No one needs to be reminded that we live in a society of wretched excess and gross disparities. As you may have noticed from the trend of my evolving "Blogs I Follow" list, I--despite the embarrassing size of my yarn stash--am partial to writers who chronicle the simple life. The low-tech appeal of knitting is part of my enjoyment of essential, meditative pursuits. I am also someone who really, really, really hates shopping--except, I admit, for yarn and knitting-related paraphernalia. There's a lot I will do to avoid stores, and an even worse nightmare, malls.
And now it is early November and in only a few weeks the biggest shopping day of the year, Black Friday, arrives. Over the years social activists have campaigned to make this day after Thanksgiving "Buy Nothing Day." The idea is to reject the consumerist ethic that compels folks to shop until they drop in preparation for the holidays, and spend quality time on beneficial projects, whether they be some kind of volunteer work, communing with one's family and friends, or participating in an enjoyable non-consumerist activity. I am especially partial to the Annual Winter Coat Exchange on the lawn of the Rhode Island State House in downtown Providence (with ancillary sites around the state). Donate a gently-used coat (any size, from children to adult) on November 26th from 10 to 2, so that someone who needs a coat may be warmer in the winter months.
And once more I'll suggest another way to think of the Day After Thanksgiving: Knit Something Day! Send me a photo of what you're knitting on November 26th, and I'll publish it in this blog so the world can see.