Buy nothing dayHoney, hold onto your money!Photo: beachblogger42Dearest readers,

This week, we’ve got two great holidays to celebrate. First, there’s Thanksgiving, followed by the ever wonderful Friday-after-Thanksgiving. It’s that one special day where many of us get a free pass from work and the chance to do whatever pleases us.

One of the things that seems to please us a bit too much is shopping. This coming Friday is known as Black Friday. It is a retailer’s dream, among the most shopping-intensive days of the year — second only to Dec. 24. Store-wide sales abound to lure consumers to consume and to aid retailers in their quest to get out of the red and into the black. It’s a savings stampede, as you can see in this Saturday Night Live Mega Mart commercial.

Want to enjoy a real savings stampede? Consider celebrating Buy Nothing Day. Enjoy a day without buying. Give your cash and credit cards a day off with you. Store them in the refrigerator next to your Thanksgiving leftovers. Trade, barter, and share. Enjoy the luxury of living the money-free life for a day. You deserve it.

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What is Thanksgiving if not a time to give thanks for what we already have? Why buy more when we have so much? In lieu of shopping this year, I invite you to join me in the “attitude of gratitude.” Because when we feel good about what we have, we don’t feel like we need more.

I’ll get the ball of gratitude rolling. Here are three things I’m grateful for:

  1. Baking soda.
  2. Pumpkin pie and Thanksgiving dinner with friends and family.
  3. You, dear readers. Thank you for caring and reading. You are the reason I get out of bed and wash my hair with said baking soda in the morning.

Now, what are you grateful for, readers? Share your gratitude in the comments below.

I’m feeling such an upwelling of thanks right now that I’d like to rename Black Friday/Buy Nothing Day. How about Giving Thanks Day? What would you like to call it? To further your resolve in celebrating this new holiday, whatever we end up calling it, do check out my Consumption Manifesto. It’s a map for how to streamline your life and still enjoy the heck out of it. This note from my editor says it all: “Ever wonder when We the People stopped being called citizens and started being called consumers? Take back your real identity, and take the consumption-crazy days from Thanksgiving to New Year’s in stride — with Umbra Fisk’s guide to graceful (and limited) consuming.”

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Happy Friday-after-Thanksgiving to you all!


P.S. If you’re looking for something to do, consider reading Jonathan Franzen’s Freedom (borrowed from a friend, of course). We’ll be discussing it next week for the book club!

Other useful links for your holiday giving: