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5 Life-Affirming Things To Do On Black Friday

5 Life-Affirming Things To Do On Black Friday

This Friday, is Black Friday, the day that all of us are encouraged to go out and spend money to not only support the economy, but ironically, to save ourselves some money for the holiday season.

I personally donít get how going into debt or buying more things they donít need will prove to our friends and loved ones how much they mean to us, especially when most of these products donít even come from or support our local communities anymore.

Thatís why I have spent the past decade looking for alternatives and have increasingly been doing more to support my local community and businesses, all of them, not just those that are food-related.

But, increasingly I find the whole idea of holiday shopping unappealing. After all, Thanksgiving gets ignored, or rushed, and it is the one day a year that we are supposed to give thanks for what we have in our lives, both the material and non-material things. So, I made it a point to find other things to do, and usually these are things that help other people which makes me feel a whole lot better than shopping does.

With that in mind, here are just a few ideas that you can do to make your community better on this day and that make you feel better as well:

Take the pledge to not shop and be with those you love. The people who brought you the Story of Stuff have created an online campaign to encourage people to make a pledge to spend the day with family and friends and not shop. Calling it ďBuy Nothing Do Something,Ē they present it as a way to get away from the consumerism of the day.

As they say in their short video, play, sled, hike, and eat on Black Friday. Thanksgiving is all about food after all. Why not continue that theme and donate food, or help at a local shelter or food bank? Or, help those who produce our food–our farmers, by donating to Farm Aid or American Farmland Trust. Farmers feed us, and whether we are vegan or omnivore, most of us have the privilege of eating well this Thanksgiving because of them.

Green up your local area. Plant trees, plant a garden, tend to a garden, or, if you are in a cold climate, put a garden to bed for the winter.

Instead of shopping, get rid of some of the things that you donít need that can help others who do need them. Donate old and unwanted items instead of purchasing more.

Exercise your brain. Do something creative, make something–whether a special recipe, or a craft. Or, tap into your creativity; take photographs, write, or draw or paint.

25 Easy Homemade Gift Ideas
Creative Gift Ideas

Read more: Community Service, Conscious Consumer, Do Good, Environment, Food, Holidays & Gifts, Lawns & Gardens, Make a Difference, Nature, Outdoor Activities, Thanksgiving

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Judi Gerber

Judi Gerber is a University of California Master Gardener with a certificate in Horticultural Therapy. She writes about sustainable farming, local foods, and organic gardening for multiple magazines. Her book Farming in Torrance and the South Bay was released in September 2008.


+ add your own
6:29PM PST on Nov 29, 2013

No shopping, I took a long hike in the woods.

11:52AM PST on Jan 3, 2013

Very glad to see so many people against 'Black Friday'. Actually, what it is, it's a black mark against the North American Society as a whole.

Such an event turns people into programmed robots.putting profits into big box stores that have run over small business, stretched employees to the breaking and disregarded those special days families need to gain strength together to deal with today's uncertain world.

We should purchase what we 'need', not what we 'want'. and stop being a 'throw-away' society and support organizations accepting any manner of items.. .

4:15PM PST on Dec 30, 2012

what a waste of a perfectly nice long holiday weekend like Thanksgiving with no real consumerism of its own by turning it into a shopping frenzy of crazed crowds rushing to buy the latest gizmo.

11:11AM PST on Nov 25, 2012

going to a friends house, no shopping for me!

3:45PM PST on Nov 23, 2012

I would not shop on Black Friday even if I was paid to. I detest what this day has turned the season into. I spent the day outside raking leaves under the warm sun with the squirrels.

11:36AM PST on Nov 23, 2012

We have things that are more important than shopping. It's called rebuilding lives and saving for the future.

10:19PM PST on Nov 21, 2012

I'm baking with a friend.

5:53PM PST on Nov 21, 2012

No holiday shopping for me at's now a tradition. In fact, I hate shopping any time. Thanks for the suggestions.

5:53AM PST on Nov 21, 2012

I'd say it's mostly not worth the hassle. No shopping for me on Black Friday, thanks. :)

4:56AM PST on Nov 21, 2012

The entire idea of fighting a mob to save a little money is just insane.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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