This is how nonconsumers shop

“Black Friday” is the day after Thanksgiving, and my advice is to do anything else rather than go shopping. Since I’m not a fan of crowds or the possibility of being trampled, I stopped shopping on that day years before I joined The Compact. I know there are deals to be had, but are they really worth your sanity?

I’ll be reposting my Compact-y holiday gift ideas soon, since handmade and experiential gifts tend to take a bit more planning than just plunking down your credit card at the mall. But if you ARE going to be shopping this holiday season, please shop at local businesses as much as possible, and consider following the rules above if you agree with them so that your money supports your values.

Will you be shopping the day after Thanksgiving? Which of the suggestions from the list above will you be following this year? How to you plan to get through the consumer frenzy of the next six weeks? Please share in the Comments section. I have already made my “staying sane for the holidays” list, and I’ll share it with you in the next post.


  1. Marie-Josée says

    I just love that poster! In Canada we don’t have Black Friday (well not in Quebec anyhow), but we do have Boxing Day on December 26 – I don’t remember if this is the case in the U.S.I never shop on Boxing Day for the same reasons you mentioned Angela. The first, and last time I visited the mall on Boxing Day was 23 years ago. I was there with my granny and I was pregnant with my son. We were on the second floor of the mall, in a large department store which was so packed with shoppers that we were having a hard time navigating the main alleys – and then I noticed that the floor was waving slightly… I took granny by the hand and made my way out of there as quickly as I could. That floor was under a lot of strain and obviously it is well engineered, since it hasn’t collapsed… and I’m sure the number of Boxing Day shoppers is actually greater now than then.

    • Angela says

      Marie-Josee, I did used to shop on Boxing Day, but no more. I can see why you gave it up. What a horrible experience! I can’t imagine that real people have actually been trampled because of shopping bargains.

  2. says

    I will be happily sleeping away while all the Black Friday door busters are sold. I have no intention of shopping on Black Friday. What I can’t believe is how many stores are now opening on Thanksgiving to get a jump on sales. Its it possible that we really can’t go one day without shopping in this country? That’s just sad.

    • Angela says

      Jennifer, I agree that it’s sad. And this morning when I saw some stories and photos about it, it made me sad for the people who have to work in those places. Happy Thanksgiving to you. Thanks for commenting.

  3. says

    Will you be shopping the day after Thanksgiving? ABSOLUTELY . . . NOT!

    Which of the suggestions from the list above will you be following this year? MOST OF THEM.

    But I don’t like carrying cash. I charge everything and pay off my credit cards each month. The banks don’t make any money off of my purchases . . . I do! Through Discover Rewards cash back.

    How to you plan to get through the consumer frenzy of the next six weeks? IGNORE IT.

    • Jenn says

      I charge, as well, and pay it off, but I sacrifice my rewards and use credit cards that support socially responsible investing. Maybe it’s not my membership that gives Discover its revenue, but I can’t help but feel it contributes. And I don’t think the CEO is a member of the compact. (Is social responsibility part of the compact?)

      I look forward to compacty Christmas gift ideas, it’s been a while for me!

  4. Shelly says

    Love this! We don’t purchase many gifts anymore and we don’t use cash because we like to use credit cards to earn points and we pay them off each month. We earned a couple free flights this year, some gift cards for gifts and have a chunk of money available to spend at Amazon.

  5. says

    We stopped doing this years ago, and since we’ll be spending the holiday in a Buddhist country this year, we are even more pleased to just say no to all of that craziness.

    Back in the US, we stocked up on everything we needed in the form of household goods before Thanksgiving every year and vowed to not go to any store but a grocery store until after the new year. It worked – we stayed sane, saved money, and really got to enjoy the holidays without all the stress.

    • Angela says

      Betsy, One of my favorite holidays ever was spent in Florida (not a Buddhist country, but not near any loved ones) We ignored it entirely and on Christmas Day we were at a water park and I was being hugged by a sea lion. It’s one of my best Christmas photos and fondest memories.

      I don’t begrudge anyone who loves the whole season, but I prefer to nearly ignore it. I’ll be curious to find out if you guys miss it at all.

      Happy Thanksgiving in Chiang Mai.

  6. Melissa says

    I can not see the point in fighting traffic and crowds and long lines just for some dumb product that’s been touted as this year’s Must-Have item.

    I’m putting up the tree with my aging parents. One day I won’t have them anymore, and I want to spend every hour with them I can.

  7. says

    LOVE the poster! Even though I’m in Canada and we celebrate Thanksgiving in October, Black Friday has started to invade our country as well (supposedly to try and keep people from shopping across the border in the U.S.). I think it’s pretty sad!!

    I make almost all of our Christmas gifts and pick up others at yard sales throughout yard sale season (and I find some great, brand-new-condition stuff). I make a lot of food-oriented gift baskets with our home-canned goods, baked goods and candies. They are always a hit! This year I’m also doing some homemade personal care items – I just posted the instructions on my blog for making all-natural lip balm for less than 25 cents a tin (post is here: Thankfully everyone on our Christmas list appreciates our homemade gifts!

    • Angela says

      Karen, I checked out the hard lotion and lip balm and I will have to try that. Not only does it cost pennies, it sounds like they work better than store-bought and are free from additives. Thanks so much for sharing!

  8. says

    I’ve never shopped on Black Friday for the same reasons you mentioned. I can’t stand malls when they are fairly empty! Still, I’ll be going to an Open House at a local shop where they’re serving bubbly from 3-6. I may not buy anything at all but will get some festive ideas. Today I’ll do a little ebay shopping; but, we do such little gift giving, it won’t take much to do that. We also don’t typically buy anything during the year so the kids ask for pretty practical gifts for Christmas and birthdays.

  9. Terry says

    Handmade here, and have never done a black friday.
    Well said with the poster.
    Hope you are having a lovely Thanksgiving.

    • Angela says

      Terry, Thank you, I had a lovely Thanksgiving. I hope you did too.
      My favorite gifts are handmade. Last night our neighbor brought us some wine-soaked, carmelized plums and they are delicious. Thanks for commenting.

  10. says

    Great post Angela! I linked back to it today. I will not be shopping on Black Friday. My family and I agreed not to do gifts again this year. We’re rather go out for a meal at a local restaurant or see a film (which supports our economy) and spend time together – and not at the mall. I can’t wait to enjoy my mom’s Christmas cookies, write Christmas cards from the thrift shop, watch favorite holiday films and attend a candlight Christmas Eve service. The only gift I look forward to buying is a pajama that a town resident in need requested on a charity Christmas tree at the local library.

    Thank you for being a voice of reason amid the Black Friday media circus.

    • Angela says

      Catherine, I love your post, and the Ben Stein commentary as well. You and I are on the same page about the holidays, you have picked out some lovely Christmas things to enjoy, while ignoring the rest. Thank you for your constant support. I hope you have a wonderful holiday.

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