November 26, 2014

Black Friday Creep

Oh, Canada.
Our home on the Native's land.
True consumer love is our dictator's command.
With glowing wallets we compete for thy consumer goods.
The true North, strong and free... to shop for bargains all week and beyond.
Oh, Canada. We stand on guard for thy economy to the detriment of everything else.

- Canada's new national anthem

Did you know that Canada never traditionally had anything called Black Friday until fairly recently? In the past while our American cousins across the border hit the shopping malls this time of year, we tended to look on with a mixture of confusion and curiosity.

Now this celebration of unfettered consumer lust is not only creeping into our country, but it is starting to bloat like an out of control diner at an all you can eat buffet. For the first time I am now seeing "Black Friday Week" advertisements.

Apparently I should be looking forward to a whole week of frenzied, chaotic and competitive debt-fueled shopping. I note that grocery stores don't get into this action, probably because business people don't usually mark down stuff you actually need to survive.

It isn't actually Black Friday Creep, it is that Black Friday Is Creepy. They think we are gullible, out of control consumers and nothing more, wiling to sacrifice everything at the alter of greed and consumer dreams. Why not prove them wrong?

Alternatives To Black Friday Day... Week... Month

  • Only buy things that don't harm people or the environment. That should reduce your shopping list considerably.
  • Realize that you don't need anything They have to offer.
  • Spend the day (or week) repairing clothes and things that you have that can be made useful once again.
  • Go for a Buy Nothing Day hike and enjoy all the free nature out there.
  • If you must shop, shop Main Street rather than Wall Street. Buy from small businesses and local artisans, and get unique goods not available from the mass producers of crap.
  • Give the gift of kindness - that stuff is free and should be shared widely and frequently.
  • Be empowered by not shopping. If you don't like being told what to do by fascist governments and the corporations they support, exercise one of the last freedoms you have left - the freedom NOT TO SHOP. It is empowering to not blindly follow orders from above.
  • Celebrate Buy Nothing Day on November 28 (North America) and November 29 (International). 
  • Or co-opt the creep thing and celebrate Buy Nothing Week, or Month, or Year!


  1. Anonymous11/26/2014

    Thank You for this timely message! To be honest, I've been a bit depressed over the bombardment of advertising and segments on TV that are one long commercial and celebration of over consumption. (Yes I know, turn off the TV, but that one's out of my control) It feels hopeless that our society is going to change any time soon. Now to learn that Canada has joined in the madness is even more discouraging. That's why this blog and community give me hope everyday that maybe things are going to change, I just hope that it's in time.

    1. Miss Marla,

      Change is here and it is gaining momentum. There will be no "recovery" that will take us back to the glory days of waste and greed. It is over.

      The NBA community is proof that the pendulum is swinging towards a natural frugality that was the way of life before consumerism took hold.

  2. Anonymous11/26/2014

    No kidding. To generalize, the gullibility of the general public is astounding. Who needs more crap. You only save if you don't spend.

    Being good citizens has been replaced with being 'good' consumers. sigh.


    1. Jake,

      I refuse to be a good consumer. Hopefully they will not make frugal living illegal in the future.

  3. Happily, Black Friday does not have much resonance here in the UK (though Amazon and Google are doing their best to change that). I do think the save, share, make do, recycle, live not shop movement is slowly gaining ground here. We won't be shopping on Friday, but going to a dinner with friends, with each person taking a contribution to the meal...even our dog is invited! Should be fun! Hope you and Linda have a good day too.

    1. Charlotte,

      I read that Amazon is largely responsible for bringing BF to your fine nation. That should be a boycottable offence. Hope your dinner was great.

  4. I feel hopeless and sickened by it.

  5. I also live in the UK and I have noticed a bit of "Black Friday creep" coming over here, via Microsoft and Amazon really. But sadly whatever is the norm in the USA eventually starts becoming the norm here in the UK so I don't think this will go away. Thanks for the heads up re Buy Nothing Day. We will definitely celebrate that! Frances.

    1. Frances,

      The USA has so much to offer the world, but it seems that consumerism is the thing that gets the most traction.

  6. We live in a border town, and it's so disheartening on so many levels...the rampant consumerism, the dollars leaving our local Canadian economy, the gas wasted in idling on the bridge waiting to cross the border, the complete disconnect between commiserating about salespeople whose Thanksgivings will be cut short tonight and going to shop there tonight regardless!

    I'm a long-time reader, but this is my first comment. I really appreciate your blog!

    1. Marian,

      That sight would be tough for me to take. So much time and energy for so little pay off.

      It is so nice to hear from a long-time reader. Hopefully this won't be your last comment. We need more people to join the conversation here and with friends and family. Thanks for reading, and for chiming in.

  7. Anonymous11/27/2014

    I live in the middle of Black Friday madness. This week's junk mail, (Black Friday advertisements) was 4 times the regular overload. I never look at it. Instead it immediately goes in my recycle bin. (Of course, I wish I could stop them from printing and mailing it.)

    I'm sorry to hear it is "creeping" into Canada and the UK, etc.

    I've found that just staying home helps a lot. It hurts me to see so much waste. Many of the items manufactured for the Christmas season that you see in store displays is just junk, poor quality stuff all glittered up with some eye catching advertising on the packaging and it will all be in the landfill very soon.

    This is an outstanding list of things to focus on while we make our way through this coming month. Your list offer ways to not participate in holiday madness. Having something "counter" to do helps us not feel so hopeless when it is going on all around us.


    1. Hey Terri,

      It all seems so wasteful. Wasting time, money and resources. For what?

      I am trying to focus on solutions and fun responses to our predicament of rampant consumerism. There are wonderful alternatives that offer a better life than work/spend/borrrow/repeat.

      Good to hear from you. Hope all is well. I will try to email you soon. Sorry for the delay.


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