10 Things to Do Instead of Shopping on Black Friday

Sure, you can spend the day after Thanksgiving fighting other frenzied shoppers over bargain-priced store items, or staring relentlessly at your device screen, waiting for the best online deals to appear.

Just be aware that Black Friday has “lost its significance,” according to Steven J. Barr, consumer markets leader for the professional services company PwC. Although consumers are spending more money, Black Friday sales have dropped 32 percent from 2011. “Retailers have conditioned the consumer to believe everything’s on sale every day,” Barr told the Washington Post, “which means the deals on Black Friday are not significantly different from any other time.”

So why not do something less materialistic and more rewarding on Black Friday? Here are some suggestions.

1. VOLUNTEER YOUR TIME

Whether it’s helping out at a local soup kitchen, visiting seniors in a nursing home, or interacting with lonely cats and dogs at an animal shelter, volunteering a few hours of your time is a win-win. You’ll feel good for helping others and brightening their day (an added bonus, according to a 2011 study, is that volunteers live longer), and they will be thankful you spent some quality time with them.

2. DONATE TO A WORTHY CAUSE

Instead of buying more stuff you or people on your holiday gift list probably don’t need, make a cash donation to your favorite charity in their honor. Before you do, check out these important tips to make sure the nonprofit is legit and the money is actually going to the cause, not the administrators.

Photo credit: BKD

Photo credit: BKD

3. VISIT A NATIONAL PARK

If there’s a national park not too far away from you – especially one that is in danger of disappearing — now is the opportune time to visit, since Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke is considering nearly tripling admission fees to these national treasures.

4. TAKE A WALK AROUND YOUR CITY

Work off some of those Thanksgiving calories and get to know your community by taking a long walk around it. You’ll probably notice interesting things on foot that you’ve missed driving by them in your car, and you may meet some interesting community members along the way.

5. BINGE-WATCH INSPIRING DOCUMENTARIES

Be inspired and educated by an interesting documentary that’s airing on TV or via your cable provider’s on-demand service. If you have Netflix and care about animal welfare, watch any or all of these recommended documentaries.

Photo credit: 12019

Photo credit: 12019

6. SEE A MOVIE IN AN INDEPENDENT THEATER

Avoid sold-out screenings of blockbuster movies based on comic book characters and instead support independent films – and non-chain movie theaters – by seeing one in an independently owned theater near you.

7. READ A GOOD BOOK

This is a good day to finally read that book that’s been gathering dust on your shelf. When you’re done, donate it (and other books you’ve read) to your local library.

8. VISIT A MUSEUM

Immerse yourself in culture at a nearby history, art, science or other museum. If you simply can’t refrain from shopping, the gift stores are usually a good source for unique holiday presents.

Photo credit: WerbeFabrik

Photo credit: WerbeFabrik

9. WRITE LETTERS TO FRIENDS AND FAMILY

When’s the last time you got a handwritten letter in the mail? As an alternative to those same old, same old holiday cards, write letters to your long-distance friends and family members, catching them up on what’s going on in your life.

10. MEDITATE

With the busy holiday season right around the corner, take some time to relax and meditate. Among the many scientifically proven benefits are increased immune function and positive emotions, decreased pain and depression — and, so helpful this time of year, decreased stress and anxiety.

Photo credit: Ben Faulding

80 comments

bob P
bob Petermann7 days ago

Visit a national park soon. Before Trump sells them all off

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Filomena C
Filomena C12 days ago

Thanks

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Amanda M
Amanda M14 days ago

Bobby M, as a Wiccan Christmas is a secular holiday for me. I celebrate Yule, the winter solstice and the rebirth of the Sun. But I digress-for me, Black Friday is spent doing two things every year-the day is spent putting up the lights outside and decorating the inside of the house for Yule/Christmas (I also put up a menorah for Hanukkah to honor as many of the holidays in December as possible), and the evenings are spent working the "Black Friday Bingo" at the firehouse. Proceeds go to the firehouse, I get to chat with the townspeople who come out for the event, and it's something that doesn't revolve around my never-ending hamster wheel of kids and nonstop housework! Besides, it's FUN!

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Michael Canny
Michael Canny15 days ago

You can also combine the two--make Black Friday sale purchases for entities like the local food bank or other such worthy causes.

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Rachel Nichols
Rachel Nichols15 days ago

Thank you

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Sophie M
Sophie M15 days ago

thanks for sharing

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Naomi R
Naomi R16 days ago

thanks

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Winn A
Winn Adams16 days ago

Thanks

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Colin C
Colin C16 days ago

I hate shopping period

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Andrea B
Andrea B16 days ago

Exactly.
Only the greedy Globalists invented Black Fridays and Cyber Mondays - for fat profit.

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