Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving! Buy Nothing Friday and Small Business Saturday

Happy Thanksgiving!  This past year, Eug and I witnessed my brother’s wedding, welcomed Mr Noah into the world, moved house, welcomed my other brother and his wife's beautiful Ethan, had a visit from my mom, and published three issues of Conferre Magazine (ok, so the third is Almost Out).  At work, we finished enrolling participants in our quantitative study ahead of schedule (something I’m immensely grateful for).  I’m able to work with quite a bit of purpose.  We haven’t really been sick all year.

There were little moments along the way:  Noah started smiling, Noah started rolling, sitting, crawling, laughing.  We tried a bunch of foods for the first time.  We made new friends.  We grew heirloom crops (badly) for the first time.   So a lot to be thankful for.

And a little more Michael Franti: a link to a documentary I know I’m not Alone, from 2008.  

Here's an alternative to black Friday.  In the U.S., Black Friday refers to the day after Thanksgiving, “black” because it’s the day that businesses finally move into the black on their balance books.  But it kinda sucks that on Thursday we’re grateful, but on Friday we’ve already moved on from gratitude to consumerism.  During the time I’ve been in the U.S., stores have been opening earlier and earlier-- from 7am-to 6am-and on and on to midnight.  One year friends went directly from their Thanksgiving celebration to the Outlets, and traffic was backed up for miles on the free/highway.  I refuse to believe that we’re doing each other a service by buying stuff.  We are more than consumers. 
Another alternative is Small Business Saturday. It’s sponsored by American Express, but I still like the idea. Rather than (or in addition to) buying nothing, you could consider buying something from a small business.  Not a’la 30 Rock where all the small businesses are actually owned by Haliburton, but actual small businesses. Where you know who you're buying from.

Happy Thanksgiving, again!

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