Black emptiness

They call it Black Friday. Black is one of my favourite colours, but really, that just sounds sinister. Bad shit happened on Black Monday. Why should Black Friday be good?

Yes, the economy can always use consumer spending. And if stores don't do well leading up to Christmas, I suppose that's a bad sign for everything. But here's a question: does the economy need more consumer credit card debt? If you go (or went) shopping today, will the credit card(s) be paid off before interest kicks in? Was there already a balance from the previous period?

I know that I'm fortunate. I don't have to run up debt to buy things. But I also don't buy a lot of things. On this 20th anniversary Buy Nothing Day, probably the only thing I will buy is dinner, and that's only because I was away and the larder is rather bare until we go grocery shopping tomorrow. I know I won't be buying electronics.

I've seen ads in Skytrain stations about buying things for Christmas that won't have to be thrown away. We've thought this is a good idea for many years. Sweetie got her sister and sister-in-law a two-night stay in a really nice hotel, plus dinner. My family don't need anything from me. I will probably get Gifts of Hope from Plan again—donations that buy livestock (and other things) for people who can't even dream of anything like Christmas presents.

Yes, I'm a consumer. I buy all kinds of things. This Christmas, it's the kitchen that needs some stuff, like a coffee mill to replace the one that's about 15 years old. It still grinds really well but the plastic cup that catches the grounds is mostly cracked. But for gifts, unless someone knows me really well (which would not be my family, sadly) and could buy a book or DVD or CD or clothes that I would really like, I would much rather get food or a donation to someone who really needs stuff more than I do.

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