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Posted in Healthy Living | November 2014

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Celebrate Buy Nothing Day
The day after American Thanksgiving is one of the busiest and most frenzied shopping days of the year. Often called Black Friday, it’s the unofficial start of the holiday shopping season. Major retailers usually open early and offer promotional sales that, in past years, have drawn crowds so large that people have actually been injured in stampedes to get into stores and at the marked-down merchandise.

The desire to encourage people to examine the issue of overconsumption is why the Buy Nothing movement started. It’s about making an effort to commit to consuming less and producing less, starting with making a pledge not to shop on Black Friday.

We’ve come up with some fun, family-friendly ways to celebrate Buy Nothing Day. So this year, instead of standing in line at 4:00am waiting for your local department store’s doors to open, why not try one or two of these ideas instead:

  • Have a de-clutter day. Clean your closets, basement and garage and commit to donating everything you don’t need, want or use on a regular basis. For some tips on organizing your donation, visit WikiHow .
  • Arrange a swap-shop event with likeminded friends. This is a particularly great way to get rid of unwanted clothing, toys and books—and have a little fun in the process! A few weeks before your event, invite a group of people to participate. Everyone brings over the items they want to part with the night before, and you set up your “shop” just like a real store, displaying the merchandise in your home (or in a community centre or public building, if you have permission and think you’ll need a lot of space). The next day, everyone is invited over to browse and take home items they want or need for free. Anything leftover at the end of the day is donated to charity. For some great tips on hosting a successful Swap Shop, visit Lemondrop .
  • Take time to sit down and work on a family budget. Buy Nothing Day is a great day to reassess your finances and get back on track if you’ve slipped a little during the start of the holiday season. For help with your family budget, check out our “Budgeting help during the holidays” article.
  • Find some free activities to do as a family:
    • Bundle up and take a nature hike. There are still so may beautiful things to see outside in late fall. Visit Flourish for three great ideas for making a walk through the woods or your local park even more fun and exciting.
    • Have a picnic in the park—yes, in November! The kids will never forget the time you put your hats and coats on and picnicked in the cold! Bring thermoses of soup (check out Canadian Living’s list of 101 soup recipes) and hot chocolate to keep everyone toasty warm.
    • Check to see if your local library or community center has any free family programs available.
    • Visit the library and take out as many books as you want! Grab some pillows and blankets and snuggle down for a quiet afternoon of reading.
    • Have a family board game day. Dig out Monopoly, Scrabble or the checkerboard and play the day away. For 10 family-favorite game night snacks, visit Popsugar.

Simply spending quiet time with your family writing up a list of things each of you is truly grateful for on the day after American Thanksgiving is a meaningful way to encourage your children to appreciate what they have instead of focusing on the next thing they want. It’s a good reminder for grownups too!

411710I CAN/US (04/15)


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