25 November 2011

Black Friday or Buy Nothing Day - You Choose



I hear that Holiday season starts today. Are you all excited? Maybe I won't even get any comments here today because you have all rushed off with the traffic of Black Friday, who knows.

In the past few years I have been steadily building a full size revulsion to Christmas shopping. I have been gradually getting sick of the thousands of people around me in the shopping center. My husband and I have been trying to pull this event earlier in the year so that we make sure we have all presents for relatives and friends in time to send them around the world and yet to miss the hustle and bustle of Christmas shopping.

But I am sick of it. Really. Truly. Christmas is supposed to hold different values than that implied by money. It is so ironic that this specific holiday, that is about the birth of Jesus, about family and kindness, has been so much exploited as to reach to the level of the event with the highest economic impact in the year.

The meaning of Christmas seems to have been lost in heaps of purchases. That is why this Christmas I would like to challenge you. And the challenge starts today. Celebrate Buy Nothing Day! Unshop, unspend, unconsume!
I know you can do it. It's not that you will change something big in a day. Nothing much apart from the way you think. And it is worth changing sometimes. This experiment could turn out to be life changing for you. If you buy nothing for just one day, you may realize the true value of watching how you spend.

I know I can do it, and I will. Unshop for a day. I would love to unshop every day.  I would love to have a handmade Christmas, would you? How about a handmade-gift Christmas? One that would bring the family closer in the process of making the gifts and that will inject more meaning to the holiday, more warmth and closeness.

In the same line of thoughts, I wanted to let you know that I will not be compiling Christmas gift guides this year in a bid to walk the talk. I am aiming for a No New Gifts Christmas at home and I would love to:
  • Make gifts
  • Bake or cook consumable gifts
  • Give the gift of my service like give a massage, babysit, clean a house, mow lawns, etc.
  • Donate to charity
  • Volunteer at a charity
  • Have a shared experience with my family and loved ones
  • Create something, together, instead of consuming
  • Give to others things I don’t need (a good sewing machine, etc.)
  • Find gratitude for what I already have.
So, if you want to see the world changing for the better, slowing down, unwinding, relaxing and hopefully getting at least slightly more organic and bearable, I suggest that this holiday season you make a change from consumerism. Be the change you want to see in the world.