The day after Thanksgiving…
Swarms of people fight their way through swarms of more people just to get their hands on a slightly discounted cheap piece of plastic made in China that will end up in a landfill (along with it’s plastic bag) by next year.
It’s a strange custom and indicative of the throw-away, instant gratification society we’ve become.
Personally, crowds make me a bit angsty so every year for me is “Don’t buy anything Friday” but this year it seems I may not be alone. There are several reasons for this:
1.) Um… everyone’s broke.
2.) People are starting to wake up to the fact that disposable junk is exactly that.
3.) People are starting to wake up to the fact that most corporations will do absolutely anything to get our money.
4.) People are starting to wake up to the fact that those corporations then use our money to buy off lobbyists and politicians
to pass laws in their favor so they can maximize profits and avoid paying taxes and continue to keep doing anything and everything to get more of your money to use to pay politicians to pass laws so they can get more of your money to use to pay politicians
to pass laws so they can make more money to pay politicians to pass laws so they can take more of our money, and on and on, until their CEO’s are dining on fried endangered species souffle’ on a veranda in Monte Carlo somewhere, washing it down with rare fermented 17th century grapes grown on the backs of the peasants below (that would be us).
We can continue to squabble over the crumbs they let ‘trickle down’ to us or we can choose not to partake in this kooky corporate consumerist custom and instead begin working to build a new conscious model of spending and living, which brings me to my favorite reason people have decided not to shop on Friday this year…
5.) We’re actually boycotting it in lieu of something much better and far less crowded.
Welcome to “Don’t buy anything Friday and it’s perky cousin, Shop small Saturday!
Hooray for two new holidays we can finally get behind!!
Ok, so you’ve agreed to cut out the Friday mayhem this year and you keep hearing about this ‘shopping local’ thing but maybe you don’t understand exactly what that means or why it’s so important…
Click here to read this and you will…
That said, i say get out and do something active that doesn’t require money on Friday
and then Saturday, hit up your local street market.
Open air markets are so much more nowdays than just produce. There’s all sorts of fun goodies and unique holiday gifts for everyone.
The best part is that these items are locally made (read: in America, hence, keeping jobs here), usually by hand, with love and purpose.
By purchasing these sorts of goods, you are not only giving back to your community by stimulating your local economy, you’re giving a big tangible thumbs down to the machine that continues to fund all sorts of lawmakers and policies not meant to support the average working american.
Corporations exist solely for profit, so speak to them in the only language they know – Money.
Don’t think there’s a market near you?
The USDA actually provides a pretty fantastic search by zip code so you can find out exactly where and when the closest one to you might be – HERE
If you’re in Tampa, check out the downtown market near Gaslykes Park (Fridays):
If you’re in Dunedin, check out the Green Market, Saturdays near Pioneer Park:
Lastly, if you’re in St Pete, of course check out the Saturday morning market…
I visited the St Pete market last weekend for the first time in a long time and was pleasantly surprised to see how they’ve grown.
I picked out a few great holiday gift ideas just to share and as you can see, took lots of pix as well…
There were beautiful orchids:
Awesome fruit trees:
Wonderful smelling soaps:
Gorgeous hand tinted fabrics:
Adorable holiday ornaments and festive figurines:
Creative uses of clay:
Vertical gardens that water themselves!
Salt scrubs and smiling faces:
And all sorts of other uniquely random gift ideas:
Oh, and how could i forget? The food was delicious (and i ate way too much of it)!
Check out the links here to find websites for many of the vendors. Some allow you to order on-line too.
My absolute favorite gift idea (that would be because it’s what I’M asking Santa for this year;) was the mini-batch composter.
For $35 in just three weeks, you can turn your food waste into fertile rich soil for your garden to grow more veggies with to use to turn into more soil to grow more veggies with to turn into more soil….(you get the idea).
Who knew the cycle of life could be so fun and quick!! 😉
And of course don’t forget these kitschy prints for your kitchen by Creative Loafing’s own, Shanna Gillette (shameless self plug) of Sasha Rae Photo make awesome holiday gifts!
Also, for more crafts, this just in: Check out Studio 620 Saturday Dec 3 for Craft Heroes.
So this Saturday and every day, shop small, shop local, and shop proud. Keep your local community alive!
2 million people already have!!
“We must rapidly begin the shift from a thing-oriented society to a person-oriented society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, militarism and economic exploitation are incapable of being conquered. A nation can flounder as readily in the face of moral and spiritual bankruptcy as it can through financial bankruptcy.”
Dr. Martin Luther King, April, 1967
This Thanksgiving, remember to give thanks to those who make you happy!!
-Local Flavor Productions