Conscious Consuming: Boycott Black Friday, Commit to a Mindful Holiday

So, I am gonna step up on the old soapbox.  Just for a minute.

Although we have not had tv programming for 10 years, I am still overwhelmed with the radio ads, web ads, mail ads for upcoming sales this weekend.  All the big box, chain stores vying for our dollars almost reminds me of a junkie begging for a fix.  Ok, that was dramatic - but it really does seem like an overwhelming push for more, more, more.  How about less?  How about mindful gifting?  Last night I read a nice piece by Ellen at The Long Thread about buying less and spending more.  Quality over quantity!  But if you are constantly bombarded by cheap deals, how do you turn the other cheek?

You can't deny that gift giving is fun - we absolutely practice it - just in a more sustainable way.  About three years ago we started a tradition in our little family - we practice 'green' gift giving.  We only exchange items that are NOT new or have been handmade.  We shop at local antique and thrift stores which offer amazing finds - you are guaranteed to find something for everyone.  You are also able to choose items that really reflect the recipient rather than falling for a generic item with a too-good-to-be-true price tag.  Handmade items show that SOMEONE - rather than a machine - has put their time, effort and skill into producing something for your loved ones.  Handmade by you is even better, as it shows you feel the recipient is worth more than the stampede at Walmart.

 So this Friday, try boycotting the sales and go for a hike with your family.  That is what we are doing.  Find some local markets to check out over the next few weeks or spend some time making your gifts.  Happy Thanksgiving!