Buy Nothing Day. Ish.

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Dan Harper expresses some of the same ambivolence I feel about Buy Nothing Day, which is today. For the sake of full disclosure, I bought two rolls of toilet paper (recycled fibers) and a pack of callus pads today, neither of which is the epitome of conspicuous consumption.

If you only defer your buying habits, rather than change them, what good have you done?

I'm cutting back on my spending this year, Christmas included, and cutting back on my debt in the process. What about you? What ways have your adopted (or hope to adopt) to make Christmas more meaningful? Or, if no less expensive, how about less stressful?

7 Replies to “Buy Nothing Day. Ish.”

  1. -I’m pledging to spend no more than $100 on gifts this Christmas. Some will call it cheap, but I’m seeking very meaningfull gifts instead of expensive things.

  2. We’ve made the pledge for the past few years that we would give donations in honor of family members in lieu of buying gifts. This year, we’re planning to also buy token gifts that are made by locally-owned businesses. And OK, maybe this sounds very politically correct, but there are no children in our immediate families and everyone is more or less middle class and doesn’t need anything. But it’s the reduced stress level in our lives from not having to shop for meaningless gifts that’s the real selfish payoff for us — Christmas has become an enjoyable holiday again.

    (Just for the record, Scott, I did do some shopping on BND. I bought a bar of soap at a locally-owned and operated health food store (almost as leftie as your recycled-fiber toilet paper), and we also rented DVDs of season two of Futurama at Blockbuster.)

  3. Mrs P and I are going to try celebrating Advent during Advent, and then celebrating Christmas starting on Christmas Eve. (This will probably require finding some Advent-like tree decorations.) This year we’ll also pick at least one charity to give to. I’ve never signed on to the anti-consumer Christmas thing, though, and frankly love to spoil my nephews and nieces. Avoiding debt is important, but the puritanism of the “buy nothing” movement makes no sense to me.

  4. the only person in my family who celebrates christmas is my grandmother.

    i will probably give kwanzaa gifts to my nephews and nieces (four in total), but these will be books.

    and that’s that!

  5. We tend to “go away” at Christmas. Last year I had a cold and we went to Birch Bay, Washington, and sat around and ate and watched movies on tv and sniffled. This year we may go to LA to fix a friend’s computer. I buy little gifts for my co-workers. My spouse and I buy each other new nightgowns every year. (long flannel nightgowns, and sometimes slippers.) That’s it. We make fancy food on Christmas — especially breakfast.
    My sister and I have our annual fight. Last year I couldn’t face it, so we had it in January.

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