Every year the Christmas decorations come out earlier and earlier. Countless stories about moms fighting each other for the last special edition barbie doll at Toys-R-Us or teens racing to get the last pair blue jeggings from Old Navy-starting at midnight on Thanksgiving day swirl around. From our friends over at GOOD, we found this article about consumerism during the holiday season. It describes the crazed shopping starting even earlier this year:
“Walmart recently announced its deals and schedule for Black Friday this year—which actually begins at a record-early 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving day…Last year, Walmart began their Black Friday sales at 10 p.m. the night before. The year before that, they opened at midnight. Will every year continue to get earlier and earlier until Thanksgiving is inherently combined with Christmas shopping?”
While some are eagerly embracing the earlier opportunities to hit the sales, others are taking a different stance. Instead of going shopping on Black Friday like most other Americans, they are participating campaigns like in Adbuster’s Buy Nothing Day-refusing to buy anything on Black Friday, and some even refusing to purchase any extraneous items through the entire Christmas season.
There are also charities that are encouraging people to give their money to support an important cause instead of spending it on presents that will quickly be forgotten. International Justice Mission and charity: water are examples of non-profit organizations encouraging this movement against consumerism.
These movements reveal that Americans are realizing that purchasing more “stuff” will not bring them happiness. They challenge us to appreciate the holidays without the cheapest Nintendo Wi or the newest J Crew coat. Will you join them?