21 Black Friday Alternatives

November 17th, 2010

Beautiful Fall Day in Japan

A hug is a great gift – one size fits all, and it’s easy to exchange.  ~Author Unknown

Time flies! Can you believe it’s almost Thanksgiving? Black Friday, that day following Thanksgiving when US shoppers officially begin their Christmas shopping is also just around the corner. Shopping the day after Thanksgiving has never been my scene not to mention getting up at 5am to stand in line for a deal on a flat screen TV is not my idea of a day off. Plus I really don’t think Christmas is about shopping till you drop.

There’s nothing simple about shopping for the sake of shopping. Just because advertisers tell us this is the day to shop doesn’t mean we have to. We can create our own traditions that have nothing to do with excessive consumerism and spending money on items we or our loved ones don’t really want or need. For those of you like me who prefer to do something a little more creative, a little more fun, and a little more relaxing, check out my 21 Black Friday alternatives below. And of course please feel free to add any others you might have as well.

  1. Volunteer. Although most of us don’t have to work the Friday following Thanksgiving there are many places that are open such as hospitals, homeless shelters, animal shelters, etc… and they would welcome your help.
  2. Sleep In. Most of us have the day off so why not sleep in a few extra hours. What luxury, huh?
  3. Make Friday a movie day and watch some movies you’ve wanted to see. If you plan ahead you can check out some DVDs from your local library or rent from Netflix or your local Redbox.
  4. If the weather in your area allows it get out and enjoy the great outdoors. Take a hike or a bike ride.
  5. Clean out a closet or drawer. Get rid of things you no longer need and start the holiday season feeling lighter and less burdened by material possessions.
  6. Get out your holiday decorations and throw out any you no longer like or use. Keep those decorations you really love and begin your holiday decorating early. Make a special hot drink to enjoy while you “deck the halls.”
  7. Read a book. Is there a book you’ve been dying to read but haven’t had the time? My favorites are mysteries and this is the perfect weekend for a “whodunit?”
  8. Have a friend over for coffee and have a long leisurely visit. Catch up and laugh a lot.
  9. Black Friday is a great day to start or finish an arts project. Do you like to knit, paint, or sew?
  10. Get out the holiday music and start enjoying it. Before you know it the holidays will be over so why not enjoy all that beautiful music as much as you can. My favorite song is “Do you Hear What I Hear?”  and I can’t wait to start hearing it nonstop for 5 weeks straight. You think I’m kidding but I’m not. I love Christmas music! :)
  11. Play board games with your family and/or friends.
  12. Bake some more goodies. Tis the season for sweets and this time of year is a great excuse to indulge.
  13. Write a letter to someone. There are still people out there who would love to receive a handwritten letter in the mail. I bet you know just the perfect person in your life who would appreciate this.
  14. Play with your kids.
  15. Play with your pets.
  16. Write. Most of us have the writing bug at some time or another. Start that short story, poem, or novel that is just aching to be put down on paper.
  17. Take a long soak in the bathtub.
  18. Call a friend long distance and shoot the breeze.
  19. Go introduce yourself to your neighbors if you’ve never met them.
  20. Clean your house. Enjoy the rest of the weekend knowing your cleaning is done for the week.
  21. Do nothing. Be spontaneous and enjoy not having to be anywhere.

3 Responses to “21 Black Friday Alternatives”

  1. myrna says:

    Good suggestions. I’ve never gotten into the Black Friday scene and don’t plan to start. For some reason this year I’m more aware of the push for consumerism.

  2. Beverly says:

    #22 Watch football with friends. Thats what we will be doing. Anything’s better than shopping.

  3. Helen says:

    Love it!

    I will be working Black Friday. Hospitals don’t close.

    But after work I’m spending time with pets and family.

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