Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Observe "Buy Nothing Day" Friday, November 26
by JuJuBe (Joanna)
Well, it is almost that time of year again. You know what I am talking about right? That special season that we wait for all year round. Those last few weeks of the year, when our hearts and our minds are filled with thoughts of peace, love and joy....
Come on now, let's be real. We all know what he holiday season is REALLY about... and it is sure as hell not spreading goodwill to our fellow man. Nope, what the holiday season is REALLY about is.... Spending all of our money! Going into debt to purchase "must have" items essential to our every day lives.... things like toys, video games, jewelry and consumer electronics. Ah, yes, shopping... the TRUE "reason for the season"!
Friday, November 26 will be the annual kick off of the holiday season... the day known as "Black Friday". That one special day of the year when people wait on lines from the wee hours of the morning to purchase items they do not need at stores that pay their employees next to nothing. All to find that "special gift" for people who really don't give a damn.
Well, I am going to participate in the festivities this year by celebrating Buy Nothing Day on Friday. Buy Nothing Day is an annual event started in 1992 to protest the mindless consumerism affecting the public during the "holiday season". Adbusters is promoting Buy Nothing Day, and encouraging individuals to have meet ups and organize their own local protest events.
In the past, protesters have staged "credit card cut ups" and "zombie walks" (a group of individuals walking through a shopping area with blank expressions to protest the mindlessness of shopping) to bring attention to the problem of rampant consumerism. There have also been "whirl mart" protests (in which participants push a conga line of shopping carts through a Walmart without purchasing anything) and Winter Coat Exchanges.
Other individuals have simply decided to participate in alternate activities rather than shopping. Bike rides, kayaking and nature hikes are all great ways to replace shopping. Some people simply stay home. They put away their credit cards for the day, keep their cash in a drawer, and just DON'T SPEND MONEY.
For the truly dedicated, why not gather your friends and family, and pose the idea of a "Buy Nothing Christmas"? Find an new way to celebrate the holiday without breaking the bank. Or, if that is too extreme, simply buy less. Or buy local. Or buy from independent businesses.
I have always been obsessed with gift giving. But this year, I am having a "buy nothing" holiday. It simply makes sense. Why spend money I do not have for items no one appreciates and be left unable to make ends meet for months? Not this year. I refuse to participate in a season designed simply to line the pockets of big business. I encourage every one else to at least CONSIDER doing the same.
At the very least, observe Buy Nothing Day this Friday. You won't regret it.