If the idea of fighting over cheap towels on Black Friday or pretending to work while actually shopping on Cyber Monday just depresses you, here's something that may bring back the holiday spirit: Charitable groups have dubbed tomorrow "Giving Tuesday." As NPR optimistically puts it, the idea is "to get people excited about giving in the same way they might get excited about buying a big-screen TV at a bargain price." It was dreamed up by New York's 92nd Street Y.
Basically, it's a jumpstart to the holiday giving season, with groups like Mom It Forward planning volunteer projects and activities like a Twitter party, where attendees will talk about "how you can really make a difference over the holiday season," says the group's founder. More than 1,400 groups are participating, and even big retailers like JC Penney are planning service projects and fundraisers. The idea, says one of the organizers, is to get people talking about giving and "sharing that passion with others," rather than "sitting alone at their kitchen table at the end of the year making those end-of-year contributions." (Read more holiday shopping stories.)