Over the years, Black Friday, the day that people run over each other to score big deals in stores, has in many ways taken away from the positive aspects of gift giving. This shopping tradition had also seeped into Thanksgiving Day, resulting in some people camped out in lines at store entrances to get blockbuster deals, rather than spending the day enjoying time with their families.
It’s good to see that this year many retailers including Target, Costco, Best Buy, Bed Bath & Beyond and Kohls have decided not to open their stores on Thanksgiving Day. Some retailers like REI are closed on Black Friday, pay their employees and encourage them to spend time with family and friends the entire weekend. At GSSA, we applauded companies like REI.
In this article we will provide you with 7 positive ways that you can give back and pay it forward for the blessings in your life by making the entire Thanksgiving weekend, including Black Friday, a weekend of gratitude. Of course, we will add in a “secret mission/acts of kindness” twist to each one for you to consider.
Here are 7 ways to spend your Thanksgiving weekend with a GSS Agent secret twist:
Spend time outdoors with family and friends - If you live in a warm weather climate, spend time outdoors with family and friends, on a walk, hike, bike ride, picnic, etc. Secretly, plant a tree or garden in memory of a lost loved one that will help keep good memories of them in your heart forever.
Donate Used Items - Make room for the new gifts you will receive during the holidays by cleaning out your garage, closet, or storage unit and donate the stuff to Goodwill or another non-profit organization. If you haven’t used it or worn it in a year, you don’t need it! Secretly regift that new gadget or item you got last year that you never opened to someone who might use it.
Get started on your Holiday Card/Letters - In addition to your regular card list, send some secret notes of encouragement to your Pastor, boss, hairdresser, mail person, doctor, or someone else to brighten their spirits. And if you are so inclined, slip a few dollars or a gift card into an envelop that might have spent on Black Friday.
Plan to donate on Giving Tuesday – Plan to donate to your favorite charity on national Giving Tuesday, November 30th. While it’s good to support charities throughout the entire year, just like retailers on Black Friday, many charities get a lot of their support between Thanksgiving and Christmas. As a twist, GSSA style, give the money secretly, if you can, or don’t look to take a tax write off for it! Trust us, it will come back to you many times over.
Bake Cookies or Make Homemade Gifts – Make cookies or homemade gifts with your family and give them to the homeless or drop them off at a homeless shelter or nursing home. Secretly, leave some of those delicious baked goods in your office break room the Monday after Thanksgiving.
Connect with a Long Lost Friend – Many of us have great memories of long lost friends or family members that we have lost touch with who had a positive impact on our lives. Search Facebook or the internet. Find one and reach out to them. Believe it or not, they would love to hear from you! Before or after contacting them, secretly send them some movie tickets, a bottle of their favorite wine or something you know they would love.
Go to a Museum or other Local Attraction – Do something fun to encourage your cultural creativity. Visit a museum or art exhibit, some of which may be free on Black Friday. Then, secretly leave or give a donation above the ticket price to help support the organization.
If you don’t like any of these suggestions, we recommend another Black Friday alternative, “Buy Nothing Day.” It is a protest to Black Friday consumerism started in Canada in the early 1990s that has spread to more than 65 countries. At least, you will be refraining from going along with the herd consumer mentality for one day. Happy Thanksgiving weekend!