Sure, Thanksgiving is right around the corner. But after giving thanks and gratitude for abundance with family and friends thousands of people across the country head out to big-box stores, malls and online to shop their way into oblivion on the infamous Black Friday.
Black Friday, one of the biggest shopping day of the year, falls the day after Thanksgiving. This tradition has been growing each year: stores open earlier on Black Friday, while others open on Thanksgiving evening to give shoppers a head start. And as shoppers move more online, retail outlets have tried to keep up, offering Black Friday deals all weekend (and even longer) and extra special offers all season long.
But what if we tried to enjoy the spirit of the season without shopping? Welcome to Buy Nothing Day, a campaign started by AdBusters to encourage shoppers to opt-out of the Black Friday shenanigans.
Buy Nothing Day is an international day of protest celebrated internationally this year on November 27 against excessive consumption and the unrestrained shopping frenzy of the holiday season. The website encourages us to take back our sanity by buying nothing on purpose:
“In a world where every inch of the capitalist system is bullying you into submission, can you resist? When advertisers hound you day and night, can you escape? This Black Friday, a massive, absurd, and destructive consumerist machine will coordinate against you for one simple reason – to convince you to max out your credit card to buy shit you dont need so that a broken system stays afloat. So when they say ‘BUY!’, will you say NOTHING!?
Buy Nothing Day is legendary for instigating this type of personal transformation as you suddenly remember what real living is all about you sense an upsurge of radical empowerment [as you join] Join millions of us in over 60 countries on November 28/29 and see what it feels like. Then, after Buy Nothing Day, take the next step for generations, Christmas has been hijacked by commercial forces this year, lets take it back.”
You can choose to be a more conscious consumer on Black Friday/Buy Nothing Day by opting out of the shopping madness (and dangers!) by taking on these 10 things to do instead of shopping.
1. Get outside! Legendary outdoor gear store REI is closing this year to encourage their employees to get outside, and you should too. Nature is good for our body, mind and spirit, so take advantage of the day off and go wander.
2. If you’re going outside, get yourself to water. Research shows that water can help us feel calm and collected, and can reset our brain after stress.
3. Make a gift: Instead of spending your day shopping for the perfect gift, why not make it? Find crafty ways to recycle, upcycle and make the perfect gift for your loved ones.
6. Practice mindfulness: The holiday season is arguably the most hectic season of all… if you let it become so. Learn some simple mindfulness techniques to help keep you grounded during these months.
7. Plan a trip: Give yourself something to look forward to in the upcoming months by planning a small road trip or an epic adventure.
8. Have a dance party: Most of your friends are probably off work, so why not throw a dance party? Get everybody moving joyfully to boost happiness and celebrate community.
9. Phone home: Whether your loved ones are near or far, give them an actual call, Skype or Facetime to let them know you love them and wish them a happy holiday season.
10. Do NOTHING! When was the last time you allowed yourself to lounge in bed, drink coffee, read the news, or just nap? Taking time off is important to help ourselves truly relax.
If you do choose to shop on Black Friday (or any day), ask yourself a few questions before purchasing an item. Care2 blogger Dave Chameidesencourages consumers to ask10 questions before buying anything:
Whatever you decide to do this Black Friday, choose to do so mindfully to fully engage (or disengage) with the season as you wish!
Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.