Forget Black Friday-Have a White Friday!

Monsieur Wants to Save Money and Save the Planet

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The Black Friday Blues

Black Friday occurs every year the day after Thanksgiving. Turkey stuffed people drag themselves out of bed in the wee hours of the morning to stand in line for great deals. Some people dread the day, some live for it. But why?
Everyone is looking for the best prices on items to give as Christmas gifts to loved ones, acquaintances, coworkers and even the mailman. Most of these people already have more than enough stuff and much of it is in a storage building, the attic, the basement or stuffed into closets. Do they really need the "Super Duper Fry My Baby Daddy" or "Lift Um & Love Um Girls Genie Bra" that you fought to get? Here are some alternative ideas for Christmas gifts, one that are gentle on the wallet, do not contribute to the drain on our planet's resources and do not even require gift wrapping!

Have a Minimal Christmas

Here are some gift ideas that will not empty the pocketbook, require trips to retail stores and that will help reduce clutter and the burden on our beautiful Mother Earth. Keep in mind that gifts do not have to be new. I am perfectly happy to receive a recycled item from a thrift or consignment store.

  • Electronic Book Reader-Yes, they are still expensive. However they will encourage the recipient to read more. Students can study Math, History, and much more on these devices so they are an investment in education when used properly. These are wonderful for young people and indeed kids of all ages.
  • Consumable Gifts-Give favorite food items that a minimalist receiver can use and enjoy without them becoming something to get rid of later. When possible, cook the food yourself to reduce cost and to eliminate shopping time. If giving bath products such as gels, bath salts, etc. look for ones that are all natural and have recycled packaging.
  • A Digital Scanner-These are available at thrift stores everywhere. Make a request on sites such as freecycle.org to get one for free. The happy recipient can get rid of documents, pictures, tax records, etc. by scanning and saving them to a computer.
  • Tickets-Give a ticket to a favorite musical, concert, theater production, ballet or whatever venue suits their interests. Make a memory that lasts a lifetime.
  • Live Plants-Even minimalists love clean air and most will be happy to see something green in their wide open, uncluttered space. The plant can be flower seeds, buds or trees that are later planted outside. Even better, plant a tree in a park or other authorized area and dedicate it to the recipient.
  • Babysit-Give the recipient a free evening. Offer to babysit so he/she can spend time doing what they would enjoy. Make it a weekend offer and allow the parents to have time alone. Bring the kids to your home so the parents do not need to spend money going away.
  • Car Wash-Clean the car for your friend or family member. Do it up right and they will think of you when they drive that sparkling, like new, automobile. Use soap, rags, buckets and other items you already own.
  • Membership-Buy a gift membership to a favorite museum, community theater, botanical garden or art center. This gift will can be purchased online and generally is inexpensive but keeps on giving all year.
  • Donation-Make a donation to a favorite charity or cause. This can also go to a beloved cultural center such as the local orchestra, etc.
  • Clean House-Schedule a day to come over and clean their house for them. Wash windows, dust, sweep, mop, wash, dry and fold laundry.
  • Music-Give a digital music card such as iTunes. Everyone loves music and with the receiver can download her favorites and think of you each time she hears that special song.
  • Talent-Use your own special talent to create something special. A writer can create a personal story or poem. A photographer can provide a photo shoot to a family looking for a unique shot. Are you a computer guru? Upgrade or repair a computer. A seamstress can repair clothing, sew hems, curtains, etc.
  • Time-Give the gift of your time. Spend an entire day, weekend or even week with a loved one. Turn off the phone, computer and television and talk. Go for long walks together, share memories and childhood stories.
  • Errands-Run errands for an elderly or disabled person. Do the grocery shopping, pay bills, pick up library books. These seemingly small things are huge to someone who is home bound.
  • Love Someone-So many of us need nothing but love and attention. A minimalist or someone living Wabi-Sabi may not want anything at all other than to know how much you love them. That is more valuable than any mass produced object.

There are thousands of other ideas for Christmas gifts that are easy on the wallet and the earth, ones that do not clutter one's home and mind. Leave your own ideas in the comments section below so we can all benefit from them.

Christmas Is Not About Material Things

We have heard all our lives that Christmas is not about material things but about celebrating Christ's birth. So why will Americans spend weeks scrabbling around in malls and stores choosing stuff and more stuff? Because advertisers, the media and companies who make merchandise manipulate emotions. They make people believe kids must have the latest toy or gadget, a spouse will be devastated unless they receive an expensive gift. But these are not necessary at all.

Every year we hear horror stories about someone who has been killed, usually on Black Friday because crowds gather to rush into stores trying to get the year's "Hot" Item. Others are killed or injured in traffic accidents because so many people take to the roads during the shopping frenzy.

Then many, many people spend months or even years paying off Christmas bills. Often the item(s) bought on credit have been in the thrift stores or trash for a long time and the buyer is still paying for them.

Enjoy the holidays! Love Christmas! Love people more than any material thing though. Slow down, leave the wallet at home or predetermine an amount to spend. Remember that all this stuff burdens the planet as well as the heart. Choose environmentally friendly gifts and/or wrapping paper. Get creative and refuse to use gift wrap at all or buy it from a thrift store.

Will You Choose Creative Gifts This Year?

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And The Angels Cried

All of my dividers are free for anyone to use. No attribution required.
All of my dividers are free for anyone to use. No attribution required.

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Comments 42 comments

remaniki profile image

remaniki 4 years ago from Chennai, India

Hi Brenda,

I simply loved this hub of yours. You are truly a beautiful human being. Great ideas for a wonderful Christmas and an even greater message for everyone to preserve our planet! Sharing everywhere possible and tweeting and pinning too.

Cheers, Rema.


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 4 years ago from Dallas, Texas

My favorite of your great ideas are these:

•Talent-Use your own special talent to create something special. A writer can create a personal story or poem. A photographer can provide a photo shoot to a family looking for a unique shot. Are you a computer guru? Upgrade or repair a computer. A seamstress can repair clothing, sew hems, curtains, etc.

•Time-Give the gift of your time. Spend an entire day, weekend or even week with a loved one. Turn off the phone, computer and television and talk. Go for long walks together, share memories and childhood stories.

Giving of our time and talents is truly a gift. Great advice Brenda.


billybuc profile image

billybuc 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

Well my friend, I think you already know where I stand on this. Our Christmas will be about simplicity and spending time with loved ones. Nothing more, nothing less. :) Great suggestions!


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 4 years ago from Shelton

I use to do my shopping on line.. but now I go to find keepsakes.. something that they will remember the moment.. nevertheless a great hub Hyphen awesome


aviannovice profile image

aviannovice 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

This is a great idea! I am one of those people that like homemade food, as long as it is wheat free. As soon as I can afford to do it, I'd like to give some of my pictures for the holidays, as 8 x 10's.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 4 years ago from Southern Illinois

Great ideas Hyphen. I never over spend on Christmas. It's just another time that people max-out their credit cards..Thank's for sharing..


lilyfly profile image

lilyfly 4 years ago from Wasilla, Alaska

Sweetheart, I never get around to answering many hubs, but I love these ideas! I don't have credit cards anymore! I think the car wash, and live plants would do anyone good. Right now, everyone's car is coated with mud, and everyone's longing for trees... I should have dug up little spruce tree, but you know what? I'm going to do it next year... this hub reminded me that Christmas is not supposed to be about money , spending, and getting, but a time of gratitude (even if we are poor), and giving and loving as much as we can! Love yaz, lily


Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 4 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful Author

Hi Rema. You are so lovely yourself dear woman. Thank you for encouraging me with your support. It truly is hard here in America to forsake material things. Our society places such great value on stuff. It boggles my mind. I appreciate you sharing this Hub. Thank you.


Mhatter99 profile image

Mhatter99 4 years ago from San Francisco

Thank you for these great ideas. Arlene and her mother use to "shop" (they don't really buy anything) on this day just to be part of the experience.


Alastar Packer profile image

Alastar Packer 4 years ago from North Carolina

Great gifts that won't rock your bank account and a much needed message reminder of whats really important. You've given me some gift ideas for some sisters. Thanks.


Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 4 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful Author

Hi Peg. I know this is a very "out there" subject for many people. While I have never been a Black Friday shopper, I have become more and more aware that it is an ungodly day. I feel that because millions of people are focused on buying and selling, not on the reason we celebrate Christmas. Thanks for coming by to read this and for your comments.


Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 4 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful Author

Hi Billy. You are wise. Keeping it simple and focused on Christ is important, shopping is not. Thanks for your gentle spirit.


Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 4 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful Author

Hi Frank. You write so well that a personal letter or poem would be an amazing keepsake. Think about it! Thanks for your continual support. You rock.


Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 4 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful Author

Hi aviannovice. That would be a beautiful gift. Last year I gave postcard sized photos with an original poem written on the front. I paid 12 cents a piece for them and the recipients loved them. The fact that no two were the same made the gifts extra special.


Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 4 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful Author

Good for you always exploring. I do not even have a credit card. The more I see people get into hardship, the happier I am that I wised up. Thank you friend.


Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 4 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful Author

My darling friend Lily, you are right. We are never too poor to be generous in giving. Actually we can do Christmas without spending one penny if we get creative. I wonder if that little spruce tree would make it down here to me?


Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 4 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful Author

Mhatter, I worked with a woman who did that with her daughter. It was a tradition. I know I am radical but I sure have peace of mind about it. Thanks for sharing your own family's experience.


Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 4 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful Author

Alastar, give them a whole day alone with you waling in the beautiful North Carolina mountains. I cannot imagine a lovelier gift from you or any brother.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 4 years ago from Southern Illinois

I came back to listen to the video. It makes me think about Dusty. He sent me a long email on Oct. the 8th. He was always trying to change my political views, ( In loving and funny way's ) I loved him like a brother. The video is beautiful..


Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 4 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful Author

Hello dear wonderful always exploring. I think it is a beautiful song. Allison Krauss has a remarkable voice. I was thinking of and missing Dusty today while at a book signing. Isn't that something? He sure had a great impact on us all.


kashmir56 profile image

kashmir56 4 years ago from Massachusetts

Hi my friend great hub and so full of great gift ideas to make it one great Christmas time, loved the video to !

Vote up and more !!!


KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

KoffeeKlatch Gals 4 years ago from Sunny Florida

What wonderful gift suggestions. I try every year to give gifts that I have made myself. I think your hub is wonderful.


Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 4 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful Author

Thanks kashmir. I love that song so much and am pleased you were blessed by it too. I appreciate you and hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas.


Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 4 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful Author

Hi CoffeKlatch Gals. You are on the right track. I prefer something handmade and personal sop much more than a mass produced item. I thank you for the positive feedback on the Hub. I was a bit nervous in publishing it.


healthylife2 profile image

healthylife2 4 years ago from Connecticut, USA

Thanks for reminding people what the holidays are really about during a time when so many people are racing around to get the right gift. I love your gift suggestions and might also suggest a certificate to a hotel for a night away and might be giving that to my husband so glad he isn't on HP to see this comment. My family has been through a lot after dealing with my health issue just a few days before Christmas so we value spending time together,laughing,playing board games, and sleeping late. Voted up!


Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 4 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful Author

I know the holidays must be extra meaningful to all of you. Thank you for the hotel suggestion. That is a great one. I hope more people will open their eyes to the meaning of Christmas and leave the crazy mass merchandise mentality behind. Thanks healthylife2. Have a most wonderful holiday season.


Genna East profile image

Genna East 4 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

I’ve only attended one “Black Friday” in recent years, and that was enough. I couldn’t believe how people literally walked over others and made these crazy dashes through the aisles, zipping past people almost knocking them over, or haggling over the last sale item from a rack. You would think this was on the eve of some kind of apocalypse.

