November 29, 2019 marks Black Friday, the unofficial start of the holiday shopping season. Since 2005, it’s also been the busiest shopping day of the year. When Black Friday first became a trend in the early 2000s, retailers often opened at 6:00 AM; by the late 2000s many began opening at 5:00 AM. or even 4:00 AM. By 2012, Walmart and several other retailers announced that they would open most of their stores at 8:00 PM on Thanksgiving Day, prompting calls for a walkout among some workers.
There have been reports of violence occurring between shoppers on Black Friday, too: Since 2006, there have been 12 reported deaths and 117 injuries throughout the United States on Black Friday alone.
With all this crazy, consider skipping the shopping and create your own, consumerism-free Black Friday tradition. Here are six fun ideas to get you started.
Host an ornament-making party.
Gather friends and family for an ornament-making party! Get behind the popular Pinterest trend by DIY-ing your very own marbled ornaments. 3D papercut ornaments are easy and inexpensive. Love donuts? Make your own calorie-free donut ornaments.
Take a hike.
Dress up in your winter best and hit a local trail for a hike. Bring a thermos filled with hot cocoa for sipping along the trail, or plan on building a campfire and bring s’more supplies. Local forest preserves and park districts, as well as state and national parks, are beginning to offer guided hikes on Black Friday. Exercise and sunshine are the perfect antidote for the winter blues, no matter how chilly the weather is. Snowy weather? Bring along a pair of snowshoes for a snowy adventure in the woods.
Settle in for a movie marathon.
Build a cozy fire, snuggle up under soft blankets, and settle in for a movie marathon. Try a themed marathon, introduce your kids to a few ’80’s classics or screen all your favorites. Plan a popcorn buffet or just pop up an enormous bowl of popcorn (with lots of extra butter!).
One of the best ways to embrace that holiday spirit is to GIVE the gift of your time. Volunteering reminds us that GIVING, gratitude, and love are what the holidays are all about. Use VolunteerMatch.org to search for volunteer activities: Just type in your zip code and your desired activity and you’ll be matched with volunteer opportunities in your community.
Make homemade holiday gifts.
Homemade gifts are the best because they come from the heart. Spend Black Friday creating holiday gifts for all your family and friends. Bottle your own vanilla extract, make beautiful, natural handsoaps, or prep some homemade toffee and wrap it up in cute boxes.
Plan an at-home spa day.
Press your internal pause button and plan an at-home spa day: indulge in a bubble bath, unfurl some fancy face masks, and give yourself a holiday-themed mani-pedi. Why head out into the cold and craziness of Black Friday when you can relax at home in your bathrobe and devote some time to serious self-care?