“If the only prayer you said was, “Thank you”, that would be enough.”
“Piglet noticed that even though he had a Very Small Heart, it could hold a rather large amount of Gratitude.”
“Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.”
The time after the traditional autumn thanksgivings has always been the “get ready for winter” time. After the 1924 debut of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade this time became became the start of our “get ready for winter shopping time.” This became the time period when many retailers started turning a profit and going into the “black” and out of the red in accountant’s terms. Thus, the first day of the winter shopping season became known as “Black Friday, and it continues to be one of the biggest business days of the year. “Cyber Monday” came into being in 2005 as a marketing company’s idea to build online business. It has been very successful, taking in nearly 8 billion dollars last year. This seasonal urge to spend is quite powerful in our culture; this move past gratitude into commerce will be a part of our culture for years to come.
There is a way to extend that feeling of gratitude, though, even in the midst of so much commerce. Due in part to year end concerns about tax deductions, about 50% of all charity giving occurs in the last three months of the year. This led to the creation of “Giving Tuesday,” a day of donations to fund good, charitable causes following Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The founders wanted people to focus on extending the feeling of gratitude by following a weekend shopping spree with giving to help others and/or support good causes. The idea quickly took off, and it is now an international movement. It even has its own website- https://www.givingtuesday.org/ which serves as a conduit to connect groups, causes, organizations and individuals. The website has history, tools to get organized, and connections to local movements from around the world. So that feeling of gratitude and giving can go on beyond Thursday, co -existing with the shopping frenzy.
I wish all of you a fun, thoughtful, comfortable and delicious Thanksgiving however you celebrate the holiday. I hope that you get the chance to reflect on people, situations and things for which you can be truly thankful. Even if things are tough, we all have some things, people, memories, and/ or moments for which we can be grateful. Here's hoping we can slow down enough to really acknowledge those things and to discover the quiet pleasure and joy in giving thanks.