Buy Nothing Day tomorrow

Kara reminds me that it is once again that time of year to buy nothing. I plan to take my dog to the park to play (barring extreme cold), and watch some movies. (It’s buy nothing, not “don’t use things you’ve ever bought” day.) What will you be doing?

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  1. Posted 11/26/2004 at 3:35 am | Permalink

    Oh, NOW I get why Buy Nothing Day is on November 26. That’s the day after Thanksgiving in the US, when you Americans traditionally start Christmas (sorry, Holiday) shopping and there are huge lines and amazing bargains.

    See, I didn’t even KNOW that till last year. It took an American boyfriend to get that kind of insider knowledge.

    It is astonishing how we think we know so much about the USA because, after all, we are inundated by your television and cinema and music and even by your Buy Nothing Days (yes, we get the posters too) but still there is so much we just don’t know. The problem is we don’t REALISE that we don’t know it. Yes, a person who’s never set foot in the US but who has watched television in Europe for all her life knows a great deal more about US culture than about, say, Chinese or Russian or Indonesian culture, but the gaps are astonishing.

    Knowing that Buy Nothing Day is so totally based on a day that means something only in the US, its attempt at being global seems rather silly. Seeing the posters in Norway in previous years I’ve often wondered. It’s a day of the year on which I USUALLY buy nothing, or at least very little. It’s Friday. I might get some groceries, but that’s about it. What difference does it make, anyway, whether I buy something today or tomorrow?

    Knowing that it’s the traditional buy-all-your-Christmas-presents day in the US gives it more meaning. In the US. Not here.

  2. Posted 11/26/2004 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    Jill: Right, it’s true, it has more meaning in the US because it is on the busiest shopping day, and is more arbitrary elsewhere. But I’m not sure that it makes a huge difference. The idea is simply to spend a day in which you don’t engage as a consumer. It’s particularly difficult for Americans to do this today, but it might as well be any day. For most people it would be as difficult to spend a day not buying something as it would be to spend a day not watching TV. Adbusters are also encouraging a “buy nothing Christmas,” but I don’t see that getting much traction.

    What I want is a “Know Nothing Day.” Unfortunately, too many of us already have those.

  3. Posted 11/26/2004 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

    I wish you added a “don’t eat out” to that. My poor husband is stuck at Applebee’s on Black Friday and will be miserable tonight. (I might go to mom’s!) Buy nothing day is just as silly as it’s counterpart. Get gifts, give them to people, just don’t get lost in the chaos.

  4. Posted 11/26/2004 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

    Is this Black Friday? I had no idea.

  5. Posted 11/27/2004 at 2:25 am | Permalink

    Actually, I have done some crazy shopping on black Friday, and I suggested to call it buy everything day instead of buy nothing day. When I came here, I know there will be a crazy sale between Thanksgiving and Christmas. I told myself do not buy anything until that day. As a result, I live with almost nothing for five months. I think we can be a good consumer on that day instead of the rest of the year.

    But it is also contradictory: if I can live well in the last 5 months, then why should I buy those things yesterday??

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