A New Black Friday Tradition

This Thanksgiving I stopped to reflect on the first 25 years of my life. I hate to admit it, but for so many years I was more excited about Black Friday than Thanksgiving. I valued stuff over family time and every year I would search to secure more “deals” even though I didn’t actually need anything at all.

The biggest low point for me was in high school when I camped out on Thanksgiving with a group of friends in hopes of scoring a doorbuster TV at Best Buy. I fell into the trap of Black Friday and I was hooked.

My life has changed dramatically from those days of consumerism. Two years ago I paid off all my student loan debt and nearly a year later I sold my car and became debt free. By being mindful about my spending I was able to achieve my goals of becoming debt free faster than I thought possible.

I have learned having more isn’t always better, and that often it is our stuff that can hold us back from accomplishing our goals. Many times, less really is more. By overcoming my addiction to shopping and releasing the things I do not value, I’ve never been more happy and successful in life. Today I help others overcome their addiction to shopping and teach them to reclaim their homes and lives as a professional organizer.

I have not shopped Black Friday in more than 2 years and it feels freeing. Last year I I had the privilege to spend Thanksgiving exploring Barcelona. One easy way to avoid Black Friday is to go somewhere they don’t have it and disconnect entirely to focus on what is important in your life, for me, this is living and experiencing life with those I love. This year I didn’t travel for Thanksgiving and instead spent it with my partner’s family, which inspired me to write this post.

On our way home from Thanksgiving dinner this year, my partner and I couldn’t help but discuss Black Friday. Many family members in attendance were actually headed out to shop late that evening. This frustrates me beyond belief, but after a lot of back and forth we came up with a new tradition that we are going to start this year on Black Friday.

So why should you avoid Black Friday? Of course there are many reasons and I could probably write a book on this topic alone, but here is my one main reason. By avoiding Black Friday you save 100%. Yes, you get the ultimate deal of spending absolutely nothing. Instead, you are 100% present in the moment with those around you remembering what the spirit of Thanksgiving is all about rather than stressing about what spot you will get in line.

The average Black Friday shopper this year is projected to spend roughly $400. This year we asked what could we do with $400, since we aren’t participating in Black Friday. Instead of shopping, we will be donating $200 to a local charity, and invest the other $200.

Helping the community and investing in my future will bring me more joy than participating in a shopping “holiday”. Black Friday was not designed to help you, it was designed to put your money into the pockets of others.

How might your holiday be different this year if you didn’t participate in Black Friday? What might you do instead? Join me and consider giving.