Monday, November 24, 2014

Forego Black Friday, Cancel Cyber Monday, Go with Giving Tuesday!

Mappy Thanksmaskuh!

It's November, possibly one of my favorite months out of the calendar year. The weather is cooler in most parts of the country (annoyingly the same in Florida), but not quite freezing. Halloween is over, the candy has all been eaten or "donated" in our case, and there's a stillness in the air. That calm before the storm so to speak, a quiet month of reflection on gratitude and all that truly matters. The sense of impending fulfillment that can only come from watching your crazy relatives do what they do best, drive each other crazy! Thanksgiving has long been my favorite holiday, because it was the simplest of all the holidays. No muss no fuss, just food, family and lots of love.

(*Best Holiday movie EVER!)


Have you strolled the aisles of any of your local chain stores lately? They barely cleared away the halloween costumes before bringing out the cheesy tchatchke's or tacky blow up Santa's you find on every lawn around the holidays. To be clear: I AM a lover of Christmas and decorating, although I've learned to streamline it over the years. Quality decorations over quantity. More hand made with love, less cluttered crap. I don't enjoy my home looking as though I cleared the X-mas clearance aisle at Walmart. I use this opportunity like any other to decorate our home with crafted items we've made while creating lasting memories, or anything passed down throughout the years that bring fond memories of holidays past.

I'm fully aware of the morbidity of what actually took place on the first Thanksgiving, and am trying to figure out ways to convey a positive message from this celebration to our boys over the years, but how when the holiday is being phased out completely?

Over the years I found it strange that some people would actually put up their Christmas tree on Turkey Day. Call me crazy but growing up in New York we would buy our X-mas tree the first days of December, you know the actual month of the very holiday we were celebrating. Nowadays I even see in some homes the tree is already up and decorated tinsel and all, in family Thanksgiving Day pictures. 

It's bad enough consumers can't wait a whole evening for the infamous "Black Friday" sale that they had to move it up to midnight the night of Thanksgiving! I find this appalling on a lot of levels.. Not only do these companies plaster their shelves with merchandise in the month of October, but they require their workers report for duty at midnight on the day of a National Holiday! How far have we come from the family unit in this country that we feel the need to rush through turkey carving, so we can hurry up and get to the matter at hand... Consumerism! How much value do we put on "family" if were constantly sending the message to our children that the "almighty sale" is more important than spending time with your loved ones. I see more  Black Friday waiting line selfies on social media than I do family portraits.

Is it ever really that serious? Do we really HAVE to have that electronic device or toy so badly that we are now willing to sacrifice the peace from one holiday in order to rush into one that comes with presents? A little respect for the bird people! A little more presence perhaps and less presents. This poor turkey gets no love! He lost his life so that you can stand in line at Target with hundreds of other people waiting for a toaster oven? Shouldn't we at least pay homage to this foul by way of a tryptophan induced semi-coma?

To make matters worse, they've added Cyber Monday! In case you didn't get enough on Friday and still have something left in your 401k, there's still time! Except it's even better, you don't have to leave home at all, you can spend your retirement right here online! Thanksgiving is now the "Cinderella" of holidays. I truly feel as though this holiday is getting the raw end of the deal, being phased out completely for its lack of oh I don't know, REVENUE??? Can't we just enjoy this holiday and all that it brings? There will be plenty of time for more holiday festivities in December, it lasts all month long! Societies are built around MORE. More of EVERYTHING. More money, more cars, homes, devices, toys, vacations, clothes and jewelry, etc... More of everything, except time. All of these easily become distractions from more important matters. Time cannot be bought, sold or replaced.

I'm relieved by a  growing trend to help offset all of this holiday madness and get back to what really matters, giving back! Giving Tuesday is the day after Cyber Monday, it is set for December 2, 2014 this year and if you haven't participated before, now is the time! Giving Tuesday is a global day dedicated to giving back to all sorts of causes that have partnered up with this movement.

You can find hundreds of your favorite organizations partnered up with Giving Tuesday and donate to the charity of your choice. Sunflower Creative Arts is one of the many on the partner list and a wonderful way to give back to a local center contributing to the future of our community, our kids!  You can find out more about #GivingTuesday here. Join today and post an #UNselfie this holiday season! Sunflower is dedicated to protecting the freedom of childhood. I invite you to give the gifts of Play + Nature + Art  on #GivingTuesday bymaking a donation to Sunflower's Operating Fund.

There are many ways you can give back. Giving of your time is one of the most rewarding of all on both ends. If you can't afford to just donate freely to all the charities that call to you, then you can make it your business to give something much more personal, your time. Sometimes the call to service is there, but we don't always know how to answer it. That's what sites like Volunteer Match are for! They partner good people with good causes. I found them while trying to volunteer at local soup kitchens with the boys last year, which was more difficult than I anticipated because most of them were fully staffed. If you are sure you would like to volunteer on some level and give some of your time, all you have to do is visit their website, they will provide a list of organizations in your area that need volunteers and even provide you with their contact information and specifications on what that particular organization is in need of. 

Whatever your traditions or holiday celebrations consist of, I hope you'll consider giving back this season in whatever way you can. Take time and enjoy company instead of credit cards, people instead of presents, and giving instead of getting. 

Happy Holidays!

Essentially Yours,


No comments :

Post a Comment