Excess food, excess drink, excess shopping seem to have come to mean Thanksgiving. I’ve always (at least for the last 24 years) watched the Black Friday madness from afar, secluded in a rural cabin (which was actually sometimes a luxurious lake house.) This year, the shopping tradition became even more antithetical to the true purpose of the holiday, with retailers throwing open their doors as early as 4 pm on Thursday. I still steered clear, but being in the city, it was hard to avoid traffic. Exhausting, counter-intuitive to the holiday, all this focus on buying seems just plain wrong to me. I recall Carson Kressley, of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, saying “don’t be a bargain whore.” In other words, just because it’s a fabulous deal in price does NOT mean you need it.
Whether you share my sentiments or you love and pine for the hustle and triumph of Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday, I love that this year there is an antidote: Giving Tuesday. Giving Tuesday is a day for giving back, begun by New York’s 92nd Street Y and then picked up and expanded upon by the United Nations Foundation. It’s a day to return to the gratitude behind the holiday.
Research is clear that expressing gratitude and acting altruistically is good for us. Tuning into our blessings improves emotional well-being. We like ourselves more when we give back. We handle stress more efficiently. Jump on the bandwagon today and give to your favorite cause, while boosting your own psyche, preparing yourself to handle the onslaught of holiday stress that began last week. Share a link to your favorite cause in the comment section below. Here’s a cause that inspired my mom to give a gift in honor of me and her other three daughters. Thanks, mom!
Happy Thanksgiving and heartfelt gratitude to all my readers. Thanks for coming back.