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Navigating the Black Friday Frenzy: Intentionality Amidst the Holiday Hustle

It's that time of the year again—the holiday season is upon us, ushering in a flurry of festivities and, inevitably, the chaos of Black Friday sales. As we dive headfirst into the shopping frenzy, take a hot minute to reflect on the pressures and expectations that come with it.

The Temptation of Black Friday: Beyond the Deals

Black Friday has become synonymous with unbeatable discounts and jaw-dropping deals, enticing us to splurge on items we may not even need. In the rush to secure the latest bargains, it's easy to lose sight of our budgets and, more importantly, our intentions. Adding to cart, one click orders, and pressure sales thrive while credit soars. Work hard to avoid the sinking feeling of opening your credit card statement in January.

Intentionality in the Face of Scarcity

We are all impacted by the pressures of consumerism. The cost of living is escalating, and the demands on our wallets are relentless. In the spirit of empowerment, it's crucial to remind ourselves that we are seen amidst the marketing noise. Do not allow the negative narratives of worth be the catalyst for adding more to your shelves, clutter, and credit cards. Remember that what you buy does not change who you are or how you feel- the dopamine is temporary.

Saying No to the Unnecessary

A simple act of agency (and maybe even rebellion) is saying no to buying for the sake of buying and recognizing the distinction between our wants and needs. Are you investing in items that enhance your life, or are you merely buying into a version of existence that isn't authentic to you? What I can confirm is since learning more about my own style uniform (thanks Deena!) I have saved a lot of time, money, and waste. I need less to feel more like myself.

Setting Limits and Getting Intentional

Here are some simple yet effective ways to set limits and infuse intentionality into your Black Friday experience:

  1. Define Your Priorities: Before diving into the sales, identify what truly matters to you. Make a list and run with it. There are cost savings to be found when you are committed to sticking to your list!

  2. Create a Budget: Set a realistic budget for your holiday spending and stick to it. This ensures that you're making intentional choices rather than succumbing to impulsive purchases.

  3. Mindful Consumption: Bulk is not cost saving when it creates more waste. Sometimes we use more simply because we have it, not because we need it.

  4. Support Local Businesses: When you can, support local. And remember that support does not always have to be in buying an item, word of mouth and positive reviews mean the world to businesses. Perhaps that can be your gift this season to the retailers you love the most.

  5. Quality Over Quantity: Instead of chasing numerous deals, concentrate on the quality of your purchases. Investing in durable, long-lasting items aligns with the principles of mindful consumption.

Putting It Into Practice: Tips for Intentional Living

As we wrap up this reflection, let's translate these insights into actionable steps for the upcoming season:

  1. Craft a Personal Holiday Manifesto: Outline your intentions and values for the holiday season. Refer to it whenever the allure of sales threatens to sway you from your path. This is something that is great to do with a family as well- teaching your children about limitations and boundaries includes consumerism. It’s okay to say no. It’s okay that they will be disappointment. We cannot do or have it all.

  2. Host a Swap Gathering: Share the joy of giving without succumbing to consumerist pressures. Organize a swap party where friends can exchange gently used items- clothing, household items, baking. We need to normalize second hand and this is a great way to do so. Parents: Santa does not wrap presents at our house and this makes it much easier to have those second hand items show up under the tree.

  3. Practice Gratitude: Take a moment each day to reflect on what you're grateful for. This mindfulness exercise can shift the focus from what you lack to what you already possess. An incredible way to really be grateful for what you have is to create a home and space where you need less. Decluttering and setting limits can actually create more space and time for the moments and memories we are trying to buy.

  4. Gift Experiences: Consider giving experiences rather than physical gifts. This not only reduces material consumption but also creates lasting memories. Bonus for those gifting experiences to kids: actually take the kids on the experience. The kids win AND their parents win. Beyond gifting the movie pass, gift the actual trip to the movies with you. Lego? Plan a date to build the Lego with them.

  5. Set Limits With Others: Clear communication is kind. If you are doing any gift exchanges this year, I highly recommend communicating a budget for the items. Whether that is with your teenagers or the adults in your family, be clear on what the limits are. Do not have shame when you need to spend less and instead celebrate your boundaries of expressing what you need. It is okay to back out of the office holiday exchange or to tell your teenagers that you want their lists but please know we are only spending $___ on gifts. Do not apologize for giving.

Too often the holiday season becomes more about things and less about community, relationships, gathering, and celebrations. Consider this your invitation to spend some time reflecting on how you want your holiday season to look AND feel. Once you have done this, COMMUNICATE this with those in your circle. It’s okay to do less, but that will require asking for more.



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