dump_truck-300x215Bye Bye Black Friday! International Buy Nothing Day’s time has come.

Last year Walmart’s employees threaten a Black Friday strike, advertisements were less pronounced, trucking issues due to Hurricane Sandy force some stores to widen their aisles and redistribute good so they can appear to be full.  People became frustrated with thring to buy the perfect whatever to capture the beauty of the season and began considering what else could fill the gaping void left on The Friday after Thanksgiving.

Facebook is currently rocking with “Pledge not to Shop on Thanksgiving” posts. Local Living Economy concepts are working their way into the culture, just like recycling did, and families in the Hudson Valley are coming to understand the grace and wisdom of keeping our dollars in the region.  Alternative Gift Fairs are popping up, recycled and reused gifts are predicted to be this year’s chic and “Great Sales”  just don’t hold sway with young folks anymore.

What to do with that extra Friday off, the Day After Thanksgiving? Why not seize this bonus holiday and take your family for a hike? Or maybe a game of Scrabble? A meal you make yourself? Maybe meeting friends for tea? volunteering? drawing? compose an incredible rock song with your kids or grand parents? Who knows what mischief you can come up with while your not standing in line, under fluorescent light, with a credit card in your hand, listening to Muzak’s version of Jingle Bells?

While not everyone will be on the same page, the choice is yours on the first Friday after Thanksgiving. The folks at International Buy Nothing Day believe there are bigger motivations than 80 % off retail and figure that Black Friday is a great day to prove it.  They are on the same track with folks at Take Back Your Time Day and Center for the New American Dream.

Yeah But What About Getting The Gifts?

Our top 3 gift ideas:

1. A List – Written by hand on a beautiful sheet of paper. What I like (or Love) about you. This list includes, sometimes in bullet format, traits, values and characteristics of the recipient that I admire. This works well for everyone who can read. pictures of them doing something I admire are great when they are too young to read.

2. Made it myself – Home made banana bread, a photo printed from a smart phone, a child’s hand print in plaster. Check out Green Eileen’s great high end crafting with recycled fibers workshops. In Saugerties try FiberFlame’s crafting space offers tons of cool ideas. Insource this year and unleash your inner creative.

3. Service – Think of what they need and what you can commit to do for them. Sending the kid to walk their dog for a month or a year!

What you have to offer is enough don’t let marketers tell you otherwise.

Still want to shop until you drop?  Consider just letting go for this one day. The very next day after International Buy Nothing Day, the first Saturday after Thanksgiving, is Buy Local Day.  Designed to focus on promoting local economy reducing travel, promoting eclectic business and products, and keeping your dollars working close to home this is another great option.