I hate “holiday shopping.” It stresses me out for several reasons:
- Holiday shopping, in particular, seems to bring out the worst in people. We cut each other off in traffic. We get possessive over stupid products in stores. We trample each other in an effort to get to discounted items. Bah-humbug.
- I suck at gift giving. I always second guess whether I’ve gotten the right gift unless the person tells me what they want. (Please, for the love of God, tell me what you want!)
- If you tell me what you want, I’ll feel like the worst friend or family member ever because I love you. I should’ve known what you want. I can’t win.
- Christmas is no more about Christ than any other day of the year. (Everyday for me. I try, anyway.) I want to peel my face off when people try to force fit the sacred over a secular holiday. It’s about worshipping nature on earth and celestial patterns, people! Jesus wasn’t born under a freakin’ evergreen tree. Santa Claus isn’t his uncle. And there weren’t three wise men. There were wise men who brought three types of gift. Okay. Rant over.
Anyway, anything to make the holidays a brighter time is a huge win for me. That’s why I love #givingTuesday. It puts the shopping rampages and arguments on hold. #givingTuesday shouts, “Do something good for people today!”
Donate to your favorite nonprofit. Volunteer with a local organization. Shop local, eat local, and tip like crazy. These are all great ways to remember love and compassion during this hectic time of year.
I like to financially support these folks.
- KIPP Metro Atlanta Schools– KIPP offers great programming for kids that helps to bridge the achievement gap and catapult students to success!
- World Vision– Your donations support microloans, capital (living and inanimate), clean water, and other essentials for hardworking families in developing nations. You can also sponsor a child and have an awesome pen pal.
- CARE– Another social and economic wellbeing organization with an international presence. They’re kinda a big deal and they’ve got a strong history of transparency.
- Big Brothers Big Sisters– This is my husband’s chapter! Per a parent’s request, youth are paired with long-term adult mentors. It’s a great way for kids to gain access to educational and career guidance from a cool, relatively “unofficial” role model.
If I’m shopping, I give these guys my money and get awesome stuff in return.
- Fed by Threads– You buy clothes composed of local (often organic) cotton that’s made in America. In return, they donate proceeds to feeding hungry families here in the States.
- Ten Thousand Villages Lovely goods crafted by artisans throughout the world–all Fair Trade certified. Take all my money! I always want every single thing that they sell.
- Serrv– This is one of my new favorite Fair Trade shops. It’s got a similar vibe to Ten Thousand Villages but I don’t think that they have brick and mortar stores.
Go do good, people! Restore faith in humanity 🙂