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Here’s a disturbing thought: Someone will be wounded tomorrow in a shopping-related incident.



At some point, the proud United States of America began a country-wide tradition of waking up extremely early, crowding around some motion-activated doors in a strip mall then marauding through them on cue to pillage the establishment of its finest Chinese plastics. They call it Black Friday.

In protest of this train wreck of a “holiday,” I will do my goddamndest to not spend a cent. I will wake up at a reasonable hour and eat some Thanksgiving leftovers. I will stare at the ocean for a while and think of the sad souls angrily pressed together vertical sardine-style, competing for shitty mass-produced Elmos in the name of little baby Jesus Claus.

When I have dried the single tear running down my cheek for the sake of humanity, I will probably mix a cocktail and read my book.

This is not to say I am opposed to the overboard gifting of the holiday season. I love the decorations and the gift wrap (and the nog), but I just do not understand the established methods of gift procurement.

Saturday I will return to the overt consumer world, but I will not set foot in a mall. I will stalwartly avoid Wal*Mart and even Costco. For one, I can’t go there. They don’t exist in this little island town.

For two, I am too in love with etsy.com to look too far elsewhere. Handmade items from individual sellers who often accept special requests, all on a website I can search according to proximity to me, gift guide recommendations or even color. Yes. Please.

On this website, I find items that make me think, “Man, (Friend Name) would love this.” At big stores, I usually end up buying some super deal and trying to match it with someone I know.

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Mixtape zipper pouch by BraveMoonman: $50

So to all the crusading Black Friday shoppers, I urge you to change your ways. Give gifts, and give them often but don’t hold out for a calendar-stamped holiday. If you want to change the economy, buy from your neighbor. If you want to save the environment, buy (or make) something useful or consumable that won’t be thrown away in January. If you want to show someone you care, buy (or make) them something you know they will love even if it’s a phone call or a hug or a trip to visit them – or, if the moment is right, a pricey splurge.

As for little baby Jesus – Good luck, brother.

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Fancy cat tie by whiskerkisses: $19

Pregnancy congrats card by smackofjellyfish: $3 (Inside: “I’ll be thinking of you while I’m drinking my morning cup of coffee, or when I go out for delicious sushi, or enjoy a glass of wine and a cigarette after a long, hard day…”)

Headless felt softie bear by everyeskimo: $18

Knitted mini ginger beard by wifeofbrian: $15

Moustache salt and pepper shaker by paperdollwoodshop: $28