Black Friday - Let's not go to the mall

For some, today is the first day of "the holiday season" - meaning the "buy things for Christmas season" - meaning the "I'm so stressed out, I never get it right season" - or even the "OMG, I can't afford this stuff so I'll just add it to my already hideous credit card balance season." Ouch. Not good.

For others, today is
Buy Nothing Day - a day to protest rampant consumerism by not buying into it. It's a day for hiking, or making something with your children, sleeping in, or visiting Grandma. Nice. Pure. But you know you bought things a couple of days ago, and you'll probably buy more things tomorrow. So does that mean BND is just a joke?

Actually, I think BND is a great idea, not so much because I'll necessarily, literally follow it. But because it reminds me not to be a Buying Fool. It encourages me to stop and remember what is important:
  • Doing things with the people I love is way better than buying the latest fad item for them to open on Christmas day.
  • Remembering The Handmade Pledge, to support artisans everywhere, by buying their beautiful, soulful, handmade goods.
  • Spending a day making something with Adeline is more fun and more memorable than going to the mall and buying something for Adeline.
  • Shopping for vintage (aka "used") items can be fun and lead to incredible finds.
  • Ditto for recycling, upcycling, repurposing, or whatever you want to call it.
  • Spending the day outdoors, with nature, with friends, is exponentially better for us than spending the day inside the overheated, overpopulated Christmas season stores. Well, they may not be overpopulated this Christmas season, but the sentiment stays true.
I know there are many who are appalled by these ideas. Christmas (or any occasion) must, according to them, be marked by extravagant, shiny, new gifts. I'm not categorically opposed to special, shiny gifts - I like diamonds, and pearls. But I do want to get more in touch with ..... what to call it? Can I call it "right buying?" Or did I just hear a Zen Buddhist monk turn over in his grave?

Here's my agenda for Black Friday. Adeline's college roommate, Alex, will arrive from California and the three of us will head to the bead shop.
Sugarbeads is run by two local women and it is a relatively new business. Small businesses depend on Christmas sales to carry them through the year, and this Christmas promises to be somewhat grim for the entrepreneurs among us. I would very much like to see these women be successful with their venture. So, I feel quite good about buying today, because I will be practicing Right Buying. And, after we buy our beads, we will go home and make things together, which will be fun and memorable. And Doug will make macaroni and cheese from scratch, especially for Alex, who is a vegetarian and loves cheese. I think that sounds like a pretty good day of Right Living.

Alex and Adeline - they may have my head for using this particular picture, which is two years old and pretty goofy. If it suddenly disappears, you'll know why!