25 things to do on Black Friday instead of shopping

On the way home from Thanksgiving with my family last night, traffic was pretty good in spite of having to freeway it home, until I hit an area of Oregon packed with outlet malls.

Then, traffic got a little nuts. There was a depressing line of cars waiting on the freeway overpass to get into the outlet malls – cops were on hand to maintain the peace and who knows how long people ended up sitting in their cars on Thanksgiving night – not to mention who knows how many individuals were pulled from their Thanksgiving celebration with family to have to work at said shopping event.

2013 Buy Nothing Day

Anyhow, seeing this chaos at 8:30 pm on Thanksgiving evening was a good reminder that people are still down with shopping like mad on Black Friday. ShopperTrak, an organization that tracks foot traffic at malls, reports that Black Friday is the busiest shopping day of the year while the National Retail Federation notes that about 147 million people shopped Black Friday weekend in 2012 and spending is predicted to be higher this year.

Luckily, you don’t have to participate. You don’t have to support the madness of stores making employees work on Thanksgiving. You don’t have to fight through crowds as if shopping was an Olympic sport. You can set a better example for your kids – one that doesn’t include making your kids think shopping for massive stuff is a fun holiday event.

First check out the posts below, then see a list of things you could be doing instead of shopping.

25 things to do on Black Friday instead of shopping

  1. Celebrate Buy Nothing Day. I’ve been celebrating Buy Nothing Day for years and no one in my house has died yet from the lack of post-Thanksgiving shopping.
  2. Hang with your family at home – play board games, talk a walk, use up the leftovers, watch a movie or just relax.
  3. Go on a hike.
  4. Bake cookies to get into the spirit of Christmas.
  5. Make some holiday crafts.
  6. Get started on homemade holiday gifts.
  7. Listen to records.
  8. Read a book.
  9. Make DIY holiday luminaries.
  10. Find a park or wilderness area you’ve never been to. Pack everyone up and go there.
  11. Clear out all your unwanted stuff and get some boxes together to donate to a local thrift store or charity.
  12. Teach your kids to make homemade bread.
  13. Build a recycled kite – go fly it.
  14. Make some cool cardboard toys.
  15. Build an entire Lego or block city.
  16. Play dress up.
  17. Make organic homemade pretzels in funny shapes.
  18. Make homemade organic clay and sculpt something.
  19. Make a family time capsule then hike into the woods and bury it.
  20. Go outside and take nature photos.
  21. Play basketball, frisbee or some other easy kid-sport.
  22. Go skateboarding.
  23. Build indoor forts with blankets.
  24. If it’s crazy cold where you are have a snowball fight or build a snowman.
  25. Start making plans to simplify the rest of the holiday season.
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