They've already begun... Black Friday ads, urging us to bust out of our turkey comas during the wee hours the Friday after Thanksgiving (or even Thursday night, before the pumpkin pie has settled in), open our wallets, and buy... lots of stuff.
The problem is, most of us don't need anything that's for sale on Black Friday (or Cyber Monday, it's more comfortable, order-from-your-couch cousin). Buying things just because they are "on sale" is a recipe for bringing anxiety-inducing clutter into our homes, going into debt, and eventually harming our environment as landfill waste.
(My only caveat to the anti-Black Friday movement: If you actually need to buy something that's on sale on Black Friday, by all means, go for it! Two years ago I bought my son Reese an electric scooter--his #1 Christmas present request--on Black Friday. I couldn't have justified the cost of this item if it hadn't been on sale. So there, I've shopped on Black Friday and I liked it! Perhaps I should stop writing this post right now...)
But I would argue that there is a difference between shopping for a specific item and shopping to shop. I urge you: ignore the latter.
For some people, Black Friday shopping is akin to family bonding. I get it. I've been there. If you have a family shopping tradition, consider a different type of bonding activity this year. Some ideas:
- have a board game marathon
- binge-watch a favorite TV series
- hike a local nature trail
- bake cookies
- visit an art museum
- put up holiday decorations
- make a craft
- create an obstacle course in the backyard
- volunteer to clean up an elderly neighbor's yard
- lend a collective hand at your local homeless shelter or other charity
There are truly limitless ways to bond with the fam that don't involve running up credit card debt and adding clutter to your home!
Another idea: if you want to shop, buy toiletries, socks, underwear, towels, linens, hats, gloves, and winter coats to donate to a local homeless shelter. These are high-need items at all shelters, and this type of shopping adds untold goodness to the world.
One last type of Thanksgiving weekend shopping that's Rose-approved: Small Business Saturday. Money spent at local mom-and-pop shops stays in local economies, which is good for all of us. It's hard to overspend at these types of shops, as the items are usually more expensive (AKA not made in sweatshops). Plus, you'll find truly unique gifts.
So, I urge you: let's make Black Friday a little better this year. Find a way to bond with your family that doesn't involve trawling the mall, and if you do shop, shop smart by using your dollars to provide relief to our neediest citizens or to support local businesses.
If you'd like more tips on how minimalism can add more "thanks" and "giving" into Thanksgiving, watch my recent news segment for Good Day Columbus.
I wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving with your loved ones!
Rose Lounsbury is a minimalism coach, speaker, and author of the Amazon bestseller “Less: Minimalism for Real.” After blogging about her own journey toward a minimalist lifestyle, Rose was inspired to start Less, a minimalism coaching company. Rose spends her days writing, helping clients clear their clutter, and soaking up the moments with her husband and their wild triplets. Rose is a member of the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals and has been featured on Fox News Good Day Columbus and WDTN Living Dayton. She calls lovely Dayton, Ohio home. If you’d like to contact Rose for a speaking engagement or help with a minimizing project, you can email her at Rose@RoseLounsbury.com or visit her online at RoseLounsbury.com.