Remember when it used to just be Thanksgiving? It was about the parade on TV and seeing Santa Claus at the very end. It was your dad watching football all day while your mother slaved away in the kitchen. It was when we stuffed the turkey because we didn’t worry about salmonella and we certainly didn’t deep fry the thing.
I don’t mind that the holidays have changed. Change is inevitable. And I don’t blame greedy consumerism. Consumerism exists because of… you guessed it, CONSUMERS. People want to shop and stores give them what they want. And I don’t even fault them. If these people are like me, not only do they look for the thrill of the deal but they really genuinely want to get that one gift that they know someone will love.
It’s still about giving, right?
We have Black Friday to give our dollars.
Small Business Saturday to support local shops.
Fadra’s birthday on Sunday where people give her gifts (yes, it really was my birthday).
Cyber Monday for all the online deals.
And then came Giving Tuesday, a global day for giving back.
Here are just some of the ways you can give back that you might not have thought of.
1. Clean out your pantry and take food items to your local food bank.
2. Find a local dropoff for a toy drive for the holidays.
3. Make a Gratitude Gram. Tell someone how much they mean to you.
4. Spend money.
You knew that one was coming, right? And I can already hear the excuses coming out of your mouth.
I barely have enough money to manage my own life.
I’m saving money for Christmas.
I already give to charities.
There are so many causes out there. How can I pick?
Would you give me one thing today? Would you give me 10 minutes of your time to watch this TEDx talk, Michael Norton: How to buy happiness.
Studies have shown that whether it’s $5, $20, or $100, spending that money on someone else in some way, brings you an enormous amount of happiness. So on Giving Tuesday, I ask you to think about it, internalize it, and go give somewhere. Give of your time or your heart or your money. But spend today focusing on someone else and I guarantee that Giving Tuesday will soon sprout Happiness Wednesday.
If you’re looking for causes to support, I put my time and money with charities like ASPCA, Humane Society of the United States, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and [email protected] (all of which recognize #GivingTuesday). Please find, follow, and support your passion!