Recently I wrote about US government spending on war (Just a Minute). Today I’m thinking about the buying and spending mania that starts to pick up just after Halloween.
I bypassed “Black Friday” store sales the day after—and in some cases the afternoon of—Thanksgiving, designed to help businesses put their earnings in the black. And I won’t be shopping online on “Cyber Monday,” either. I know I’m not the only person who’s fed up with these tactics to entice us to spend. Twenty years ago, Adbusters Magazine organized Buy Nothing Day, encouraging people to refrain from purchasing for one day – a full 24 hours – on the last Friday in November, which is generally the busiest shopping day of the year in North America. This year, I’ve learned about two other activities to counter this shopping frenzy:
Cider Monday - Shelf Awareness reported that on the Monday after Thanksgiving, often called Cyber Monday because so many people shop online from work that day, The Toadstool Bookshops in New Hampshire are inviting people to Cider Monday. They’re offering free cups of cider and “promise no crashing websites, and our 'servers' won't be overloaded.” Other bookstores in the Northeast are doing the same; maybe there’s one near you.
Giving Tuesday - #GivingTuesday™ http://community.givingtuesday.org/Page/FAQ
is a campaign initiated in 2012 to create a national day of giving at the start of the annual holiday season. In my community, the Lopez Community Land Trust is a partner in this initiative that celebrates and encourages charitable activities that support non-profit organizations. Maybe there are #GivingTuesday™ activities where you live, too.
Am I a Scrooge? Do any of you participate in alternatives to the spending season?