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The Shield

Black Friday vs. Buy Nothing Day

Jennifer Hauser, Staff Writer

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Black Friday has evolved into a holiday in and of itself.

This retail holiday has overpowered Thanksgiving, and those who participate in this frenzied shopping often place more importance on it than they do the actual Thanksgiving holiday.

Some of us do not Black Friday shop. Ever.

There is even a social movement in opposition to excessive consumerism, known as Buy Nothing Day. This movement started in Canada in September 1992, and originally had nothing to do with Black Friday.

In 1997, the unofficial holiday moved to the day after Thanksgiving as a protest to consumerism and overindulgence.

In some countries it is celebrated the last Saturday in November, which typically aligns with the weekend after Thanksgiving.

Some who are of the Buy Nothing school of thought refuse to make any purchases on this day. Not coffee, not fuel, not a newspaper – nothing. Many do not even leave their homes.

I understand why people Black Friday shop, it is to save money on things we already plan to buy in the upcoming holiday season.

What I do not understand is why or how this event has spilled over into and completely taken over Thanksgiving.

Rampant consumerism is my main motivator for not Black Friday shopping, but I also consider those working in retail who should get to spend the original holiday with their families instead of working.

I do not participate in Buy Nothing Day as rigorously as some. I am guilty of making one purchase every year on the day after Thanksgiving.

I take my children to a local family owned tree farm to pick out our Christmas tree. The way I justify making this purchase is that we do not buy from a corporation, or a big box store such as Walmart, Target or Best Buy.

After we buy our tree from our friends at the tree farm, we spend the day at home decorating and enjoying each others’ company, then we go to a parade.

This is our tradition. It is what we do as a family.

That is what holidays are supposed to be about anyway.

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University of Southern Indiana's student publication
Black Friday vs. Buy Nothing Day