I have to say that the whole idea of Black Friday shopping makes me a bit queasy. Especially when you read about a woman pepper-spraying fellow shoppers so she can have more video games, or seeing a picture on-line of a woman with a shopping cart filled with dolls and toys and reading in the caption that it’s just for one child.
I made it a point to avoid shopping today because I don’t subscribe into the idea of buying things in a frenzy. It’s very unappealing and certainly very unbecoming. My siblings and I have initiated a scheme where we pick names. Certainly none of us needs anything else. We each only buy one present, and then something for our mother. Now we have added a twist and said all the gifts have to start with the same letter – this year’s letter is P. Ohhhh, some lucky family member’s getting a puppy!!!Today, on Black Friday, the outdoor clothing company, Patagonia, ran a full-page advertisement in the New York Times, extolling people NOT to buy their jackets. The gist of the ad is that every piece of clothing they make costs more in resources and energy than they can sell it for. Click on the ad below to see a full-size PDF. This year, I have made the commitment to do the following:
- Buy locally – 62% of the money spent in local businesses stays in the community. There are so many great local stores whose owners are working hard to make them a viable concern.
- Taking a page from an excellent post by Empress of the Eye, I am not going to buy products from giant Asian factories if I can help it. As Jane suggests, get gift certificates for a car wash, a hair cut, an oil change, a house-cleaning or a manicure – things that can’t be outsourced off-shore. Do I really need hundreds of white lights adorning my front porch, or is it a better option to use fresh greens and garlands.
- Not go into debt shopping for the holidays. Nothing goes on the credit card. It’s not to anyone’s benefit to go into debt over the holidays. Spend within your means. That woman I mentioned in the first paragraph… do you think her child’s going to remember that this was the Christmas that she got ten games and four dolls? It’s more meaningful to give a child an experience than an object – especially one that’s been advertised to death.
For the next few weeks, I am going to offer suggestions that fit in with this philosophy. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.