More than two-thirds of Americans participate in Thanksgiving consumerism, despite the fact that 72 percent believe stores should be closed for the holiday, a survey by the John Templeton Foundation finds.
The Templeton Giving Survey found that despite the growing popularity of Giving Tuesday, a global day dedicated to giving that signals the start of the holiday season for many, just 18 percent of respondents were familiar with the "holiday," compared with 93 percent who knew what Black Friday was. At the same time, the survey found that 80 percent of millennials said there should be a holiday focused on giving back to those in need. Compared to Gen Xers (48 percent) or baby boomers (45 percent), millennials (55 percent) also were more likely to describe themselves as more grateful than the average person.
According to the survey, respondents who think about what they are grateful for on a daily basis were twice as likely to say they give more than 10 percent of their income to charity than those who don't (28 percent vs. 11 percent), while the more grateful respondents also gave more to charity and volunteered more hours over the past year.
"Holiday consumer spending is climbing each year," said Henry Timms, founder of Giving Tuesday and executive director of the 92nd Street Y, "but Giving Tuesday allows consumers to focus on the true meaning of Thanksgiving."