If you’ve listened to the radio or watched TV or been on any social media lately, you’ve seen them: Black Friday ads, urging us to bust out of our turkey comas during the wee hours of Friday morning (or even Thursday night, before the pumpkin pie has had time to settle in), open our wallets, and buy… lots of stuff.
The problem is, most of us don’t need anything that’s for sale on Black Friday (or Cyber Monday, it’s more comfortable, order-from-your-couch cousin). Buying things just because they are “on sale” is a recipe for bringing clutter into our homes, adding stress, and eventually harming our environment as landfill waste.
(My only caveat to the anti-Black Friday movement: If you actually need to buy something that’s on sale on Black Friday, by all means, go for it! Last year I bought my son an electric scooter–his #1 Christmas present request–on Black Friday. I couldn’t have justified the cost of this item if it hadn’t been on sale. So there, I’ve shopped on Black Friday and I liked it. Perhaps I should stop writing this post right now…)
But I would argue that there is a difference between shopping for a specific item and just shopping to shop. I urge you: ignore the latter.
I know for many people, Black Friday shopping is a type of family bonding. I’ve been there. If you have a family shopping tradition, consider a different type of bonding activity this year. Some ideas:
- play board games
- binge-watch a favorite TV series
- hike a local nature trail
- bake cookies
- visit an art museum
- put up holiday decorations
- make a craft
- create an obstacle course in the backyard
There are truly limitless ways to bond with the fam that don’t involve running up credit card debt and adding clutter to your home!
Another idea: if you want to shop, buy some canned goods, toiletries, socks, and underwear and donate them your local food pantry or homeless shelter. That type of shopping will truly make you feel good and do a good thing for the needy in your community.
One last type of Thanksgiving weekend shopping that’s Rose-approved: Small Business Saturday on November 26. Small businesses are the backbone of our communities. Money spent at mom-and-pop shops stays in our local economies, which is good for all of us. Also, it’s hard to spend too much at these types of shops. The items are usually more expensive (AKA not made in sweatshops) so you’re likely to spend less and purchase higher-quality items. Plus, you’re more likely to find unique and interesting gifts for friends and family.
So, I urge you: channel your inner rebel, and ignore Black Friday (mostly) this year. Find a way to bond with your family that doesn’t involve trawling the mall, and if you do shop, shop smart by using your dollars to help out your local small businesses.
I wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving with your loved ones!
Rose Lounsbury is the Dayton, Ohio area’s up-and-coming professional organizer. She also once bought an electric scooter on Black Friday, which made her feel a bit like a minimalist hypocrite, but her son loved it, so it’s all good. After blogging about her own journey toward a minimalist lifestyle, Rose was inspired to start Less, a minimalist-minded professional organizing company. If you’d like Rose’s help with an organizing project at your home or office, please call her at 937-626-9030, email her at [email protected], or visit her online at OrganizeWithLess.com.