I recently ran into a store to pick up something for one of my children. As I was checking out, the owner sweetly mentions to make sure I check out all of the new merchandise they had gotten in for Christmas. I literally froze in my tracks. My first thought was how my Google spreadsheet of gifts to buy had not been updated for 2017. But I just commented, “I’m not sure I’m quite ready for that!” Halloween has now passed. Though the sugar eating continues, I have already found the children laying on the floor circling their wish items in the toy catalogs. The calendar is speeding by, and the holidays are coming just around the corner.
I’m glad the concept of printed toy catalogs still exists. However, it is a different kick off to the holiday season than it used to be. The internet, with all the magic of technology, has changed how we transition from eating our turkey to celebrating on December 25th. Stores now have midnight and hourly specials to help lure people into their physical locations. Why? So much shopping has moved online. Throughout Thanksgiving week, the emails will pour in for all of the free shipping and discount specials. We now have a new holiday – Cyber Monday. I’ll admit, the first time our IT Director emailed us corporately about Cyber Monday, I thought he was just trying to communicate how we all had shopping on the mind. I later discovered that it is now a real thing.
The next new holiday is something I find even more intriguing. The Tuesday after Thanksgiving is Giving Tuesday. If you aren’t familiar with this holiday, it should make you think twice because isn’t this holiday season supposed to be truly focused around giving? However, much rotates to all of the to-dos and not true giving. However, Giving Tuesday is a day focused on the charitable giving season. The day uses the magic of social media and the hashtag #GivingTuesday to communicate ways to financially and physically give back. GivingTuesday.org reports that more than $177 million was contributed just last year.
I hope that as much as we all participate in Cyber Monday and the other days coming up, we can find a way to participate in Giving Tuesday. For all of our churches and organizations that we serve at ACST, I hope they will serve up ways for those in their congregations and communities to participate as well. The best way is to find a particular goal to focus on during this time. It could be a certain financial goal, especially with a donor match, or a project to which people commit time. The key is that in this season of giving, we truly do give.
Remember, if you don’t know what to get the people who insist they don’t need anything, you can always wrap up what you did in their honor on Giving Tuesday!
Is your church participating in #GivingTuesday? Our eGiving Coaches have free, customizable resources to help your fundraising efforts. Just give them a call or schedule a time to chat.