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Black Friday: A Great Day to Celebrate Buy Nothing Day

As someone who has never gone Black Friday shopping, I can proudly say that I have celebrated Buy Nothing Day for years without even knowing it. Although I didn’t know it even existed, Buy Nothing Day was created in the 90s as a concurrent protest against the chaotic consumerism of the day after Thanksgiving––also known as Black Friday. 


Funny how the day after we are supposed to be appreciative of what we have and the simple pleasures of life, we are encouraged to flock to the stores and buy needless items––putting materialism above all else. 


However, Black Friday shopping will likely be different this year with the onset of the pandemic––as flocking together in large crowds is still very much frowned upon. But this will only make celebrating Buy Nothing Day that much easier!


This year, if you are planning on sitting this Black Friday out and are instead planning on buying nothing, here are some ways you can celebrate: 


1. Pat yourself on your back for not partaking in consumerism. Material items do not make us happy. They may initially, but after a while, we will go back to feeling Meh. 


2. Spend time with family or people you care about. Make this day an extension of Thanksgiving––whatever this Thanksgiving will look like this year. If you have any, eat leftovers from Thanksgiving or make or eat food that you and your loved ones enjoy. Put people and experiences above things! 


3. Practice self-care. Maybe you’ve seen enough of your family for one day––no judgment. Then, make this day about you. Do things that make you happy. Sleep in a little longer or take a nap––if you can. Life is already hectic as it is. Why should we feel the need to participate in a day that is pretty much centered on stress?


4. Do something environmentally-friendly. Another reason Black Friday has been protested is because of consumerism’s negative impact on the environment. Instead of perpetuating this impact, try doing something that’s good for the environment. It doesn’t have to be anything big; you could make someone a gift with upcycled materials or you could try to reduce your energy use––maybe turn your heat down a few degrees or turn off any lights that are needless––anything that could help save the planet!


Hopefully, these will help you enjoy this Buy Nothing Day. If, however, you are still planning on going Black Friday shopping, another alternative is to buy locally from small businesses. This would be helpful, especially during a challenging time such as now. 


And if you are a retail worker in a big chain store during this time, I am very, very sorry. Hopefully, more people will (and should) partake in Buy Nothing Day this year––for one reason or another!


Anjuli is a senior at Winona State University majoring in applied and professional writing and minoring in psychology. She is interested in broadening her writing abilities and writing about topics that she is passionate about. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her three cats, going to the movies and traveling.