- Special Sections
- Public Notices
Can you imagine cutting strangers’ credit cards, walking around malls dressed as zombies or getting together with friends to drive shopping carts around in a conga line at a local discount store?
Those are a few of the ideas Adbusters, a nonprofit organization of anti-big business types, suggested for what they call “Buy Nothing Day,” a protest movement on the day after Thanksgiving.
Traditionally called “Black Friday,” the day after Thanksgiving is the start of the Christmas shopping season and the day people famously go insane trying to get crazy deals at their local stores.
Adbusters wants that to change.
They want you to change your lifestyle and remember the Christmas season is more than a lifeline for the economy.
On the off chance you didn’t participate in any of the Buy Nothing Day activities this year, here’s a description:
According to the Adbusters Web site, the credit card cutup involves volunteers standing in shopping malls with scissors and a sign offering a simple service: “To put an end to extortionate interest rates and mounting debt with one considerate cut.”
The “Zombie Walk” also takes place at that center of Christmas season avarice, the shopping mall. In this case, “zombies” walk around marveling at the comatose expressions of the shoppers.
My favorite recommended activity is most likely to annoy the security officers at your local store. It’s called the “Whirl Mart,” and involves you and a group of your friends driving shopping carts around in a long, inexplicable conga line without ever buying anything.
Yes. It’s all pretty silly. Another such alternative, however, has cropped up and sounds promising.
About five years ago, a Christian activist in San Diego came up with a more productive alternative to Black Friday. He invited friends over for Thanksgiving leftovers and to teach each other how to make different gifts using their own talents—baking, sewing, painting, making cards and the like.
Jason Evans, the activist who started the movement wrote in a blog, “That Christmas, we were amazed at how many people had cut back on their holiday spending. Instead, they reused and recycled. With their own hands, they created gifts that were unique and thoughtful.”
After that first year, Evans began spreading the word about Make Something Day via the Internet, and more and more people across the country and the world began getting involved.
Although I’m not sold on the idea of protesting shoppers who need to buy their gifts on Black Friday, the concept of getting people together to actually make gifts that mean something has a lot of merit.
And the more I read about people getting hurt and even killed in Christmas-related shopping accidents, the more I’m ready to take up knitting and give everyone on my list an oddly shaped sweater or Kleenex cozy for the holiday.
OK. Maybe that won’t happen this year, but you get my point.
sarah shew wilson is a staff writer for the Beacon. Reach her at 754-6890 or email@example.com.