Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Tis The Season to Sit in the Car (or on the sidewalk in front of the store) at 3 a.m. and Wait for the Stores to Open?

I love a bargain as much as the next person, perhaps a bit more, but I don't understand this post-holiday tradition. I saw all the sale flyers and yes the prices did seem impressive on some items but I didn't have a burning need to purchase any of these items that would rouse me out of bed in the predawn light.

Black Friday always causes me to ponder wants versus needs. Like grocery store coupons, I suspect the mere presence of coupons promising huge discounts may persuade people to purchase things they might not ordinarily buy. Obviously, there's a difference between buying preportioned snack food with a triple coupon and buying a laptop that's 50% off between the hours of 6-8 a.m. but I think the concept is very similar. I think the flyers and commercials that bombard us this time of year train us to want more.

We boycotted the traditional Black Friday fare by hitting several thrift stores as planned. To me this is more like treasure hunting than regular shopping. Along the way we found several wants (a silver ice bucket with tongs for Jim's very Dean Martin vintage bar, some records and some books) as well as a few needs (a winter jacket, a denim jacket, some shirts, a pair of pants and a ladel). We even drooled while window shopping over a console record player that we loved but neither needed nor had the space for. Best of all, we got to introduce a friend to the wonders of thrift store prices.

Our No Crap for Christmas policy continues this year, although I'm not certain we called it that in years past. Gifts to adults must be useful or edible. They absolutely can not be clutter bought for the sake of just giving something. Gifts to children will take into account that there are far fewer kids than adults and, because of this, the kids will all make out like bandits. Less is more during the holidays. The less you get, the more you appreciate the things you do get.


Ruthie said...

Katie ~

I LOVE the name of your Christmas! We're doing "buy nothing" Christmas this year, which is put forth by a mennonite group. I love that on their website they have a place for people to post pictures of free stuff they love. The Buy Nothing Catalog includes such things as "Irrational play" or "Horsey rides" http://www.buynothingchristmas.org/ I am actually planning on buying my husband a new wedding ring. He lost his on my birthday while rock climbing and I feel it would be a gift to both of us.

I also wanted to tell you that I'm going to let the people on the Eat to Live boards know about your method of cooking kale stems. They seem to be at a loss! :)

Peace and joy this (unfortunately unfrugal) season!

Taradactyl in a Modern World said...

I have an old consol record player you can have. You'd have to get it from sunny Orlando FL which might pose a problem and the speakers need a little work, but if you can figure it out just let me know and it's yours.

Katie said...

I love the idea of a buy nothing Christmas but its a little harder with kids. (Although more and more its the direction that the adults in the family are leaning.) I like the coupons on the website. It's a great idea to offer services.

Definitely share my kale/collard stems as celery substitute with the Eat to Live boards. I was as stumped as they were at first.

You are too sweet but I'd still have no room for it!