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Buy Nothing Day

November 24, 2006

Be bold, be brave and …….


If you like to buy things for your loved ones…do all year long, when the mood strikes you, when they deserve it, to celebrate a good or happy event. Don’t bend to the will of commercialism and advertisers who have hijacked most of our holidays and turned them into a festival of debt, guilt and excess.

Channel a little Martha and make your gifts. Take all the money you would normally spend and donate it to charity this year…..a few ideas are: Chernobyl Childrens Heart Fund, Heifer International, Greenpeace, any battered womens shelter–like the YWCA or your local one, Dress For Success and Unicef. Make a difference this season, like my friend David, and help someone just because you want to.

If you don’t have money to donate go donate some blood, sign up to become an organ donor, visit an elderly relative or friend for some conversation, rake some leaves for your neighbor, shovel the snow off of someone elses sidewalk and steps or offer to do some yard work for an elderly or disabled neighbor.

Talk to your kids about the Toys for Tots program and ask them if they would want to get less this year and donate some of their toys to other boys and girls who will receive nothing this year.

This is the one time of year people seem to feel charitable. Do something. Contribute to mankind.

Now, you may thing that I must live in a sparse ecologically friendly home and make all of our clothes from recycled paper and plastic myself. I do not. I am a “normal” american I think. We do recycle and try to eat whole foods, we try to buy used furniture and bought an old house, we finally gave in this year and bought a new car–one we HOPE will last us the next 15 years, and we like to wear nice clothes although we try to buy many of them from thrift stores and such. I am not a vegatarian and we eat everything. And we do celebrate xmas. I like xmas actually because it is sooooo tacky. Being an atheist we don’t celebrate anything in particular but we like our decorations. I have an all white artificial tree we cover in vintage bird ornaments, life like vintage birds and white lights. We have a vintage tree top silver tinsel tree that we cover in the antique xmas balls from my grandmother. We have some pinatas we bought in Tijuana MX many years ago. We have almost all the stuffed animals from the Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer classic cartoon. My mom was a furious crafter and candlewicked and sewed many lovely xmas holiday items for us. She also gave us a “smokin” Santa that you place a cone of incense inside and smoke comes out of his pipe. We have a Homer Simpson Santa thing that dances and sings and sounds especially grusome now that his batteries are wearing out. We make a big dinner and have friends or my husbands family over. Sometimes my brother comes and the kids jump all over him. We eat and drink and try to be merry.

We just don’t really do presents for the kids or for ourselves really. We get the kids a stocking full of some fun things and they get presents from their grandparents and other family. I look forward to when they get older and we can ask them to choose what present they want and then what we will do as a family for someone else that doesn’t have anything.

Xmas is time to remember that we live in the WORLD…not just your house, town, state or country. Be a part of the world and BUY NOTHING TODAY.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. November 24, 2006 6:28 pm

    I love the idea. It is a sad thought when society in general makes it seem as though you have to buy lavish gifts to show love. Being far seperated from my family, I do confess I spend some money on long distance that lovely, pagan day. But the gift giving concept has gone too far.

    I have some other worthy charities to consider also:

    [insert country name here] Cancer Society
    Breast Cancer research
    Lung Associtations
    AIDS Research
    Heart and Stroke

    As you can see here, being Canadian allows me to focus primarily on health care issues.

    Sadly though, we live in a world where people’s solutions involve “throw money at it to put it out” primarily, not “put forth the effort to do things right, and take personal repsonsibility to correct those things which are wrong.”

    Very sad. Happy unspending, though.

  2. November 25, 2006 3:20 am

    It makes me crazy, all the hype to buy…WHAT? What do people possibly need?

    I get a couple toys for the boys, and for my parents and grandma, charitible gifts in their names. Small gifts for others – usually homemade (by the boys). This year I may try to make peanut brittle. We’ll see.

    I just don’t get consumerism. I often wonder how on earth car dealerships stay in business – I’ve had two cars in my life, one a freebie that lasted forever, and now one we bought off my brother. Who is buying all those new cars? And why bother?

    Like you, I’m not all crunchy. I’m pretty normal. But I don’t get the buying craze…if anything, I’m trying to have LESS stuff around here, so why would I buy more???

    Are we unAmerican? Commies, maybe?

  3. david bamford permalink
    November 25, 2006 2:13 pm

    I hate buying anything full stop. And I dont have anything, neither do i want anything. But its more lazyness than principals 🙂

  4. November 29, 2006 10:38 pm

    Thanks for the kind words about Heifer International. I joined Heifer as new media director last year and really appreciate it when someone blogs about us.

    We have a new BlogRaising program that lets bloggers like you help us get the word out about Heifer and raise the money we need to do our work. Just go to to learn more.

    I hope you are able to take part.

    Again thanks for the good words.

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