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Bah, Black Friday: Celebrate Buy Nothing Day

Black Friday? Cyber Monday? Celebrate Buy Nothing Day instead.

Traditionally, the day after Thanksgiving marks the start of the holiday-shopping season. It’s called Black Friday: On this day, we racing rats are expected to hit the malls and spend, spend, spend until we drop. Consumers are encouraged to start their spending sprees at Thanksgiving Day sales. How nice: Forget helping at the soup kitchen, skip the parades and football games, ditch the family celebrations, the ads seemed to demand. Instead hit the stores and get a jump on giving your cash to retailers.

Am I alone in finding this disgusting?

Let me answer my own question: No.

As has been the case in previous years, Adbusters is promoting its International Buy Nothing Day. On this day, people are encouraged to avoid the malls and to give retailers the slip. Keep your money in your wallet instead.

From the Adbusters site:

For 24 hours, millions of people around the world do not participate — in the doomsday economy, the marketing mind-games, and the frantic consumer-binge that’s become our culture. We pause. We make a small choice not to shop. We shrink our footprint and gain some calm. Together we say: Enough is enough. And we help build this movement to rethink our unsustainable course.

I think that sounds sensible and sane. Why participate in a fiscal fad that adds little that is positive to our spirits and souls?

So what should we do on Thanksgiving (aka Indigenous Persons Day)? Here are some ideas:

  • Enjoy the games, movies and books you already own.
  • Study Native American culture and honor these historically maligned people.
  • Exercise: Take a walk in the park. Better yet, take a walk to the park.
  • Walk through the mall and smile at all the poor consumerist suckers.
  • Do activism—write those letters to lawmakers you’ve put off.
  • Give away something you don’t need anymore.
  • Spend the day volunteering at a food bank. 
  • Take time to actually give thanks.

Of course, the list is only a starting point. There are plenty of productive and fun things to do. 

And if you find one day of mall avoidance to be edifying and satisfying, why not go for the entire holiday season? You know, it is entirely possible to have a happy Buy Nothing Christmas, Chanukah or Kwanza.

As Adbusters says, "Buy Nothing Day is only one day. Our earth, our minds, our communities deserve more than that. So this year, let’s take the fun, passion and message of BND and spin it to inspire a whole shop-free season! Gather family and friends, let’s rise above the consumer binge and celebrate."

This year, whatever winter holiday you celebrate, give yourself a gift and do some good for your community, your nation and your world: Spend the season focused on what really matters.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

clyde donovan November 21, 2012 at 06:57 PM
Ms. Souther can do any or all of the things she lists and no one wil stop her. After that she can mind her own business concerning what the rest of us do. If people want to shop, that's good and it's good for the economy. We don't need people like Ms. Souther telling us what size sodas we can buy, what our kids can eat in school or what we should do on the day after Thanksgiving. Have fun celebrating Indigenous Persons' Day, Ms. Souther, with your American Indian pals, whose ancestors migrated here from Asia. No people are indigenous to America, no matter what your ignorant, politically correct teachers told you.
Natalie Davis (Editor) November 21, 2012 at 08:16 PM
Mr. Donovan, the people you discuss are called Indians erroneously, as a result of Columbus' long-ago navigational error, no matter what your [I'll refrain from using adjectives] teachers told you. Indians came from India, and this continent is not that. Regarding the blog post, it's clearly marked as the author's opinion. It seems the only opinions you wish to see, sir, are yours or ones that reflect your worldview. That is not how this works.
Selene November 22, 2012 at 04:13 AM
Yeah!!! Thanks Regina, thanks for pointing out that our consumerism is out of control....we are a society who values "stuff" over everything else. A sad society indeed. I am so ashamed of our country's history of killing off all the indigenous people of North America,,,the trail of tears is heart wrenching.....let the little kids believe there was a real offering of graciousnes with our native American friends..NOT...tell the kids the truth...we masacared millions of native Americans because we wanted their land and resources.....
Selene November 22, 2012 at 04:15 AM
The traditonal Thanksgiving is offensive.....
clyde donovan November 22, 2012 at 04:59 AM
Maybe you people would be happier living in Iran under radical Musim oppression instead of here in the United States of America. Happy Thanksgiving to all.
Natalie Davis (Editor) November 22, 2012 at 05:19 AM
Happy Thanksgiving to those who celebrate it. Happy Indigenous Persons Day to those who use the observance to celebrate Native American culture and contributions. And to those who commemorate what's known as the Day of Mourning, noting that Thanksgiving preceded the genocide that is fact, may the occasion be meaningful to you.
Michael Brancato November 22, 2012 at 12:48 PM
"Walk through the mall and smile at all the poor consumerist suckers." I can agree with you up until here. Going to the mall on Black Friday seems to me a hell worse than anything Dante ever described. Better to stay home and let the jerks fight with each other over toys and electronics and other crap.
Sick of the trolls November 22, 2012 at 01:28 PM
Yo, "Clyde", Nobody's telling you what size soda to buy. All she's saying is maybe it's time to stop worrying about things that don't matter, like where we can get the cheapest TV, and start expending our energies towards things that do, like our fellow human beings. But I guess you never learned that lesson. Maybe you should self deport, after all, you're not indigenous to this place. Go back to whatever bridge you crawled out from under.
Sick of the trolls November 22, 2012 at 01:29 PM
Hey "Clyde," know what I'm thankful for? The First Amendment. It's that little thing that says I can call you a dumbass. Because only a dumbass would bring Sharia law into a conversation like this. Happy Thanksgiving, dumbass.
David Comora November 22, 2012 at 01:58 PM
Thanks Regina, I've always made it a point to avoid shopping on Black Friday. I've never understood why people willingly subject themselves to the insanity. But I guess a good deal is worth it for most people. Living in a society that is based upon consumerism, its hard to embrace your philosophy, especially when we're hoping to lift ourselves out of the current economic malaise. So, in my duplicity, I plan to be as far away from the malls as possible, but I'm also hoping that retailers ring in record numbers this season!
clyde donovan November 22, 2012 at 02:23 PM
I'm a native American. So are many of my friends and all of my relatives. Thank you for having a celebation for us.
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