After being bludgeoned nearly to death by the exhortations to “BUY NOW!” that come with Black Friday, Local Saturday, and Cyber Monday, I think we all deserve a break today. Being encouraged to ditch our loved ones and risk indigestion immediately following our turkey dinners to be the first ones in line for a flat screen tv (50% OFF!! BUY NOW!!) rather destroys the magic of Thanksgiving for me. I think that Thanksgiving should be about friends, family (biological and chosen), food, and gratitude. Ideally, after a proper Thanksgiving dinner, there should be a nap, perhaps a board game or a movie, and many hands making light work of the dishes. And after that, perhaps more pie.
The frenzy to GET THE BEST DEAL! BUY MORE! SPEND MORE! baffles me (and I work in retail). What also baffles me is that Giving Tuesday comes last. After Black Friday. After Local Saturday. After Cyber Monday. When you are entirely shopped out, and your wallet is empty, and your credit cards are maxed out, finally there comes the day when you should donate to your favorite charities and non-profits. It saddens me that this day comes last, after we’ve already been encouraged to spend and spend and spend. What is left for Giving Tuesday? Goodness knows that it doesn’t get the publicity of Black Friday. I’ve never heard of anyone being trampled to death in the mad rush to donate to their local food pantry. Nor have I read news reports of computer servers crashing from too many charitable contributions at once. Wouldn’t it be great if our collective generosity could reach such levels?
When I get home tonight, I’m going to donate to one of my favorite non-profits: Few For Change. My lovely guy is a board member of this group, which helps indigenous kids in Panama stay in school. If I have the money, I’m also hoping to do a few other donations, one for an environmental cause, and another for women’s health. We don’t have to wait for Giving Tuesday to donate to our favorite causes, but it sometimes helps to have a little reminder in the form of a holiday or a hashtag. A donation doesn’t have to be monetary, either — you could volunteer time, or just do a random act of kindness for someone. How are you observing this #GivingTuesday?