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.


  1. Not to worry ;-) I'm not at the mall today! And I wouldn't want to be caught dead at a mall this close to Christmas. Stampede, is all I'm saying.

    As I already declared 2011 my Frugal Year, a Buy Nothing Day doesn't scare me at all. It's just funny that the international one is on a Sunday as all shops are closed that day here (I'm from Austria) anyway *lol*.

  2. I completely agree with your post! :)

  3. THANK YOU for posting this. It is nice to see someone who is feeling the same way as I am.

  4. Yay, I am with you on this. Hubby and I have never gone out on major shopping days. We also don't buy gifts for each other for Christmas or Birthdays...just lots of love, hugs and kisses:):)

  5. Nice post with good points. Unfortunately I've already been out and bought yarn. Do supplies for handmade count as a purchase?

  6. I didn't buy anything or go anywhere at all! And, I'm glad I didn't.

  7. Sonya,
    All I can say is AMEN! I could not agree with you more. You can be SURE I was not out today...nor will I be out any day in the madness of the U.S. thoughtless Christmas consumerism sickness. I am actually embarrassed by how we have ruined the holiday. Lucky for me our family does random celebrations during the holidays. Write poems, songs, plays about family members or events. Make family calendars with the MAC, slide shows, knit, sew, give each other gift certificates for babysitting, massages, dinner delivered, pet sitting, car washed...we wrap with newspaper, brown paper bags...well you get my point...we are the anti-holiday celebrators. So YES! You have my vote/support. Thanks for putting it out there! If you don’t mind I will post something similar sometime during the holiday myself!

  8. Well I am far away from a traditional Christmas and Christmas shopping:)) I kinda miss the crowded mall:)) I hated it then, but now after years of absence I am allowed to miss a lil, no?:)) Of course, I can just mingle with the crowd before Diwali if I really mean it... but yes, there's room for improvement whatever type of Christmas we're celebrating:)

  9. Buy nothing day...I like it! I didn't buy anything yesterday. Actually, I spent half of my day at a Trans-Siberian Orchestra concert! Haha, now THAT was a fun way to spend Black Friday. I dislike shopping anyway...going with crowds of spastic Christmas shoppers? Agh, I don't even want to think about it! ;)

  10. I love the idea of a handmade christmas. :)

  11. Exactly my feeling on the subject!

    Do you know that in the US, several major retailers opened their doors at midnight? That means people rushed from their family dinner/reunion, to the stores. Disheartening.

  12. Weird Amiga, I read that somewhere and I still cannot grasp it. Do people actually go shopping at midnight then? Wow!

  13. I'm so with you! I have not shopped Black Friday in years! We also have made homemade gifts for each other in years past, although it was in the lean years, but I do believe that my children learned from it. We have also decided to give the amount that we would have spend on exchange gifts, on Blankets for an orphanage in Asia. Thanks for the post!

  14. Abby, if you ask me, you cannot get any more sustainable than that! And helping those in need! More people with big hearts like yours are needed in this world.