Financial Friday: Buy Nothing Day!

I once was teaching a classroom full of teenagers about American customs, and I thought that they’d probably had lessons on American Thanksgiving and Black Friday before. I explained, just in case, that we had a day of gratitude followed by a day that was well-known for crazy good deals and sales. I talked about the concepts of consumerism and planned obsolescence, and ended with the radical concept of Buy Nothing Day.

Needless to say, the teenagers were UNIMPRESSED with Buy Nothing Day and thought that Black Friday sounded awesome. I had to laugh at myself for thinking that they’d get behind my goal of reducing consumerism and promoting the idea of making things and spending quality time with people you like.

I don’t truly hate Black Friday – I have a few wonderful memories of getting a ridiculous box of yarn for very little money because of the sales at my local craft store. Still, I do think that when the “reason for the season” after Thanksgiving is all about getting good deals, a bit of the magic of the holidays gets turned into a big old shopping trip.

I still buy gifts for people, especially if I know that they really would like something but are unlikely to get it for themselves, but I do try to spice it up a bit as well: I try to sometimes gift tickets or experience gift certificates, so that someone feels freed to go ziplining or eat at a lovely restaurant because they have the gift certificate. I try to also send Christmas cards… which I need to get started on! I think that sometimes hearing from someone who cares about you is almost more important than getting a thing from them.

At the same time, there is a part of me that wants to make a big deal out of Buy Nothing Day sometime, if I have a friend or family member who wants to sit out the madness on Black Friday… maybe some year my dear ones will be in the mood to hole up with hot cocoa and board games and sit out the doorbusters for a year.

6 Comments, RSS

  1. pierrmorgan November 24, 2017 @ 11:07 am

    I love board games!

  2. CJ November 24, 2017 @ 3:29 pm

    Thanks for the great effort in trying to persuade the young people about the crumminess of consumerism! Glad people still think for themselves! My faith is restored in humanity. Keep the good fight going. Extream Capitalism is a parasite on society and the free market!

  3. blissfullycreating November 24, 2017 @ 3:29 pm

    my parents took in two foreign exchange students a few years back and my mom asked my sister and i to take them out to experience black friday. my siblings and i had gone in the past mostly as a joke, playing twister in the long lines and basically just being (crappy) teenagers goofing around in the stores. we did buy some movies for a good deal and some other low priced things; but it was never a serious venture, always just for jokes and as a fun excuse to hang out with our friends in the middle of the night. the exchange students however took it very seriously. lol they LOVED it. it was kind of sad that out of all of the american adventures we took them on that was probably their most remembered. i’m all for a buy nothing day! just spending my day reading, cuddling, and maybe cleaning up from yesterday’s festivities. 🙂

  4. 3C Style November 24, 2017 @ 7:57 pm

    I think the story with your students is funny yet so sad. I’m all for the “Buy Nothing Day!” Just wrote a post with the same spirit. Have a lovely weekend.

  5. AJ November 24, 2017 @ 10:33 pm

    Amazingly it’s my dad in my family who likes the Boxing Day Sales – I would gladly take the cocoa and board games at home:)

  6. Cindy Anderson November 25, 2017 @ 10:43 pm

    Someday they just might get it. Who knows! Great effort. I would have participated in no shopping. Games n hot chocolate sounds awesome. 🙂

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