Happy Thanksgiving and Buy Nothing Day

Happy Thanksgiving and Buy Nothing Day

November 22, 2010

Thursday, Nov. 25th, is Thanksgiving Day in the United States.  It’s a day when we traditionally gather with family and friends to celebrate autumn and give thanks for all that is good in our lives.

Friday, November 26th, marks the official start of the holiday shopping frenzy.  Or not. We here at Exito Travel encourage you to instead observe Buy Nothing Day on Friday.

It’s an easy thing to celebrate.  Just – buy nothing.  For one day, don’t spend any money.

As travelers, all of us have seen many different ways of life.  We have seen fabulous, world class cities – and the slums that surround them.  We have lounged on beautiful beaches, and feared for the future of the local fishermen, as pollution and overfishing take their toll.  We have hiked from village to village in remote mountains, and seen the   beauty and the poverty that lie within the cloud forests.

My family and I live in Northern California.  By US standards, our house of 1,000 square feet is tiny for a family of 4.  Yet by world standards, we live in a palace.  Clean, safe, potable water gushes from the taps.  The floor is wood, not dirt.  Glass fills our windows, and screens keep out mosquitos in the summer.

I, and probably everyone reading this, live in extreme affluence compared to most people in the world.  So, do we really need to run out and spend a bunch of money on the day after Thanksgiving?  Don’t most of us have enough stuff already?

Instead of going shopping, how about going on a hike?  Too cold for a hike?  How about reading,  sketching, or painting (how long has it been since you drew a picture?  Yeah, I thought so).

Get together with friends.  Have everyone bring some leftovers, and have a potluck.  Break out the guitars and drums, and play some music.  Don’t be afraid that it’s corny, or that you sound bad.  Music was meant to be played by real people, not just by professionals up on stage.

Play soccer or football, instead of watching sports on TV.  Rent some old movies.  Make popcorn.  Make cookies.  Just don’t go to a mall and participate in the craze of consumerism.

Save the money for your next trip!

Happy Thanksgiving, from all of us at Exito.

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