GivingTuesdayI don’t know who started naming days and suggesting what you do on those days (Black Friday, Cyber Monday) but someone at some time coined today as Giving Tuesday.I always struggle with such ideas. They feel contrived and I feel like someone is trying to tell me what to do. But after listening to some programs over the weekend about Gratitude, I have a very different take on it today.

It is well known how most everyone gets stressed out over Christmas. If it isn’t family stress, it may be present buying stress, or at the very least traffic slowdown stress. But what you may not know is that having gratitude changes your brain chemistry and makes you a happier person more able to dispel stress.

It has also been shown that gifts of more things rarely make people happy or are very memorable. Rather gifts that come from the heart, or things done together are well received and have a more long lasting impact.

Organizations that help serve the LGBTQ community truly need your donations this year.Since same-sex marriage has become the law of the land, many folks have stopped paying attention to all the great work that still needs to be done. Issues that rank at the top of my list, are groups helping homeless queer youth, AIDS/HIV prevention and treatment, care for LGBTQ seniors, and work towards state and national non-discrimination protections. What are at the tops of your list?

So, why not use #GivingTuesday to put these ideas together for you and give donations to worthy non-profit organizations or other entities? You will actually feel good by giving a gift out of gratitude for what one organization or another is accomplishing. It will make you feel better, and help that organization! And consider gifts and memberships for all the folks on your holiday list. A family membership to a museum for example, is a gift that can create a year of family experiences that will be remembered far longer than some easy to buy toy or gadget.

Allow gratitude to bring you some happiness and start the holiday season off less stressed know you have done great things with these gifts that help so many.

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