It’s that time of the year when people, for various reasons, get confused. What I mean by that is America is a more than generous nation. That generosity came in the form of not just money, but sacrifice and blood. But in these post-modern times, we tend to forget what is really important and instead of concentrating on the infinite, we find ourselves surrendering to the corporeal side of our nature. With this in mind, I would like to submit for your consideration a change.
Thanksgiving Day, as its name implies is a day to give thanks for all the blessings bestowed by the grace of God on the United States of America and her people. As we celebrate with family and friends, and sit down at the dinner table, and repast on turkey with all the trimmings, the good conversation - no politics or religion - the laughter and reminiscing, we look forward to the coming Christmas holidays and the reflection and joy of the season of peace. But like all good things, there will usually follow events and situations in life, temptations that can lead to our forgetting those golden moments when our better angels rose to the surface.
There is a tradition that has become a byproduct of Thanksgiving Day, and it has manifested itself in a way that I believe has caused many of us to have forgotten the true meaning and reason for the season. Following the turkey dinner and after the guests have departed, and Thanksgiving Thursday comes to an end, as the clock strikes midnight on this special day, Black Friday steals into the lives of the earnest shopper who’s looking for big deals and sales on all sorts of things.
Black Friday with all its trimmings, commotion, and got-to-have-it hysteria sets in and seems to dispel the aura of the previous 24 hours. People rush to the retail outlet of their choice that advertises the best money-saving sales, and purchase presents for all those on their Christmas list and maybe a little something for themselves. But Black Friday usually spills into the weekend, because most retailers will extend their big blockbuster sales for those shoppers who were unable, for whatever reason, to take advantage of Friday.
As the weekend comes to a close, a new day appears on the horizon with the rising sun. Cyber Monday has arrived, and the computers, smartphones and tablets, and any other device that will patch you into the internet come alive, and those same people, and others who preferred to avoid the pandemonium of Black Friday and the department stores, sit before that gateway screen to nirvana, visit their favorite websites and then pound those keys and buy, buy, buy.
As previously stated, all good things come to an end, it’s now Tuesday. But wait Black Friday and Cyber Monday are still breathing and are alive. The magnanimity of those same retail outlets and online sites who understand the plight of the people are willing to extend further their big giveaways. What they have accomplished in their ‘good deeds’ however is that they have imposed their material offerings on what the real reason for the season is all about.
Giving Tuesday is the one day that is set aside for you to donate to worthy causes. Charities that serve the less fortunate souls, the poor, destitute, sick, and the lonely, who for whatever reason find themselves at this special time of the year in unfavorable conditions, some might even think forsaken by God. And of course, there are the politicians, who believe theirs is a worthy cause, and other organizations and special interest groups.
In the beginning of this article, I offered for your consideration a change. and here it is. In the future following Thanksgiving Thursday, we change Giving Tuesday to Giving Friday, and then Black Friday is changed to Black Monday, and Cyber Monday to Cyber Tuesday. If it isn’t apparent to you as yet why make this change, it’s a matter of what is the right thing. Why have the giving part as the last day in the cycle, when people have spent their money on gifts and the like, possibly exceeding their budgets, and having nothing left to offer those in need.
According to tentative estimates by Adobe Analytics, the 2019 figure for purchases online for Black Friday is $7.9 billion, up 19.6% over 2018. On Thanksgiving Day $4.2 billion in sales, up 14.5% from 2018 have been estimated. Retail outlets, which are referred to as brick and mortar stores, saw a substantial decrease in customer traffic, and as of this writing, figures were not available. On line sales for Cyber Monday totaled $9.4 billion.
Giving Tuesday figures were not available as of this writing. Donations for 2018 were approximately $400 million. Based on figures from 2015 through 2018, and the rate of increase which averaged 50%, hopefully, 2019 will reach $600M for Giving Tuesday. Notice the disparity in dollars however: material things vs. charitable giving, what people spent their money on in the billions vs. what they donated in the millions. Although this change might not even increase the giving, I think it would enrich our lives and spread a message of hope, joy and better days ahead to people in need, and it’s just the right thing to do.