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Day 331: Buy nothing day vs. Black Friday


When is it Window Shopping in a Glamorous Dress Day?
That's one holiday I'd be happy to celebrate. But probably when it's warmer out.

So, tomorrow is the annual epic battle between BLACK FRIDAY and BUY NOTHING DAY.

Despite its gruesome, plague-sounding name, Black Friday is not a day when everybody dresses up like medieval plague victims. It's the day that stores go "in the black" which means they pay off their bills... or something. I don't know, I think it should be called Buy Lots of Stuff (But It's OK Because It's On Sale And They're Presents Anyway Which Doesn't Count As Spending Money) Day.


Not apropriate dress for Black Friday. Maybe for Black Friday, in the year 1619.
Did you know this is what plague doctors wore? It's true, and so creepy.

Buy Nothing Day was invented awhile ago in response to the rampant consumerism of PLAGUE DAY Black Friday. It's a day when people are encouraged to not spend any money, to send a message to (...?) about how they don't like consumerism and money spending. (And then apparently now there is also Small Business Saturday, where you're encouraged to buy stuff from independent retailers which is almost always a good idea, so that's in the mix now, too)

Now, see, I know lots of peeps are outside lining up right now to get a piece of the Black Friday sales (*Note: I don't know when you're reading this, but I'm writing it late on Black Friday Eve). This is totally fine, and kind of fun because so many things are sold online that it's nice to see people buying from stores at all, period. This is totally not for me, however. I also don't usually go to Boxing Day sales either - it seems like there is this mass hysteria where people freak out and buy weird stuff that you don't really want, and Relative Cuteness rears its ugly head and people wind up buying really ugly stuff they wouldn't ordinarily buy, and is that really saving money?


Wow, they were 99% off? And it seemed like a good idea at the time?
Have you saved $5, or have you just lost a tiny bit of your soul?

Basically, I don't like shopping when stores are really full. Yes, stuff is cheaper. And sometimes it's worth fighting the crowds -- like one year, there was this gorgeous winter jacket I had been lusting after, and I waited until Boxing Day sales and bought it for 50% off. That was great, as I bought something I wanted.

For reference, this is me wearing the coat in question. SO CUTE, RIGHT?
(And OK, yeah, I am also doing the whole "I'm so awesome I don't feel the cold!" thing that I make fun of other models for doing. But I don't think it was actually super cold the day this was taken)

So anyway. I'm not being like "I am so virtuous, I spend full price on everything, aren't I the greatest?" because obviously other smarter people are out there working the sales and saving piles of money. I, myself, just saved a bunch of money online in purchasing gifts for some peeps (using a giftcard I won in a contest, so it was buying sale stuff with free money = EXTREME FRUGALITY!!)


IMPORTANT NOTE: Everyday is Buy Nothing Day at the Library!
Unless, of course, you have fines.

And then on the other hand is Buy Nothing Day - a day that I have celebrated without realizing it for the last many years. Partly because I live in Canada, where we have Thanksgiving in October like normal people, so I don't get Black Friday off work, and there aren't any stores near work, so what would I buy, exactly, anyway?


I have to say, this poster for Buy Nothing Day kind of makes me want to buy this poster for Buy Nothing Day. And now I feel conflicted, and kind of like buying a tshirt with this image on it.

Both Buy Nothing Day and Black Friday have their frugal sides - I guess, like with couponing or shopping sales or thrift shopping, you just need to make sure you're just buying cheaper versions of stuff you either need or that you would buy anyway - not getting caught up in the hysteria and buying toe socks and other things that nobody with a brain would ever really want to own.

My holiday shopping update: 3/6 gifts bought and shipped. 3/6 more gifts left to go (... waiting impatiently for people to send me their wish lists so I can actually send them something they want. *Hi family!!*)


thismummaslife said...

I really liked this post. The whole thing really is conflicting and awkward.

I also envy you for only having 6 gifts to give! How much simpler life would be! But I have nephews and a child, and a little brother, and little I am going to try to keep it simple, smart, and handmade where possible.

Sharon said...

Oh, I never thought of the library that way...(of course, I do usually have fines. :(.) It may be time to go visit again...

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