10 Reasons I Skip Black Friday Shopping

by - Monday, November 19, 2012

Ok, I have never really done the Black Friday. This has never been a big decision, because I have always just had something else going on, but this year I have really been thinking about the craziness of the whole thing. I will not be participating in Black Friday this year. Here are my Reasons why:

1. It is not a holiday- Seriously, why would people plan for this like a family outing? A CNN editorial says that Black Friday is reigning triumphant over our holidays, but that can only be true if we are willing to give it our time and money. Just because it exists does not mean I have to participate. I have never been up at three in the morning in line at a Kmart. My life is just as well.
2. It gets more aggressive and violent every year- my least favorite part of this "tradition" is when you inevitably read a story about a physical fight or someone getting trampled to death. It is just stuff! Slightly cheaper stuff, sure, but just stuff. It is the only holiday I can think of where people will physically hurt eachother to get what they want. Who wants to participate in a trend that genuinely brings out the worst in people? I don't want trampled to death!
3. Because I have better things to do- Obviously, we all shop around the holidays, and we should to some extent to help our poor withering economy (more on that later), but I guarantee you that you can come up with something better on Black Friday. I enjoy spending time with the Fam. Napping in a turkey-induced coma. Playing board games with my family members. Eating leftovers (stuffing! crescent rolls!). Going to the Pops Concert. If you are really feeling badass, go help a charity. I bet food kitchens need clean up crews. I think this year I am having Thanksgiving with the Boy's fam and going to a movie in a tacky Christmas sweater. Much more excited about this idea!
4.I would spend the same amount of money anyway- Sure, you can argue that if you are that strategic, at that level, you can get more stuff for your money, but that desire for a big old pile of stuff is culturally conditioned. What on my shopping list do people really need? Sure, the desire for specific items is a real thing, but I think the question "Is this worth it?" should come up again and again. So, I figure if I am going to budget a certain amount of money, that's what I will spend. The discounted spending usually only leads to more spending anyway, and the stores are designed to nickel and dime you before you hit the register.
5. Because the times have now rolled back into Thanksgiving, and it will continue to do so if I say, with your money, "hey, this is a great idea!"- It is not a great idea. Even if you hate your family, and stuffing, and everything else, that person who is now FORCED to work on the holiday (has anyone else read about the walk-outs at Walmart this year) may care about those things. I think it sucks that Black Friday is infringing on Thanksgiving and taking so many people away from their families. There is no reason in the world that I need to be buying cheap fleece jackets and flat screen tv's on the one day a year I should just be thankful for what I already have. None. You will never convince me that saving that money by buying unethical goods at unethical stores on a day where we should reflect on our blessings and responsibilities makes any sense at all. If you go, you are essentially telling these businesses it is ok to treat their employees like crap.
6.  I can save my money for Small Business Saturday- Of course, this is my mission this holiday, and I am really excited about how it is going so far. If you want to help the American economy, actually help the American economy by shopping at places who use American goods and manufacturing. Hint: This is not Walmart, Kohl's, Kmart, or Target. Especially if you are shopping for clothes, toys, or home decor, you can find awesome and affordable options through Etsy or your own local businesses! Shop there! I am loving everything I am finding for people so far!
7. And while we are talking about other shopping options- The internet has no crowds and about a million more options at every price point. For us, it is easier since we Christmas in Pennsylvania and shop in California, we can just ship things directly home. 
8.Use your money to make the America you want to see. Your choices do matter- Do you really want to give all your money to these people- http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/Latest-News-Wires/2012/1119/Wal-Mart-fights-back-as-Black-Friday-strike-nears ? I am not saying you can make this totally work- electronics are tough to find USA made, but if you give your money to companies that mistreat their workers, you are saying that is ok. If you give your money to companies that ship their production to sweatshops, you are saying that is ok. Ask WHY they can make something so cheap.  I am hoping to make at least three quarters of my choices be USA-made and ethical. Hoping others do the same, because I think the ripple of this could be huge!
9. Many of the "deals" (especially free shipping) last through the whole season- other than the doorbusters, most of the other sales continue through the holiday season. Without anything in particular in mind, there is no reason for me to want to go.
10.Frenzied buying isn't smart shopping- if you get a good deal on something you didn't want in the first place, it's not a good deal! I can say, I have definitely bought my share of clothes I never wore because they were on sale. I don't need the temptation.

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