Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Something to think about... Buy Nothing Day, November 25th/26th

No matter what you believe, here's something worth considering:

Good question, no?

From Hallowe'en onward, 'tis the season when the malls do everything in their power to invite us in, suck us in, and try to part us from our money by convincing us that we CAN buy happiness for our loved ones. But they can't fool us. We know that, in most cases,


And we realize that running to the stores and grabbing something off the shelves isn't as deeply appreciated as the time, attention, and creativity that we can gift our loved ones with instead of stuff. We also know that if we find creative ways to show that we love and value the special people in our lives -- whether it be by giving experiential or edible gifts, offering our talents and abilities, supporting a charity in someone's name, or recycling old things into new presents -- we're being kinder to everyone who depends upon the earth's resources for life... basically, all living beings.

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:

For more information, posters, and great ideas to de-consumerize Christmas, check out www.buynothingchristmas.org. For more on Buy Nothing Day, see www.adbusters.org/bnd.


  1. I'm writing a post soon that will have some similarities with this great one:)
    We're taking part in Buy Nothing Day too!
    I did not know the movement was 20 years old,wow!

    Speaking of Faith, have you seen the photo online in Cairo, of Christians protecting praying Muslims? I cried, it was such a beautiful image.

  2. I just found it, Lael. Thanks for telling me about it -- it really is beautiful!


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