#BlackFriday, #BuyNothingDay and #Downsizing the Home

Maybe it was bound to happen. As Black Friday gets crazier and crazier, more people seem to be recoiling from it in disgust. There’s even an anti-Black Friday movement: Buy Nothing Day, an international phenomenon that apparently began in Mexico in 1992, thus preceding the worsening excesses of the (literally) insane consumerism we’ve seen in recent years as the holiday shopping period begins. I just discovered Buy Nothing Day this year and was pleased to know I am far from alone in considering just about any commercial enterprise about the last place on earth that I would want to be on the day after Thanksgiving.

The news reports of this year’s Black Friday were pretty sad: a woman pepper-spraying her bargain-hunting competitors; a man attacked in a parking lot as he headed toward a store opening in the middle of the night; police using tasers to subdue unruly shoppers. To name just a few examples.

So, it was kind of refreshing to read the tweets in the “buynothingday” feed, which was trending on Twitter on Black Friday this year.

The thing I find hardest to understand about Black Friday (which in my opinion was bad enough years ago, when the sales began at 6:00 a.m.), is WHY.

Why is it necessary to open the stores earlier than usual? This just puts shoppers, retail workers, and their friends and families all in the nasty position of having the peacefulness and blessed NON-CONSUMERISM of their Thanksgiving holiday interrupted–no, destroyed–sooner than it needs to be.

Why couldn’t the stores just open when they open? There is not a single reason I can think of to justify this madness.

You would think that people would figure this out for themselves. And apparently millions have. They’ve decided to BUY NOTHING!!!

Here’s what we should all be remembering: WE are in the driver’s seat. THEY have things they want to sell. We may–or may not–want to buy some of those things. If we don’t want to get up in the middle of the night to get good prices on those goods–(and who does, really?!) then we shouldn’t have to, should we?

And the people who work so hard in retail–especially at this time of year–should be able to sleep in at least until the usual time the day after Thanksgiving–shouldn’t they?

Also, most of us already have TOO MUCH STUFF!

So. Maybe some of us should be using those days after Thanksgiving to GET RID OF STUFF instead of buying more.

What a concept!

Here are a couple of articles that ran last week, that will give you encouragement and some good practical ideas about how to go about doing just that, if you want to buck the Black Friday/Cyber Monday tide of consumerism.

http://www.blogher.com/great-pre-holidays-toy-purge-2011-made-me-weepy

http://www.stltoday.com/lifestyles/health-med-fit/health/jane-brody/it-s-time-to-say-goodbye-to-all-that-stuff/article_b7bcc958-70e6-5909-84cb-a1dc848f649f.html

Just think of all the miserable mall moments you’ll avoid.

And isn’t the prospect of a less cluttered home in which to enjoy the holidays a nice one?

I certainly think it is.

JH

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One Response

  1. […] written about that phenomenon before here and here. This year I thought I would offer 10 alternative ideas for things you can do on Black Friday, if […]

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