Boycotting Black Friday

Dear Retailers,

I regret to inform you that the hundreds of TV commercials you have hit me over the head with over the past day have had zero impact on me. Or rather, they've had an impact on me, but not the one you were probably hoping to have.

Honestly, I don't want to see anything about Macy's, Kohl's, WalMart or Mervyns while I'm watching the "Charlie Brown Thanksgiving". Your commercials with fake Santas, fake snow and Christmas trees are all making me feel rather ill. You obviously could care less about any true meaning of Christmas because it's clear that your religion is materialism. You just want me to come into your store and shop so you can have some decent 4th quarter earnings.

I don't care if you're opening up at 6 AM on Friday morning. I don't care if everything in your store is going to be 40% off. I've never gone shopping on your so-called "Black Friday" and I never will. I refuse to run into a store and engage in snatch and grab tactics, just so I can get "stuff". It's not that I don't want the stuff because I sort of do. It's just that I know your CEOs are already wealthy enough as it is. I'll just opt out of lining your pockets any more than is absolutely necessary.

But if you decide to hand out free gas cards, I might change my mind and come by your store. I paid $3.65 a gallon yesterday! So, think about that as a marketing tactic. I'll bet you'd have lines around the block.

Warmly,

Los Angelista

Comments

West said…
Ouch!

While I don't feel like you do about these companies, I applaud your response - if only because that's one less person I have to worry about grabbing the latest shiny doodad before I can get to it. :-p

Btw, I haven't seen very many ads. I've had to search'em out online.
I currently live in Japan, so I am missing out on all that lovely holiday commericalism. Although it is alive and well here, too. Christmas is big business in a country where only less than one percent of the population is Christian. Go figure...
thailandchani said…
DBM, it's becoming big business in Thailand, too, which makes me want to heave.

I'm with Liz on this one. I won't be going into the stores either. The crassness of the holiday turns me off.
Mes Deux Cents said…
Hi Liz,

First, some here in Northern California might consider you lucky paying 'just' $3.65 a gallon. (lol)

I saw a T.V. spot for I think it was Kohl's and I did an aural double take, they are opening at 4AM on Friday! That is insane.

I don't really do the Xmas shopping thing. The presents I buy are usually bought during the year here and there, partly because I don't want to be a lemming and partly because I will pay good money to avoid crowds.

Unfortunately we have become a consumer country. Most of what we buy is made elsewhere. Our entire economy is dependant on how much we spend rather than how much we sell. This has filtered down to how many Americans live, buy more, save less. I'm afraid to think how bad it's going to be for the next generation.

Thanks
thailandchani:
My husband and I visited Thailand in April. Words cannot describe how touched and impressed we were by the culture. In fact, I am listening to traditional Thai music as I type!
Interesting. I am in a coutry that is over 85% Catholic and I have seen only a few shopping ads on Italian TV.

I never go to the stores the day after Thanksgiving. I think the whole circus is insane.
Nerd Girl said…
I definitely won't be making the rounds on Friday. I did it once - with my mother-in-law (about 7 years ago) and was so throroughly pissed off by the whole experience I vowed never to repeat. And what in Kohl's is worth getting out of bed for at 4 p.m. much less 4 a.m.? Lord, no!
jali said…
I'm with you!
I plan to spend Friday eating leftovers and watching stuff I have no business wathcing on TV. (I just channeled my grandma)
BZ said…
Preach! I loathe shopping with every inch of my soul as it is. No way in hell I wish to brave the treachery that is black Friday. People annoy me already. Large crowds of b*tchy women on a sale mission are even worse. I'll be at home stuffing myself with left-overs.
Tafari said…
If I was a Christian, I would say amen to that!!!

The meaning off all holidays means nothing more than cash out, values out, true meanings out.

On Black Friday, my family usually goes to Toronto for the weekend but not this year. The low dollar value, high gas cost & high taxes in Canada are keep our broke US dollar having asses home.

Unfortunately, I have to go to the mall Friday for an appointment at the Apple store to get my iphone repaired & trust me I am dreading the trip!

Bygbaby
Jameil said…
they got me. apple, christian bookstore and target will allll get got.
Anonymous said…
No sales here until after Christmas but the crowds are insane. Now, with the dollar being so cheap I have to admit I can't wait for my trip to Vegas in January!
Lola Gets said…
Im doing NaBloPoMo too! And I second you on the gas cards, this sista needs a break!
L
Liz Dwyer said…
West,
Wait till right before New Year's when the retailers are really desperate. I'll bet your shiny doodad will be even cheaper then!

I'm telling you, out here, every other ad is for some sale. It's so annoying. It makes me feel like the Grinch.

DMB,
When I lived in China, it was sort of nice to not be inundated with all the pressure to buy Christmas presents. I'm not Christian and I feel that pressure to buy and buy some more here in the States. I'd rather just go to church with somebody to celebrate what the holiday is supposed to be about.

Chani,
I just don't know how special it is to get a Christmas present these days when people go shopping and buy themselves "presents" all the time. Is there anything that people are just absolutely dying to have that they really save for special occassions? No wonder we have those commercials where someone goes and buys a car!

