Ahhhhh…the time of year when the demon bear of consumerism is more than a little apparent. As I write this, Sister-Bug is working on one of her many lists to Santa Claus.
I shared this picture on my personal Facebook Page.
It generated a lot of comments; people seem to be incensed by the idea of shopping on Thanksgiving. Naturally. Some people have to work on Thanksgiving – we need emergency rooms and fire fighters and police/ambulance folks keeping us safe. But do we really need department stores or grocery stores open? Not so much.
Do we really need to scarf our pie so that we can be in line at the Mall-Wart at 5:58 PM to get the newest, shiniest, tackiest piece of thing? Do we? Really? I don’t think so. And I won’t be. I will be at home, surrounded by family, friends, and dirty dishes. My kids will be gorging themselves sick on desserts and chasing their aunts and uncles around the house. There is just about a month in between Thanksgiving and Christmas, which means I can have plenty of shopping time and catch some sales without curtailing our Feast of Gratitude OR forcing people to work on a day that is deemed special for family.
You can go to this Facebook Page and add your Pledge! Don’t shop on Thanksgiving. And spread the word.
But what about the spectre of Black Friday? Last year I reminisced about my memories from childhood. It was a nice time, a special day. There is a big push every year for Buy Nothing Day; I support that. Buying Nothing is a great idea. But what if you are just pushing off your shopping? What about a positive alternative? If you are committed to the idea of Buy Nothing Day, it will catch on better if you have something positive to fill that space. Something else to do.
- Host or participate in a Make Day – get together with friends and make presents, cards, treats…play holiday music, eat leftovers, socialize and enjoy. You will end up with presents at the end of the day and you won’t have to mace anyone or get run over by a shopping card stampede in the process.
- Go shopping! But avoid the big box stores and national chains. Shop at your local craft fairs and small retailers. Keep your money local. Buy a coffee drink at a local coffee shop. Talk to the crafters and retailers you encounter. Build local connections.
- Gather with friends at a local coffee shop or bar and start filling out your holiday cards together. Keep your money local, get a holiday job started (possibly finished depending on how long you hang out).
- Have a game day! Have other families over, spice some cider. Get out Clue, Monopoly, and Fluxx. Laugh. Connect. I know we all did that yesterday, but if you can envision leaving the house to fight the mall crowds, you can probably find the energy to go to a small family gathering.
- Trade Dates. If Aunts and Uncles and Cousins are around, parents can take turns watching the pack of kids while their parents have a date. The parents return and trade off. Kids play, adults converse, everyone wins. And parents get a little personal/downtime as this most-wonderful-time-of-the-year kicks off.
What can you add to this list? What do you do on Black Friday? And will you pledge not to shop on Thanksgiving?