sleep in tomorrow

26Nov09

Today is Thanksgiving which in America means a day of pausing, reflecting, sharing, and being thankful for all we have with our friends and family. We gather together to enjoy one another’s company and bask in the experience of spending precious and limited time together. This also means that tomorrow is infamous Black Friday when the majority in our nation forget everything they were thankful for today and push and shove in stores and malls and cut each other off on roads and in parking lots to save a few bucks on….STUFF. Stuff you didn’t have today on “Thanksgiving” but suddenly need just one day later on Black Friday – what happens overnight to turn the country into crazed shopping lunatics?

The United States is known as having a consumer culture – doesn’t that bother you that we are considered a consumer culture? Is that what we want to be known for in future history books – that we were good at buying crap and going into debt – that we were willing participants in a shallow unsustainable way of life? That we knew better but didn’t care?

My gift guide this holiday season is simple: stop buying crap and give your time. Give your time to your family, friends, planet, and community. If you must buy gifts then give books, music, or art supplies – introduce someone to a new hobby – inspire someone to read-write-play music-paint-draw…to be creators instead of consumers as these are things that I would like our country to be known for – this is true culture. Simple rule: if it takes batteries or electricity – don’t buy it as a gift. It will be in a landfill in less than a year when the newness has worn off.

Another idea is to give experiences. What do I mean by experiences? Trips – save the money you would spend on crap and put it towards a travel fund – these experiences with those you love will outlast any material item you purchase them. The reason we buy gifts is to show our love to the people in our lives – is the best way to show that love through consumables made in China? I would rather share a sunrise or sunset on a secluded beach with my life partner, go backpacking, go on a road trip to see our great country that has so many natural wonders to offer, go to a play, a concert. Life is about experiences – you can’t take crap with you.

I plead with my fellow travelers to remember what you are thankful for today and sleep in tomorrow.

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4 Responses to “sleep in tomorrow”

  1. 1 Schroeder

    Read it this morning. Got it, get it, love it! Confess to reading and responding only iPhone, the ultimate consumer gadget! Shame on me. Love you both!

    • 2 Sarah Knuth

      No shame for Schroeder and no confessions. We aren’t Catholic! iPhone, Blackberry, Mac, etc … are all wonderful tools. Good stuff that should last rather than crappy crap that will become quick fodder. Choices, choices, choices —so important to consider wisely rather than spend spontaneously. No one can preach here because we are all consumers. We all make decisions that adversely affect someone else. It’s the circle of life. Can we make it seven generations? Not at this rate. Why should we care? We won’t be here and we don’t have kids. Oh, but wait, we care about other people’s kids.

      Love back to the Schroeders!!!

  2. 3 Gretchen

    Hi Dar,

    YES!!! Having never participated in Black Friday–ever, I pretty much live the views expressed in your piece. On behalf of all of us anti-shoppers who often forget that so many Americans do indeed become psycho-shopper on BF, thank you for the reminder about our collective insanity. I can’t get complacent and ignore the mass consumer-fest. Let’s live your views about Black Friday EVERYDAY, and DOWNSIZE. I challenge all of us to stop buying anything NEW.

    Sat Nam, xoxo
    G


  1. 1 uberVU - social comments

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