, every day.

5. Fall!- Fall is not just pretty to look at, but it’s also the best season of the year. Warmer days, cooler nights, sweaters and boots and bonfires. What’s not to love?

So, even though as a child I never liked to see those back-to-school signs and commercials, I definitely appreciate them more now. Instead of thinking of school as a chore and an end to summer, think of it as a fresh start to a brand new year!

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