Tis the Season to…




Or at least slow down and back up a bit, maybe?

Have you seen this meme that’s been making the rounds?  The image on the left is from the 1978 zombie movie “Dawn of the Dead,” the one on the right, a real-life photo from Black Friday, 2013.

I remember when that movie came out in 1978, a friend came home from the theater shaking his head, and said, “The moral of this story is that, WHATEVER HAPPENS, you must never stop shopping.”

Then 2001 came, and after our nation had been dealt the worst blow we had ever been dealt in our history, what did our President tell us to do, to make things better?

He told us to shop.

So here we are in 2013. Black Friday, which was bad enough (what is the purpose of dragging people out of bed on one of the few days many of them could sleep in, before dawn, in order to start shopping? I never really understood that) has now encroached onto Thanksgiving Day, which until recently was seemingly the one holiday that was impervious to commercial corruption.

But no longer.

I’m not sure what to say about this, except that this phenomenon has all the markings of mass insanity. And that clearly many of us are letting people who don’t know when to stop, run things.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

We can find ways to make the holidays special without having to spend a lot of money, or buying consumer goods in conditions that are unpleasant,  wrongheaded, and frankly even dangerous.

We can find ways to keep the wheels of our economy turning without playing this ridiculous game.

Here are a couple of our past posts with suggestions for ways to reject the madness, and still celebrate the season of giving. And to do it in a way that is kind both to the earth, and to the people living on it.



Happy Holidays, everyone! May this be a peaceful, happy, season of true joy–the kind that has nothing to do with acquiring consumer goods–for you and yours.

Janet Hulstrand is a writer/editor,  writing coach travel blogger, and coauthor of Moving On: A Practical Guide to Downsizing the Family Home

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 […]

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