It’s Buy Nothing Day!

It’s Buy Nothing Day! November 25, 2011

I won’t be going shopping today, and not just because I live at the end of a long, skinny island whose two main roads will be crowded today with people going to and from the shopping area up west. (But I won’t lie–that’s part of it!)

Today, instead, I’m choosing solidarity with the thousands of people worldwide who’ve pledged to “buy nothing.” It is, I think, largely symbolic–this refusal to shop on the “biggest shopping day of the year.”

Here’s why I’m buying nothing today:

1. Following Thanksgiving Day with a Shopping Day seems to me fundamentally incongruous. A Sabbath from spending is a good way to follow a day that is (or ought to be) dedicated to expressing gratitude for God’s grace(s). Because one of the main ideas of Sabbath is that it is a day when one rests from one’s labors and rests in God’s provision.

2.  I don’t need anything. And chances are, you don’t either. But there are lots of people who have nothing. Buying nothing today is an act of resistance and also an act of solidarity with those for whom buying or not buying is not a choice.

{Tomorrow, why not check out these alternative gift catalogs at Heifer International, World Vision, and Samaritan’s Purse?}

3. Call me “Christian”–not “consumer.” Buying nothing today reinforces this: my identity is not in what I have, or what I buy, but in who I am and whose I am: God’s–and God made me (and you!) to create and to connect–not just to consume. Connecting with others and creating–creating memories, music, or mukluks (sorry, but my daddy’s a preacher and I just can’t resist alliterating)–is deeply satisfying in a way that consuming can’t ever be.

Have a joyful ‘buy nothing day,’ folks!

(Click here for a pattern to knit your own mukluks. Hee hee!)

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