STUFF ≠ HAPPINESS.
I won't be having a Buy Nothing Christmas, because I like to bake goodies, pass along good books, and there's our family's Christmas pajamas tradition to uphold (because last year's pjs have been outgrown or worn out)... but I will buy as little as possible, and I will definitely participate in Buy Nothing Day this Friday -- November 25th in the United States, and November 26th everywhere else. Actually, I'll probably make it a Buy Nothing Weekend. It's not hard to do. Just don't go shopping! Kind of like the Occupy Movement, except we're showing the big retailers and ad companies that we're smarter than they think we are, and that we as consumers have the power to resist their sales campaigns by not buying into all their empty promises.
This year is the 20th anniversary of Buy Nothing Day, which began as a counter cultural reaction to Black Friday, the busiest shopping day of the year in the United States. Retailers there have successfully linked Thanksgiving with heading to the malls to start the annual Christmas consumerism spree. Black Friday got its name not because people have died in rush stampedes at American big box stores on the Friday after Thanksgiving, but because for many retail outlets, it's the first day in the year that their financial bottom lines turn from red to black ink in store ledgers.
Our family does its best to support the "buy nothing" movement most of the year because we know that with seven billion people on the planet, we all need to curb our appetites and live with just enough. Our planet is finite in its abilities to provide for us and other living things, and extinctions, climate instabilities, pollution and decimation of certain ecosystems caused by human consumption are already doing more damage than we realize to the quality of our existence on earth. So it's high time that we stop using Jesus' birthday as an excuse to make things worse. Maybe we should do more of this: