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Locals observe ‘Buy Nothing Day’

Posted: November 23, 2012 - 5:12pm
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Lauren Geier and her son, Logan Geier, create Christmas presents Friday as an alternative to participating in Black Friday shopping. COURTNEY SPRADLIN PHOTO
Lauren Geier and her son, Logan Geier, create Christmas presents Friday as an alternative to participating in Black Friday shopping. COURTNEY SPRADLIN PHOTO

While throngs of people use the day following Thanksgiving to cash in on retail promotions and make an early jump on Christmas shopping, another group purposefully refrains.

The participants of “Buy Nothing Day,” do just that — they buy nothing on Black Friday.

Conway Junior High art teacher Chris Massingill is one of the sect that has committed to staying home on the shopping holiday.

Massingill doesn’t only refrain, but she is proactive on the day she says is representative of “our over-consumerism.”

“People use today to buy things they don’t need because you’re going to save some money. People give up family time to stand in line to buy things made of plastic,” she said.

Massingill said she has been promoting another mindset for the Friday after Thanksgiving Day for about seven years.

An artist who makes and sells her creations locally and online, Massingill opens her “tiny, tiny studio,” at her home on Caldwell Street near Conway’s downtown to like-minded people who want an alternative to buying.

She said about 40 people committed this year, and the “Buy Nothing Day Open Studio” event on Facebook allowed participants to come and go throughout the day.

On the event’s description, Massingill wrote, “To celebrate ‘Buy Nothing Day’ you can come to my studio and make some handmade gifts instead of facing the craziness of the Black Friday sales and since your gifts will be handmade they will be way cooler than anything you can buy at a big box store anyway.’

The small studio is equipped for clay sculpting, with an electric and manual wheel.

At 1 p.m., pieces were hardening on the front porch of the studio. A participant who had come and gone created a sushi plate, and another a wall hanging. Several had created ornaments and pendants.

Massingill offers her expertise through workshops, typically $35-$50 per, but on Friday there was strictly a barter system.

She said someone was going to make her son a hat as a trade for her lesson and materials. Another participant brought homemade soup and bread as payment, someone left a puzzle, and a chef committed to trading cooking lessons.

“Last year someone made me dinner a week later. This year I’ve been promised eggplant Parmesan,” Massingill said.

Massingill said she tries to barter year-round when she can, and she shops locally or on handmade product sites like Etsy.com.

Buy Nothing Day is largely promoted through “Adbusters” magazine, a non-profit online and print publication that challenges consumerism.

The group’s website says Buy Nothing Day is ‘an international day of protest against consumerism celebrated annually just after Thanksgiving.’

(Staff writer Courtney Spradlin can be reached by email at courtney.spradlin@thecabin.net or by phone at 505-1236. To comment on this and other stories in the Log Cabin, log on to www.thecabin.net. Send us your news at www.thecabin.net/submit)

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3393
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Terri Powers 11/23/12 - 07:31 pm
6
0
I'm all over this...

No shopping, no shopping lists, no lunch or dinner out during or after shopping.

I'm staying home, enjoying the sunshine and fresh air of my own backyard.

Knock yourselves out folks.

General Disarray
7473
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General Disarray 11/23/12 - 10:34 pm
3
1
Well

Not sure what exactly to think about this. On one hand, I do hate the whole commercializing of holidays and can totally understand where this is coming from. But on the other hand, with the economy in the dumps, now is not the best time to be revolting against capitalism. These spikes in business can be very helpful.

But with that all said, I did not purchase one thing today nor did I get to spend it with any of my loved ones. So I guess I missed out on the best of both worlds.

Reaganesque
4424
Points
Reaganesque 11/24/12 - 09:39 am
2
3
Well.....

How about a parade?

daviskr
1687
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daviskr 11/26/12 - 08:32 am
3
0
In my opinion

Black Friday, like any other marketing gimmick, can be used to the shopper's advantage if we are willing to make a plan and stick with it, and it doesn't have to be all "scream, grab, and trample".

For example, my sister and I went shopping in the middle of the night on Black Friday, but we waited an hour or two after the stores opened so the main crowd could get in and out. I bought a large rolling duffle bag for my husband (who is about to be traveling with his job) at 80% off. I also bought some high quality bakeware for 70% off.

ArkyBass
746
Points
ArkyBass 11/26/12 - 11:24 am
4
0
How about Thanksgiving day?

I think Thanksgiving (and Christmas) day should be the 'buy nothing' days. No gas, no going to a diner, no going to the grocery store for the last minute ingredient. Try to make it unprofitable for businesses to be open that day so the employees get the day off!

That said I remember volunteering to work holidays because I needed the money...

Black Friday is unstoppable at this point but we could make the holiday ...a holiday?

i_wonder
27122
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i_wonder 11/26/12 - 11:32 am
6
0
well
Unpublished

I propose a "Do Nothing Day".

But, I'm lazy like that.

Budnmud
22506
Points
Budnmud 11/26/12 - 12:20 pm
4
0
Me....

I do nothing most everyday....

i_wonder
27122
Points
i_wonder 11/26/12 - 12:28 pm
3
0
well
Unpublished

Then you should be really good at it by now.

Tjernobyl_Child
3300
Points
Tjernobyl_Child 11/26/12 - 11:43 am
5
0
hmmm

Shouldnt she have called it "Don't buy very much day" or anti-door buster day? I mean someone did have to buy all the supplies, yarn, food, etc for the bartering system.

BuzzBy
17777
Points
BuzzBy 11/26/12 - 01:47 pm
5
0
WELL
Unpublished

If the current trend persist Balck Friday will be in Wednesday in a couple of years
Started At 5 and 6 AM then 2 and 3 AM This years 8 PM to 12 PM.

Next Year who knows.

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