Friday, November 23, 2012

Black Friday

It might seem pretty obvious if you have been reading my blog that I am not "down" with the Black Friday madness. I don't like the idea of shopping for the December holidays the day after and even the night of Thanksgiving because it devalues the family tradition that I love so much! 

If you are like me and avoided the Black Friday madness for some quality family/relaxation/friend/tradition (fill in the blank) time today, you might be interested in some of these links. 

Alternatives to Buying Gifts for the Holidays on the Northern California public radio station KQED here
The Story of Stuff Buy Nothing Do Something page with lots of alternatives to Black Friday madness here
And in case you haven't seen it yet, this video brings light to some of the darker sides of Black Friday shopping. I'm all about saving money and I'll be the last person to tell you to stop buying things altogether, but there are other ways to make the holidays memorable...

1. Support Local Businesses
A lot of people think that Black Friday helps boost the economy and therefore support workers because of all the money exchange. Usually, the sales and stores that get the most attention on Black Friday are ones that outsource their products, have factories over-seas, or use the boost in sales as a way to fund vacation homes rather than vacation bonuses for their workers. 

2. Don't Spend Money on New Things
You might be able to find the things that you want to give as gifts at second hand stores, on websites like Freecycle, the newly opened Yerdle, Craigslist, or Ebay. Trading and buying second hand are great ways of reducing the impact on the environment by using products that are already deemed "trash" a second life.

3. Make it yourself
Websites like Instructables, Pinterest or the countless number of blogs online will give you instructions on how to make your own gifts this holiday. 

4. Donate to a cause in someone's name
Donating to a good cause instead of buying "stuff" is not only noble and rewarding, but it can help people that really need it! One example I know of is Heifer International which allows you to purchase animals, tools, or education for poor families around the globe. 

I'm sure there are a lot more ways to find gifts for the holiday season but those are the ones I'm sticking with. What are your holiday gift giving plans? What did you today instead of Black Friday shopping?  

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