Eight Alternatives to Black Friday Shopping

Eight Alternatives to Black Friday Shopping
Paul Tefft
November 26, 2014
Black Friday Calendar

Black Friday. The quintessential day of commerce. The definition of hustle and bustle. When “every man for himself” becomes the battle cry of everyone lining up in parking lots with hopes and dreams of dragging out carts full of the latest gadgets, accessories and electronics at unbelievable prices – far below retail.

For some, the day after Thanksgiving (and in many cases, the night of) is pure excitement. For others, Black Friday is a bleak excuse to throw holiday spirit to the wind. If anything, it’s just really scary and taxing and cold and wet and rainy/snowy and on and on…

If you fall into the latter camp, here’s a list of eight things you can do as an alternative to mall madness or department store discord.

  1. Find something around the house that needs fixing and fix it
    This is a productive alternative to standing in lines and fighting over the last electronic device in stock. Simply think of something in your home or your vehicle that could use a little TLC and take some time to complete it. Life will be better and you’ll be glad you finally got around to doing whatever it is.

  2. Volunteer
    Right now, there are over 220 volunteer opportunities to give back to the Lansing community this Thanksgiving holiday. Check out this link and learn ways to help others on Black Friday, instead of competing against each other for the best bargains! Not from the Lansing area? VolunteerMatch.org is an easy way to discover volunteer opportunities in your community.

  3. Send a letter to a loved one
    Receiving gifts around the holidays is always nice, but instead of spending money, show someone how much you care by sending something you can’t buy at a store – a heartfelt, handwritten letter. While we have new tools like email and social networking sites that allow us to stay in touch, sometimes using the old-fashioned way makes your message more sincere.

  4. Shovel your neighbor’s driveway
    If Mother Nature continues to show no mercy on us this November, consider helping out a neighbor who is physically unable to shovel their driveway.

  5. Visit your grandparents
    When was the last time you gave grandma a hug? If the weather’s nice and your grandparents aren’t too far away, hop in the car and pay them a visit. Maybe you could make lunch or dinner for them. Or simply share stories over coffee.

  6. Catch up on reading
    Do you have a few half-read books just waiting to be finished? Pick up one of them or choose a new novel and cozy up with a soft blanket to get some peaceful “me time” this weekend.

  7. Donate your unwanted Items
    Instead of buying clothes, toys or the latest electronic gadgets on Black Friday, consider going through your belongings and donating your unwanted items to those less fortunate. Create your own Black Friday in your home by going through your child’s toys and giving them to childcare centers, Early On® programs and local families. This activity is a great way to involve the entire family in giving back this holiday season and makes more room for Santa to drop off new toys!

  8. Shop Small
    If you absolutely MUST shop this Black Friday, check out deals at local businesses in your area. That way, you’ll find great Christmas gifts AND help your community.

Contributors to this blog included Meredith Grimm, Andrea Ness, Keara Hanlon, Natalie Kozma with introduction by Paul Tefft.