Despite what CNN or Fox News will tell you, America is and has always been a great place. And this is even more evident during the Thanksgiving season. I don’t know about you, but Thanksgiving may be one of the greatest days of the year. Of course, it is! Thanksgiving is the day we dedicate to giving thanks. Doesn’t really matter if you are a Democrat or Republican, you still have a lot to be thankful for.
Thanksgiving, as the name implies, is not only about being thankful. Thanksgiving is also about giving. You might think otherwise, but Americans are still “great” at giving. The data shows that Americans are very good at giving.
In 2014, Americans gave a record breaking 358 billion dollars. And this only accounts for charitable giving that is documented. Even adjusting for inflation, 2014 was the most charitable year since 2007. Simple math, in 2014 Americans gave a billion dollars a day. If you didn’t feel good about the holidays already, that ought to warm your soul – or should it?
Even though Americans should be preoccupied with thanking and giving, somehow the holiday has been perverted. Thanksgiving is now known for thanking and giving and… shopping? Huh? Did the name change? Thanksgivingshopping seems a little long! If you were impressed with how charitable Americans are, you should be equally impressed with our ability to spend.
In 2015, American’s spent 10.4 Billion dollars on the day after Thanksgiving – a day that has unfortunately been dubbed Black Friday. Think that’s surprising? That is down from 11.6 Billion in 2014. And none of us would be surprised if that number was even higher in 2016.
What does all of this mean? All dollars being equal, Americans are 10 times more likely to spend than give. That puts Thanksgiving, or whatever the new name should be, in a different perspective. Many of us will be thankful, and many of us will give, and many more of us will tackle three people to get the new 60-inch TV.
Our culture is most evident on a day dedicated to thankfulness and giving. Unfortunately, it has become the opposite – a day dedicated to getting. I know, I know, you are shopping to “give” to other people. If that makes you feel better?
We have seen several “challenges” break the internet. Well let’s start a new one this holiday. Let’s start the Black Friday Challenge. This Black Friday, I challenge you to not spend a dime. Stay at home with your family, give and be thankful. I dare you to challenge as many as you can. Let’s show everybody how great America really is.