The start of the holiday season is often met with greed with Black Friday. This year start it off in a more giving and mindful way with GivingTuesday.
Several years ago I was at my family’s Thanksgiving dinner. We had finished up and were sitting around chatting. A few family members were unable to be with us or had to rush away because they worked retail and their holiday was cut short for Black Friday.
Some of the remaining family decided to go to Walmart for Black Friday, can we really call it that when it starts on Thursday? This year some Paula Deen product was the big item and I think pillows, it was something I found a bit strange.
Our family told us that people were ripping open boxes before the sale started and fighting. The cops had to be called and it was told chaos. All for some dishes and pillows!
And this was pretty mild as Black Friday stories go, people lose their lives each year. It’s not how we should start the holiday season. No deal is worth all of that.
This year crowds of people shopping creates another problem. We all need to be keeping our distance and big crowds don’t allow you to do that. Experts are really worried about what Thanksgiving week may do to an already terrible situation.
I do take advantage of some of the deals but mostly online, not on Thursday and in a respectful way. However, there is so much more to the holiday season than just gifts and deals. Giving back should be a big part of the holiday season.
The idea for GivingTuesday was born from this. Founded in 2012, #GivingTuesday inspires millions of people to give back and support causes they believe in.
Giving back and showing you care about others is the best way to start off the holiday season. It gets you more into the holiday spirit and can even help with stress.
How to Give Back on GivingTuesday
Give Back While Shopping For Gifts
One easy way to give back all year, especially while buying Christmas gifts, is with GivingAssistant. It’s a cashback site that allows you to earn money back while also giving to causes you care about.
You sign up for an account, choose a charity to support, decide what percentage to keep and what to donate, and start shopping.
You can change how much you give back at any time, on GivingTuesday you could give back more or even 100% to show more support.
Buy Gifts That Give Back
Fair Trade gifts are a great way to get wonderful gifts while helping people. Fair Trade certified products make sure that the people making your products are treated with respect, have safe working environments and are given a fair wage.
One great way to support Fair Trade and artisans is with Globein. It’s a subscription box that makes a great gift and helps support artisans all over the world.
Donate to Causes as Gifts
Every year my brother and I donate in each other’s names to causes. We decided that we get plenty of stuff and that this was a more meaningful and useful gift to each other.
One of my favorite charities to use for gifts is the World Wildlife Fund. You can “adopt” an animal for someone and they get information all about the animal their gift is helping. My husband has done this for me and I’ve also done it for my brother and my mom.
Shop Small Businesses
This year more than ever small businesses are struggling. One industry that is really taking a hit is the restaurant industry. If you have someone on your list that loves getting carry out consider giving them a gift card to their favorite restaurant. Ask if you can tip your server if buying it in person, they are struggling right now as well.
You can also shop on Etsy to support small businesses. It’s a really easy way to support people without leaving your home. If you do shop from Etsy be sure to go back and leave a review after you get your items. I own an Etsy shop so I know just how hard it is to get people to leave reviews and as I shopping I use those reviews to make sure it’s a good shop. It’s a simple step that goes a long way to supporting small businesses.
Give Back with Random Acts of Kindness
Giving back doesn’t have to cost money or even a lot of time. Make the commitment this GivingTuesday to do random acts of kindness throughout the holiday season. They can be as big or as small as you’d like.
If you need some ideas, check out my list of 50 Random Acts of Kindness.
No matter how you decided to support GivingTuesday you can feel good about giving back and starting off the holidays in a more giving and mindful way.
Click here to tweet showing your support for GivingTuesday.