MDC,
Oh, I'll bet! I remember gas being $1.35 when I moved here in '98. Those were the good ole days, huh!

I just saw that Kohl's ad. And they're giving $10 gift cards to the first 250 people there at 4 AM. I could go, get the $10 and then bring myself home. I'm not sure if there's anything I want or need up in there though. And no wonder everyone cries about being in debt by the time January rolls around.

DMB,
You're making me think of red curry with tofu. Yum! I think I'll order Thai food for dinner tonight. :)

NYC/CR,
It is insane...and what, Italians aren't trying to go out shopping before the sun's up? Yeah, no wonder you want to move over there!

Nerd Girl,
Nothing is worth getting there at 4 AM. I seriously think that sort of behavior brings out the worst in us all. Ok, I take that back. If my local bookstore had a sale like that...I might be there! LOL!

Jali,
I'm going over a friend's house so I don't have to worry about left overs. And then on Friday, my best friend from undergrad is visiting. The last thing I do is want to be stressed out by going to a mall.

BZ,
I am not a big shopping fan either. I can only go a few times a year and I like to go when there aren't a whole bunch of people there. The memory of a lady trying to steal my son's Spiderman backpack when we were doing back-to-school shopping is still waay to fresh in my mind.

Bygbaby,
A trip to Toronto would be so fun, but I hear you. That would be one pricey trip this year, especially in comparison to previous years. You have to get your iPhone repaired? See, that's why I don't need to get one of those things...they seem so fragile. One of my kids would probably break it in a heartbeat.

Jameil,
Nooo! Although being at Target for their two day sale sounds much more appetizing than being at Kohls. There are few things I wouldn't mind picking up from Target!

Sharifa,
You are coming out to Vegas??? Hey!
Liz Dwyer said…
Lola,
Good for you that you're doing Nablopomo as well! Can't believe it's almost over. I've enjoyed it a whole lot. Are you going to keep posting every day after it's over?
And it is so mindless. How can people not see that they are being dictated to, told when to shop, to shop, to celebrate and give to people that they don't eve particularly care about. I shop throughout the year and we do not go overboard. Our goal is to be able to ride out Thanksgiving to Christmas with a superior air, we stand on the balcony drinking spirits while we point and laugh at the folks done gone wild.
Ian Lidster said…
I don't really know anything about Black Friday. We don't have it in Canada. I am assuming it's a post-Thanksgiving mega shopping day. We have the same thing on Boxing Day, Dec. 26th. Have a wonderful TG lovely friend.
Liz Dwyer said…
Kitty,
It's smart to shop throughout the year. Also, who says that folks have to get ten presents. How about just one nice present?

My six year-old got annoyed this year when the day after Halloween all the shelves in Rite-Aid were covered with Christmas stuff. At the rate we're going with the overboard commercialism, we're gonna start seeing Christmas sales right after the 4th of July.

Ian,
Feel lucky that you all don't have Black Friday! You're right, it is a post-Thanksgiving shopping insanity. Now, I don't mind hitting an after Christmas sale since my birthday is the 29th! :) And Happy Thanksgiving to you too!
LOL I am not doing any shopping either. I have a blogger meet up planned! I'll be using gas but it's for a much better purpose than shopping.
Mizrepresent said…
$3.65 cents, dayum...and here i was complaining about $3...

Happy Thanksgiving!
Liz Dwyer said…
Cloudscome,
A blogger meet-up sounds like much better use of time. I've never been to one and I don't know if I'm outgoing enough to go to one. But anything's got to be better than shopping!
Liz Dwyer said…
Mizrepresent,
Yeah, I remember when I complained about $2. I can't believe that was only a couple of years ago!
Miss Awesome said…
Yeah I'm thinking if they start offering 40% off groceries or rent, I'm definitely showing up at 4 in the morning.
Liz Dwyer said…
BMP,
I'm with you on that one! If they gave rent discounts or grocery store coupons out at some of these stores, I might have to show up to get one. And then I'd go home and go back to bed!
storyteller said…
Bravo Liz!
I've not been in a shopping mall since before Halloween when I was disgusted to see CHRISTMAS decorations on display already. I remember when stores closed on Sundays and holidays and miss the good times we spent together as a family without such intrusive distractions (but I'm a dinosaur, so who listens?). One benefit to my "happily retired" state of being is that I've saved a bundle in the last few months ... and I've had time to make meaningful holiday gifts for family and friends.
Hugs and blessings,
Liz Dwyer said…
Storyteller,
I think it's so wonderful that you're making gifts for your loved ones. I hope they appreciate them. I also remember and sort of miss when everything was closed on certain days of the year. That's definitely an era that's gone by the wayside.

Hugs and blessings back to you as well!
Unknown said…
Amen!

I almost bought the cutest little tray that makes heart shaped ice cubes but I stopped myself because it was Black Friday.

I've also put a cap on the amount of money to be spent on gifts for my bf this year. And also will be buying gifts via nonprofitshoppingmall.com so what I spend goes to a charity instead of helping some rich retailer stay rich.

It's not going to change the world but I will feel less like a capitalist pig this holiday season and beyond.

Also, I hope your Thanksgiving was restful and reflective.

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