For those who celebrate it (as I do) the Christmas season fast approaches. Often touted as a ‘season of giving’ it seems that the modern holiday season is more apt to be the ‘season of buying’. Enticing commercials give proclamations of need for this product or that. Stores boldly announce that they carry items for everyone on your list. The list they announce includes everyone you may possibly encounter in your daily life. It truly is the ‘season of buying’ even with the intention of giving. I find this time of year a bit overwhelming in that aspect. I prefer to make memories, share laughs, break bread and partake in merriment with my friends and loved ones.
Now I am not posting this to pass judgement or tell you how you should spend your money or what to buy. I am just sharing a bit of how I have seen the season in recent years. I enjoy aspects of the holidays yet part of me is concerned of the effects of such mass consumerism. That is why I delight in the initiatives and ideas that I have heard of over the years. Giving in a different way. Two examples come to mind. One I have been aware of for several years as it is a campaign put on by Metro Vancouver. The other I learned of the other day as it making its debut in Canada on Tuesday December 3: Giving Tuesday.
For the past several years, Metro Vancouver’s Holiday Campaign promotes alternatives to buying products as gifts. With the burden of mounting garbage and environmental damage that occurs during Christmas, their clever campaign sets awareness to creating memories and being a “green angel”. Using light humour they cast ideas of all sorts. Here is just one example:
I learned of Giving Tuesday in one the daily papers in Vancouver. It announced its arrival in Canada this very year. What began in the USA in 2012 as counter-measure to the consumer buying frenzies of Black Friday and Cyber Mondays is now making its way to countries worldwide. As part of the UN Foundation, Giving Tuesday has now added Australia, Canada, Latin America, Mexico and Singapore to its roster. This global movement is an incredible opportunity for people to give back to charities of all sorts: local, national and international. A time for us to learn of these varied and needed charities and if able, to give to them. There are many ways to help: money, time, spreading the word and so much more. Below I have listed the links to the country-specific websites. Please take a look, learn and if able, give in whatever way you can. I know I will. If you would like to promote Giving Tuesday please use the hashtags #GivingTuesday and #UNselfie. Post pictures of yourself and why you want to give. Post it on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook along with the hashtags. It is good to give back. Giving Tuesday USA – Australia – Canada – Latin America – Mexico – Singapore