We lived through another Black Friday Week - congratulations. But our good work is not over yet. Oh no.
From now until the end of the year the mass consumption continues unabated. It is time to plan for another Buy Nothing Xmas to counter the madness.
The point of this final anti-consumer campaign of the year is not to save money, or destroy Christmas, but to take action toward creating a more equitable world where everyone has enough, and we consume what we need and not much else.
It is also about returning to the original focus of the season, and concentrating more on loving each other rather than on competitive gift giving. It is about throwing out the generic corporate profit-driven season that wants to deck the vaults with boughs of your money, and replace it with a personalized celebration that promotes compassion for all living beings.
This season let us question our consumer mindset, empower ourselves by refusing to participate, and generate awareness of the destructive tendencies of business as usual. We are in good company - the Pope is feeling pretty subdued about business as usual this season too.
Chances are that most people, even the Pope, will be buying something this festive season. The following suggestions will help align potential purchases with the values of the BNX campaign.
- give locally, fairly-traded items with environmentally friendly packaging.
- give quality things that last
- give consumables, like gift cards for the local grocery store
- give things that people really need (you can't go wrong with socks and underwear)
Often parents find it hard to practice a Buy Nothing Christmas. But it IS possible to have a wonderful non-commercial Xmas with kids. While gift giving is an important social exchange, we don't have to go overboard at this time of year.
- try not to subject yourself or your family to seasonal advertising hype
- consider making gifts for each other, or buying only hand made gifts from local artisans
- up cycle old stuff to make creative gifts
- regift items you don't use
- spend quality time together (without TV or other electronics)
- go to the library together, get cards if you don't already have them
You don't have to spend a lot to show others you love them. You don't really need to spend anything at all. Just be with them.
That is free. That is BNX.