Christmas is my favorite holiday! I love the lights, I love the food, I love the giving and receiving, and I love the snow when I’m lucky enough to have it.
I only have two presents left to get, and I know exactly what they are and where to get them. Then I can start wrapping and shipping them.
My yearly goal is to have my shopping completed by Thanksgiving, this year counts as a partial success as I know what I need to get, I won’t be wandering around a store frustrated looking for the perfect gift. See, I won’t set foot in a mall on Black Friday, and I try to avoid doing it after Thanksgiving. I love the holidays, and going out surrounded by crazy people destroys my holiday zen.
I can’t begrudge people who don’t walk around seeing every shopping opportunity as a chance to complete Christmas shopping, and my technique has it’s disadvantages, as I’m usually not getting someone something they asked for.
But then again, I don’t end being part of the masses that trample people on Black Friday. See, Black Friday offends me to the deepest depth of my core. From one atheist to all of you- this rampant consumerism is the true war on Christmas (and part of the midset that led to so many living outside their means). So here’s your Holiday Shopping Guide, to you, from Irreverent on the Internet.
1. SHOP LOCAL: You hear these two phrases a lot “shop local” and “vote with your dollar.” Small business is one of those things that gets thrown around a lot every election season, and many people vote for [X] party because they believe that that is the best choice for small business. I won’t get into politics here, but I can drop a fact bomb on you: Tax breaks are completely irrelevant to small business if they aren’t getting revenue from people shopping at them! AND the more you shop at small businesses they are able to adjust their markups so they don’t have to charge as much to make their profit. Small, local businesses have amazing, unique gift selections and they benefit the American economy, your local economy, and help out average people such as yourself. I’m lucky to live in a city that has a fantastic weekend market for holiday shoppers, look for similar events in your area!
“But Irreverent,” you say, “I want to do my shopping on the interwebs, I have to go to places like Walmart.com for that, don’t I?”
Negative darling, but that leads us to point two:
2. WATCH YOUR WEBSITES: Ever heard of Regretsy? Well, obviously etsy has some trash in with it’s treasure, but there’s a bigger problem, and that’s resellers. Spending your hard earned money on real etsy craftspeople is AWESOME and super encouraged. But make sure you’re NOT supporting a reseller! If it looks like it came from Forever21, it probably did. Check sites like Regretsy and Callin’ Out on Etsy to make sure you’re supporting the work of a real person. This same vigilance can be applied to a site like ebay. There are also great independently operated sites Shiro Cosmetics. I haven’t had the chance to personally try their make-up, but it seems well reviewed, and I’d be remiss to not promote something awesomley geeky and made by a student.
This brings me to my last point:
3. WATCH WHEN AND WERE YOU SHOP: It may be too late for this piece, but DONT SHOP ON THANKSGIVING. Every person that is staffing a store on Thanksgiving is a person not spending time with their family. I had to work Thanksgiving morning, and it was just depressing. Unlike Christmas and other holidays with religious implications, Thanksgiving gets to be for everyone (there’s a discussion on colonialism to be had, but not in this post). Stores aren’t going to stop these insane hours until YOU STOP SHOPPING DURING THEM. Respect the holidays, and respect other people. Stand against human greed and the rampant consumerism that leads to people being trampled to death the day after Thanksgiving. It’s disgusting. It makes me ashamed to be American. It makes me ashamed to be human. Think about your priorities, is it your a family, or that weird-looking Wii thing? Also, stand with Wal-Mart employees in their strike. These employees have just as much right to be home with their families, be paid living wages, and have decent health-care, as every other person. I’m neither Mormon nor a housewife, but I think this post on Feminist Mormon Housewives makes some excellent points. And check out this site as well. “Reason for the Season” makes it sound religious, but I promise it’s not.
Vote with your time and your dollar this holiday season, show your support for workers and their families by supporting small businesses and supporting the sanctity of family time. It’s time to euthanize the false-god of consumerism. You can have shopping and a great holiday without keeping workers from their families and participating in the mentality that allows for people to be injured and killed for a good deal.
Peace, love and pie. Happy Thanksgiving.