buying local, consumerism, voluntary simplicity

Buy Nothing Day

Buy Nothing DayIf you’ve known me on the Web for a while, you know that I am an advocate of Buy Nothing Day, which is celebrated in the United States on the day after Thanksgiving. I try to live frugally and make careful choices about what I buy. That means that I have tried to purge those items and activities that I have to come to realize that I only buy or do because I am expected to, not because I need or particularly want them. This is why I have been able to do a lot of traveling and I don’t bitch about the cost of healthy food. I drive an old car when I need to drive, I wear my clothes until they are worn out, and I don’t have a large fancy house, and it is usually a mess because I consider my time and energy more valuable than money. I seldom watch TV anymore and I buy used and handmade items when possible.

Black Friday, so-called because it is the frenzied day that will put some businesses back in the “black,” is a dark day to me because it focuses on what dismays me about this society – our priorities are all about stuff and how to get more money to get more stuff. In fact, we are told that to be patriotic, we must participate in the rampant consumerist mindset of this country. I am not alone in my disgust for this focus on money and stuff during the holidays. I know many others who say that they will not be in the stores on Black Friday. And a few very wise folks turned the tables on Black Friday to make it an official holiday for us who are not consumed by the thought of hitting the sales at 3 a.m.: Buy Nothing Day.

This year, I noticed that another day has been established: Small Business Saturday. That’s a shopping day that I can support. Small businesses are in danger of becoming extinct in this country. If you must shop for the holidays, please consider the positive impact that shopping locally has on your community.

Our family decided a few years ago to not exchange presents for the adults on Christmas, thank God. When I do give gifts, I try to give handmade.

The First Friday Indie Market will be downtown Greensboro again on Dec. 3 from 4-9 pm, in conjunction with Greensboro’s Festival of Lights. You’ll find lots of unusual and beautiful gifts at the market and in the shops on Elm St. Please save the money that you would have spent on Buy Nothing Day, and bring it to downtown Greensboro on December 3rd!

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