Giving Tuesday

Giving Tuesday is tomorrow. If you’re not already receiving emails about it from your charities of choice, you will be:

#GivingTuesday refers to the Tuesday after U.S. Thanksgiving, which is the fourth Thursday in November. #GivingTuesday is a movement to create a national day of giving to kick off the giving season. #GivingTuesday was started in 2012 by the 92nd Street Y and the United Nations Foundation as a response to commercialization and consumerism in the post-Thanksgiving season (Black Friday and Cyber Monday)

I wrote about my hope for “White Friday” in November 2011 as a response to Black Friday. Giving Tuesday is different than what I was thinking, in that it still involves spending money. Here’s what I wrote a few years ago:

“Black Friday has become a sort of universally maligned instance of the worst kind of excessive, obsessive capitalism. Even among those who camp out, or head out early for deals, there’s an acknowledgement that it’s not healthy. For Catholics, especially, who have a special obligation to stand out from secular culture and to avoid the temptation of materialism, I think Black Friday provides an opportunity.

“The hyper-materialism and thirst to acquire things symbolizes the opposite of the faith’s humble, austere, ascetic roots. Why not “White Friday,” then? A day to spend nothing except time with family or community — with the other engines of our culture?

“A Christian’s duty is to conduct himself in a way that his life stands out in an obvious way from non-Christians and the wider culture. White Friday would be a way to begin reclaiming that public duty.”

I was thinking too small. Giving Tuesday makes a lot more sense, and it’s great to see it institutionalized in the way that it is.