Awww Thanksgiving!  What a wonderful day to fill up on my favorite foods, see my family, and then lay around on the couch watching football with my husband.  In my family, the Thanksgiving festivities last from Wednesday to Sunday because we must travel to my in-laws for her famous turkey and roast beef and then to my family for another turkey dinner. After our first feast, we try to decide if we want to face the Black Friday crowds that start the “hectic holidays”.  After Thanksgiving, I usually find myself complaining about our hectic schedule, how I ate way too much, that I hate to face holiday shopping crowds, and all the exercising that I will need to do to work off all that delicious food I had the privilege of eating. 

Me and my oldest daughter
heading to the in-laws for Thanksgiving


Is it my imagination or is “Thanksgiving” becoming “Selfgiving”?  If you share a similar storyline as the one above, you may experience a little Thanksgiving hangover from being overindulgent.  What really got me thinking about my own behavior was a conversation my husband and I had one morning this week as we were making preparations for Thanksgiving.  As we were discussing our busy week of travel, we realized that we were complaining and being a little ungrateful.  My husband, being the wise man that he has always been, looked at me and said, “You know we are a culture addicted to comfort”. That statement definitely stuck with me and has made me realize that I need to do a little self reflection about what is really important. 

Gratitude and Giving

During my time of self reflection, I came across a blog by Kait Sheridan about sharing a Gratitude Gram with others.  As I read her blog, Kait shared some great studies about the importance of gratitude. In a study published by Greater Good Science Center in Berkeley, California, Dr. Robert Emmons found that expressing gratitude in your daily life can:
add seven years to your life,
improve your mental and physical health,
make you more generous!

Since it is the advent of the holiday season, we should all begin searching for ways to express our gratitude. In my opinion, one great way to do this is by GIVING to others on #GivingTuesday!

What is #GivingTuesday?

According to NPR, #GivingTuesday began in 2012 by a nonprofit organization in New York City called 92nd Street Y.  The specific goal of #GivingTuesday is to encourage organizations, schools, businesses, and individuals to donate to charities and participate in community service projects. Since its inception, #GivingTuesday has really taken off and offers a lot of great ideas of how we all can give to others. What I love, as a school counselor, is that we can teach our students that giving to others is more satisfying than always receiving.  Promoting #GivingTuesday in your school is a great way to make giving a part of your school culture.

If you are interested in learning about #GivingTuesday and how to use it in your school, check out the following videos from the #GivingTuesday website.

#GivingTuesday Ideas

Do you or your students want to participate, but don’t know how?  The #GivingTuesday website provides some simple and easy ideas to get started.

1.  Send an #UNselfie

What is an #UNselfie? 

Take a picture of yourself with a caption of how you and/or students will help others this year.

Share it on your social media to spread the word.  Here are some examples of an #UNselfie…

Download the kit for more information!!

#UNselfie Kit

2. Share suggested tweets about #GivingTuesday with your followers.


 Wondering what #GivingTuesday is all about? It’s a global day of giving for everyone. Join @GivingTues:

#GivingTuesday is a day for everyone, everywhere, to GIVE in their own way! Learn more about @GivingTues:

We’re redefining giving this holiday season! Join the #GivingTuesday movement & make a difference in your community.

It’s almost #GivingTuesday! TELL US @GivingTues: What are you doing to give back?

What is #GivingTuesday? A day TUE give! Get it? #humor



 Happy #GivingTuesday! It doesn’t matter how much you give Or what you give Only that you give

Happy #GivingTuesday! Celebrate by donating to any of our amazing @GivingTues partners:

Help spread the word! Share the ❤ It's #GivingTuesday:

Join the worldwide celebration of #GivingTuesday! Follow @GivingTues and learn more:

Today is #GivingTuesday! TELL US @GivingTues: How are you making a difference in your community?

Have you taken your #GivingTuesday #UNselfie? Tell us why you’re part of this global day of giving! Take an #UNselfie and share what you’re doing this #GivingTuesday w/ @GivingTues!
Social Media Kit

3.  Participate in Giving Tuesday Events.

4.  #ThankYouWednesday Webinar.

5.  Involve your students by teaching gratitude and giving!!

Check out this great informational video about how to use #GivingTuesday as a leadership and community service tool in your school.

Need a lesson plan?  Here is a nine week lesson plan you can use if you have a peer helper group.

Nine Week Lesson Plan on Giving

Please share your #UNselfies with me by following me on Twitter @c_morton!!

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