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Let's Re-Prioritize Our "Holidays"

Thanksgiving.  Black Friday.  Cyber Monday.  Giving Tuesday.

I think we have our "holidays" in the wrong order.  For  the past few weeks, we have been bombarded with advertisements, holiday  preparation advice, images promoting exceptional situations, and now,  end of year charitable giving requests.  Charitable giving is important,  but should come from our abundance, not from what remains after we have  purchased that which is not necessary to a comfortable life.  Many  organizations depend heavily on "Giving Tuesday" campaigns, and I do not  want to remove the support these worthy causes require to be effective.

Let's make "Giving Tuesday" part of our regular routine, not just a once a year event.  Once you have  attained personal financial security, giving substantially to your  church and other charitable organizations is best placed in your budget before non-essential items like holiday presents.  Set a budget for one-time  requests from the young people at the door asking for donations to their  service project, and consider how to maximize the impact of your gift  to local organizations throughout the year.  It's possible that if the  tax situation would be the same for you and the receipient, then during a  matching donation campaign would be the most effective.  Our financial  gifts should not be an "after thought."  They should be thoughtful, and  part of our overall plan.

Please remember that a personal interaction is always the most meaningful.   The internet based news cycle can make us forget the neighbor whose  spouse died this year.  We forget to look up from our phones on the  sidewalk, and to hold the door for someone else.  Make your donations in  person, if possible.  Greet the cashier at the grocery.  Bring that  neighbor some cookies, and stay a few minutes to chat about the weather.