Give It Up For The Holidays

Americans gave $390 billion to charity in 2016, which was an all-time record. That is highly commendable. Well, until you consider that it took 12 months for that to happen while in only two months we spent $656 billion at retail during the 2016 Christmas shopping season.

So, my question to you is: How much do you really need this Christmas? I am serious. I want you to think about what you have and what you really need. Perhaps there is a better way to celebrate this year that doesn’t require you to receive gifts.

Don’t get me wrong – I am pro-capitalism. But I think that Americans should be giving more to charity. And a lot of people would rather get out of the gift-giving race. A recent survey shows that 69 percent of Americans would skip exchanging gifts if their family and friends agreed to it.

I started a program called Holiday For Charity in 2002 that addresses both charitable giving and stopping the gift-giving race, and once again I’m promoting this program that provides some simple ways to help deserving charities.

A recent survey shows that 69 percent of Americans would skip exchanging gifts if their family and friends agreed to it. The number one thing you can do is ask friends, family and business associates to donate to charity in your name instead of buying you gifts. Here’s why: a lot of people would donate to charity in someone’s name but they don’t feel right doing it unless they have that person’s approval. So, give them your OK and help someone who needs it more than you need a Christmas gift.

I am hereby giving you permission to donate to charity instead of buying me a gift. My two favorite charities are JDRF and National Autism Association.

Here are some other ways you can participate in Holiday For Charity:

  • offer to perform volunteer work in lieu of buying holiday gifts
  • donate directly to charity in lieu of buying holiday gifts for clients and customers
  • use as a starting point for your holiday shopping. Each time someone clicks through from Goodshop to one of the 2,800 plus participating stores (including Amazon, Target, Toys R Us, Sephora, Macy’s PetCo and more), an average of 4% of the purchase price is donated to the shopper’s favorite cause (at no cost to them!). Plus, has more than 100,000 coupons so users can save money while giving back.
  • or, register and shop at, whose merchants donate a portion of each transaction to the charities of your choice
  • use Each time someone searches the internet with Goodsearch about a penny is raised for the charity or school of their choice! You use it exactly as you would any other search engine

Before you give to a charity, check them out on Charity Navigator.

Let’s declare a holiday for charity.

Please let me know if you are participating in Holiday For Charity, and share this post with your friends.

About the author

Harry Hoover

Harry is an author, writer-for-hire, speaker, and publisher of You, Improved. He has written three books: Get Glad - Your Practical Guide To A Happier Life, Born Creative: Free Your Mind, Free Yourself, and Moving to Charlotte: The Un-Tourist Guide.

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