Do you know what day this is? Buy Nothing Day will take place on November 25th this year. It’s the same day as “Black Friday” but unlike Black Friday, it’s about not consuming or buying more stuff for the sake of a sale.

Buy Nothing Day

I’m pretty disgusted with the concept of Black Friday, particular when you consider it’s the day following the american Thanksgiving.

“In 2008 a crowd of approximately 2,000 shoppers in Valley Stream, New York, waited outside for the 5:00 a.m. opening of the local Wal-Mart. As opening time approached the crowd grew anxious and when the doors were opened the crowd pushed forward, breaking the door down, and trampling a 34 year old employee to death. The shoppers did not appear concerned with the victim’s fate, expressing refusal to halt their stampede when other employees attempted to intervene and help the injured employee, complaining that they had been waiting in the cold and were not willing to wait any longer. Shoppers had begun assembling as early as 9:00 the evening before. Even when police arrived and attempted to render aid to the injured man, shoppers continued to pour in, shoving and pushing the officers as they made their way into the store. Several other people incurred minor injuries, including a pregnant woman who had to be taken to the hospital. The incident may be the first case of a death occurring during Black Friday sales; according to the National Retail Federation, “We are not aware of any other circumstances where a retail employee has died working on the day after Thanksgiving.” ~wikipedia

How can anyone not feel contempt for the mentality that the crazed consumer mob displays on occasions like these?

“What most people need to learn in life is how to love people and use things instead of using people and loving things.”

I know a few people who are advocating for a local and handmade type Black Friday but this really misses the greater point. Black Friday is all about frivolous and pointless shopping. Certainly it’s better to consume locally made items over mass produced needless junk but do it on a different day rather than perpetuate the spirit of Black Friday.

We can’t continue to live in a world where we consume the way we currently do. I plead the case for a more meaningful way to spend the day after Thanksgiving by Buying Nothing instead. Be grateful for what you already have and for the things that actually matter, for instance the freedom to not buy into the idea that you have to amass great quantities of stuff. To quote myself: I don’t get it but there’s no question it’s “normal” in the world we live in today to want to amass stuff. This stuff, that stuff, new stuff, old stuff, the latest stuff, the stuff we see famous people amassing. Consuming does not make the world a better place or bring happiness to anyone.

Please consider celebrating Buy Nothing Day this year. Surely we could all be responsible for one day.

9 Responses to Buy Nothing Day

  1. Dawn Suzette says:

    Oh…. I hear you! We are not big shoppers and will not be shopping that day for sure!

  2. Grandma Peggy says:

    I’ve been buying nothing for years and heartily agree that we have all we want and should only purchase what we need. There are so many in our society who cannot buy even what they need so be grateful if you are one of the fortunate who have work and a regular income.
    I now own nothing but a 1996 Honda, my bedroom furtniture, reclining chair and this computer and I am very happy that I have these, a very comfortable and happy home with my daughter and all that I need. I am one of the blessed and fortunate ones for which I am eternally grateful. God bless.

  3. Courtney says:

    Simplify Simplify Simplify… I try to remind myself before I buy to think “Do I need this or Do I just Want This”… I keep telling the family that I would prefer nothing but if they feel they need to give me something.. that I love homemade items… If I can’t EAT it or DRINK it, I don’t want it! ahah… I’d be happy if all I got for Christmas was a Drawing or Picture from the kids! xo

  4. Lynn says:

    My husband and I were just talking about this subject. We’re dismayed at how our culture pushes us to consume. It’s so wasteful and meaningless, and kind of depressing in that it just seems to get worse every year.
    I love that little quote about loving people and using things. This is the lesson I hope my kids take with them into adulthood. I don’t want them to be slaves to “stuff”.

  5. Tracy says:

    I agree wholeheartedly. I feel the same way about “Veteran’s Day” sales and those on MLK Day. It’s shameful.

  6. Jacinda says:

    Yehah, good on you. And although i’m all for locally made and handmade I agree that the bigger picture is whether we need to consume this stuff at all.

  7. Kim says:

    Thank you for this post. I shut down my etsy this past weekend and have for the past two years. It’s Black Friday, Small Business Saturday (I’m sure there’s something for Sunday) and Cyber Monday. Greed, greed and more greed!
    There’s an eatery beside my husband’s shop here who operates on a barter system on Black Fridays. No money passes hands but instead trades are made. It’s fantastic!

  8. Annie says:

    I’m so glad to not be alone in my thoughts on bf! xx

    Kim- I’m guessing you’re talking about the Thirsty Camel. Ilan is amazing! His actions really reinforce the more socially meaningful holiday of Buy Nothing Day.

  9. mb says:

    consider it celebrated! i make a pretty mindful attempt each year to make damn sure i have absolutely no needs on black friday, and i certainly am not consuming based on wants on that day. (and trying to be more mindful of that every day! this entire season is a big reflective time about what i’ve put money into over the past year, and i try to spend very little in the month of december in general- made possible by putting up lots of local food over the past several months.) yes, i feel the same contempt for what black friday has become, and i think it’s justified. i heard about that death in 2008, and that is more than enough for me to commit to the buy nothing tradition. i agree that the plaid friday or other versions of local/handmade black fridays are really just the same consumption-oriented thing- cashing in on the consumerist illness.

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