I thought these reports were exaggerated, but they aren’t.

Your suggestions are pure gems, Brenda. A couple of them have given me some new ideas. Thank you! :-)


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 4 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

Hello Hyphen - Now you tell me! After I went shopping, shopping, shopping. I happen to agree that none of us needs 'Anything' else.

Happy Thanksgiving.


marcoujor profile image

marcoujor 4 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

Brenda,

If having a White Friday involves the Monsieur...count me in. I love the idea of sentimental, crafty homemade gifts from the heart and donations to charity in the name of the recipient of the gift.

You are wonderful and so are the ideas in this hub.

Voted UP and UABI. Happy Thanksgiving! Hugs, Maria


DonnaCosmato profile image

DonnaCosmato 4 years ago from USA

I love this hub - especially in these tense, tight economic times! The electronic reader idea is my favorite, and you are right about their versatility and long term savings potential. Voted this up :)


Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 4 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful Author

Hi Genna. It is my pleasure to help you with new gift ideas. As I write this, it is very early on Black Friday and I feel so relieved that I do not have to go out into the madness. My family is safe at home, saving money and spending time together. Thank you for coming by to read this Hub. Have a wonderful Christmas.


Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 4 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful Author

mckbirdbks, we really do not need all this stuff. It is a waste of resources and money. Many of us could stock another household from what we do have! Thanks. Now no more shopping!


Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 4 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful Author

Hello dear Mar. We can get so creative and give wonderful gifts that truly show people that we care. Monsieur creates favorite foods, I give super charged love just like Jesus does. Thank you friend for your heart, your love and your support. Those are all the Christmas gifts I need.


Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 4 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful Author

Hi Donna. I was given a Kindle Fire last Christmas and love it. My son can play games, watch movies, practice math and reading skills. These little gadgets are really a great tool. Thanks for coming by to read my Hub. Happy not shopping!


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

What a beautiful hub Brenda;I vote up and share. I wish you a wonderful weekend.

Eddy.


Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 4 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful Author

Hello Eiddwen. Thank you friend. This day has gotten out of control here in America. It saddens me that we have become so materialistic and depend upon things to express love.


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

Very useful and practical ideas, Brenda. These ideas are easy on the wallet and will gladden the heart of the receiver too. We do have a wrong notion about gifts being appreciated only if they are in material and expensive. But being helpful in small ways is a gift that gladdens not only the receiver but the giver as well.

Voted up, useful and interesting and shared.


Natashalh profile image

Natashalh 4 years ago from Hawaii

Love it! I always avoid Black Friday because I don't want to get trampled while trying to pay 'less' for something I don't need, anyway. Today at work I astonished some coworkers by telling them I don't ever look through post-Thanksgiving sale ads and don't even own a TV.

Some people will never understand, but I think my family has gotten used to my unusual, not necessarily store-bought gifts.


Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 4 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful Author

Rajan, you are right. The ill conceived notion that love is based on material and expense is crazy. The greatest love of all did not cost us a penny-the love of Christ who died for us. That fact should wake us up. Thank you for understanding my friend.


Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 4 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful Author

Hello Natashalh. Good for you. It really is amazing that people are amazed when we decline to be led mindlessly into the madness. We do own a television but only get some free digital channels. We get three PBS channels and love them. Even so we can go days without turning it on. When it goes out, I will not purchase another one. Enjoy your heartfelt Christmas. You are making it real.


mollymeadows profile image

mollymeadows 4 years ago from The Shire

Hyph, you gave me some gift ideas I hadn't thought of before. I love the idea of a museum membership! There are so many great ones here in Atlanta.

And the older I get, the more I think about the points you make here. This Christmas, the commercial frenzy seems especially shrill. Thank you for reminding all of us what Christmas *really* is about. :-)


Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 3 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful Author

Hi mollymeadows. That museum membership is one of my favorites also. I am going to break down and purchase a camera. My little boy wants one so this is a great time to surprise him for Christmas. Thanks for reading my anti-shopping Hub!

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