For those of you who do not know, I am an anti-consumerist, and I do not condone purchases just for the sake of purchases. The biggest shopping day in the United States is this Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, when every store in the nation rolls out the red carpets and bargain sales in the official kickoff of the holiday shopping season, far eclipsing the level of advertising pressure leading up to that day combined. It angers me.
Another spike in national behavior trends is that the week of Thanksgiving is the biggest holiday travel week in the U.S., with many Americans rushing off to visit friends and relatives. When you combine this with the shopping spike, it makes little sense. It tells me that people are driving on Wednesday, taking leave from work and traveling to see people they care about, gorging on Thanksgiving dinner on Thurdsay, and then on Friday spending quality time with those relatives they traveled so far to visit… by shopping! Since when did shopping become the social event that keeps families together?
I hate to think that the American economy is propped up entirely by the constant consumerism of personal spending. The media has drilled in our heads the idea that the next Great Depression will be among us if we stop buying DVDs, cell phones, dinette sets, iPods, handbags, jewelry, and NBA-licensed sweatpants. If the American economy is so feeble that it is kept alive by the dialysis of consumer spending alone, then we are all in a grave predicament.
I want to think I’m not the only one who think’s this way, who believes that rampant consumer spending is a detriment to the economic health of the world. I want to believe that many people also consider two thirds of the mas market swag out there to be unadulterated rubbish. I want to believe that people can control their spending, and focus on the more important things on such a significant holiday.
That’s why I ask you to join me this Friday, to avoid spending a single dime on stuff this week. Please spend time with those people you traveled so far to spend time with, not the nearest mall.