April 15 is Tax Day in the United States. I confess that I have dreaded this day. I am terrible at math, and not even a big fan of numbers, especially when they are dollar amounts that reflect how much is going out compared to how much (or little) is coming in. I procrastinate preparing my taxes every single year.

Even as one of the Directors here at Spirituality and Practice, I had never thought to apply spirituality to taxes. I had always considered April 15 a kind of “blackout day” in my spiritual calendar, a cheat day when I and everyone else was allowed to slump into our worst selves: a day of permission to be grumpy, depressed, complaining, distracted, numb, and/or angry.

But I find that Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat’s Tax Day Ritual has changed my thinking and my practice. The article is a really good companion for Tax Day, and an effective antidote to grumbling.

I love how, like the Psalms of the Hebrew Bible, the ritual invites both praise and lament. The Brussats invite us to ritualize – and itemize – both our gratitude and our sorrow over government spending.

I particularly love the invitation to write on the memo line of your check, “Please do better things with my money” — an utterly charming practice, a great idea, and a firm but genteel way of expressing dissent and processing some emotion.