#BuyNothingDay, extending through #BuyNothingXmas to the New Year, has always served as a chance to meditate on our addiction to consumption and its poisonous effects — not just on our physical, but also on our mental environment.
A social ritual meant (in theory) to celebrate the warmth of togetherness in the depths of winter austerity, Xmas has long since been co-opted by commercial forces. For so many years, the dominant mantra of the holiday has been "buy, buy, buy." But where does that leave your loved ones, except behind soul-emptying piles of trash and packaging and disposable gizmos? How can we escape the cycle of destruction, both ecological and spiritual, wrought by the season's habitual binge-buying?
Our answer has always lain with an attitude of abstention: Buy Nothing at Xmas, and let each other's presence be the truest gift. But since the coronavirus has disrupted the very possibility of togetherness, we have sadly had to rethink our approach this year. However, this might be the perfect opportunity to completely reinvent the Xmas ritual.
It has never been easier — or more sensible — to consider the idea of a Xmas without store-bought gifts. With the virus still raging, going to the mall could be deadly. And in light of COVID's devastating economic toll for all but the rich, boycotting massive (and massively abusive) corporations like Walmart and Amazon makes all the more sense.
So here's our recipe for festive redemption this pandemic-plagued holiday season:
It all starts with the simplest act: Buy Nothing. Together, we can break the deadly consumerist spell and forge new ways to live, love, and think . . . from #BuyNothingDay— this Friday, November 27th — to #BuyNothingXmas and beyond.