Happy Buy Nothing Day!

Happy Buy Nothing Day!

Today is the big day in the US—Black Friday. A day that retail executives relish. A day that is sheer hell for retail employees. Malls are packed, Wal-Marts overflow with slack-jawed, glazed-eyed Americans scooping up bargains in a mindless consumerism daze. It’s a sick and disturbing sight.

Years ago I worked one Black Friday for my mall job (I was in graduate school, completely broke, and in desperate need of a job that I could call out from on a moment’s notice). I was horrified as I watched hordes of people shoving each other, grasping at cheap crap made by the world’s poor, and growling at their fellow humans—all in the name of holiday cheer.

Exhausted and deeply saddened after my shift, I went home and called my parents. I told them that I wouldn’t be buying them anything for Christmas. I would make something for each of them (we do come from a talented family crafts-wise), but I wasn’t going to participate in this consumer frenzy any more. I expected a fight. We do Christmas in my family. To my surprise, I didn’t get it. They thought it was a great idea. I called my sister and told her about it, and we agreed that we would each make gifts for the other members of the family. That Christmas was one of the best ones we have ever had (we’ve never had a tradition of inviting freaks over for Christmas dinner), and we’ve kept up the tradition ever since. Sometimes we buy fun things for each other (I tend to try to find a tacky gift for everyone for laughs) and stocking stuffers, but the big gift remains the homemade present.

Adbusters has been sponsoring Buy Nothing Day as an alternative to Black Friday for quite some time now. I have a different take on it. Today I will go to local businesses and get supplies to make gifts this year. It’s a tradition I recommend trying out.

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7 responses to “Happy Buy Nothing Day!

  1. That’s the coolest Christmas idea I’ve heard in ages (other than avoiding it altogether).

    And as Robyn’s posting her paintings, I think it’s time you started posting some pics of your crafty side, young Sassy.

  2. I’ve already made one of the gifts I’m giving. I don’t have an idea for my mother’s gift yet. That will come over the next week or two.

    Today, I think the Illinois family is going to see the new Christopher Guest movie, which will be very fun, and then we’ll have dinner out somewhere–if we can get all eighte.en people to agree on a spot. Arrgghj

    In the meantime, I will sit here with all the family dogs and cup of coffee and do nothing but swing my feet and read blogs.

  3. Ah yes, Black Friday. This Black Friday my husband and his sister are looking at dead bodies at the Boston Museum of Science and I’m at work writing rejection letters. Ha!

    Hmmmmm. I wonder if yarn will still be on sale tomorrow….I’ve made presents for my nephew and Brother-in-law. Sister’s is in progress. Need to figure out what I’m making for everyone else. I’m getting short on time, so I think it will probably involve chunky yarn….

  4. Make gifts? I don’t understand. Is that something you can hire someone to do?

  5. Dive—Glad you like the idea. It is a good one. I’ll post some pottery pictures sometime when I’m feeling confident. One of these days I’m going to get around to posting something on the Punk Rock Knitters blog I joined.

    Robyn—Somehow I’m not surprised that you are into homemade presents. Good for you! I was at my parents’ house, so I had to be careful which blogs I checked. My parents probably wouldn’t have been amused by Knudsen.

    Carissa—Am getting right over to PRK. I’m sorry you were at the office. Bummer. Miss you too (but not the office).

    Jason—Welcome. Homemade gifts are wonderful. Sometimes they are tacky, but no more tacky than some of the cheap plastic crap that poses for holiday greetings.

  6. You have inspired me to sculpt presents out of dried feces like I saw on the telly once, all my blogging chums are getting ashtrays, no, no need to thank me now.

  7. All right! A feces ashtray. I’ll donate it to the Museum of Contemporary Art here in Boston. You’ll be famous!

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