Growing up, we didn’t have Black Friday here in Canada. It just wouldn’t make sense; our Thanksgiving is in October. However I’ve noticed a weird phenomenon happen in the past 5 years or so; along with all other symbols of unabashed capitalism (like Wal-Mart and Costco), Black Friday has trickled its way north of the border.
In the past, we would don our lumberjack shirts, sit next to our pet moose and swig maple syrup while watching the Black Friday stampedes that were going on in the US. Ok, perhaps everything but the moose – the point I’m trying to make is that this sales apocalypse was once uniquely American; ergo, non-Canadian. We had Boxing Day and that was that. So I find it bizarre that we don’t even have a major holiday preceding Black Friday but we’ve taken it on and made it our own.
As a recovering spendaholic, I was intending to write a post about how to avoid the shopping triggers that have already started via commercials and emails from retailers. As I came to formulate my thoughts, just one message came to mind: just don’t do it. That’s it: just don’t do it.
Sounds far too over-simplistic, but what I mean is that it may actually be easier to avoid shopping today because it’s broken down into one bite size morsel to chew on. I’m not saying try to conquer your shopping weaknesses forever starting tomorrow (but that would be brilliant and good on you if you do!), I’m saying its one day where you need to conquer the urge to spend. For one day, avoid the shops and don’t set foot in the mall. For one day, don’t click on the emails. For one day, do whatever you can to not log on to your favourite sites. Then once Friday is over, pat yourself on the back, recognize your small win, and have faith that if you did it on Black Friday, you can do it on regular ol’ Saturday. And generic lazy Sunday. And all of the next week to come.
I know this may be easier for my fellow Canadians as tomorrow is still a business day so we don’t have the day off to go empty our wallets out at the mall, but to the Americans and anyone else with a day off on Friday, it is the day to not step foot in a shop. Turn off the TV and the radio and work on a project at home, make a list of fun ways to rework your leftovers, go for a beautiful Fall walk if the weather isn’t crappy. It’s not just about not spending the money, it’s about staying away from the hysteria and not becoming another sheep in the flock. The piles of bags in shoppers hands makes it all feel normal; there is no disposing of our hard-earned cash or piling on more debt attached to the visuals; it’s just a high energy picture of amassment and the thrill of the deal. I’ve been there, I know how “normal” being around hordes of other shoppers can make spending money I don’t have seem.
If any of my arguments don’t win you over, there’s always the advice below:
Tell it like it is, Kermit!
What will you be doing on Black Friday?