It's that time of year when sale signs and bargains beckon eager shoppers from the Thanksgiving table and doorbuster deals threaten to deter us from our moral compass in a frenzied stampede to the checkout lane. Being a champion of frugality, I encourage everyone I know to buy smart. But when prices have people pushing and shoving, throwing insults and even punches...it's time to really consider what these "good deals" are really costing us.
I've never been a fan of Black Friday...for several reasons. I loathe hostile crowds. I have little desire for mass market consumerism. And most importantly. I despise the fact that Black Friday is lumped in with Thanksgiving in the most blatantly conflicting way possible. Be thankful for what you have... but when you're barely done digesting your meal, run to the nearest mall. And that of course is assuming you haven't forgone the holiday banquet all-together, in favor of catching the earliest bargains.
Maybe being a devoted thrift shopper has colored my opinion of Black Friday in such a way that I can no longer see it for the steals and deals. I get deals. I get a lot of deals. And I don't need a day that piggybacks off my Thanksgiving holiday to tell me how to spend my money.
But I will say this. Thrifting has made me acutely aware of my dollars...and my sense. And for that, I am grateful. And to honor the spirit of Thanksgiving, I really feel that we thrift shoppers should be thankful for the following:
- The ability to make any day a 'Black Friday.' Maybe you're not into the possibility of thrift-gifting for the holidays. Maybe you love the idea. But either way, you know that the savings you effortlessly accumulate through a year of thrift shopping couldn't compare to a single day of mayhem at the mall.
- The thrill of the hunt. I've talked to other thrift shoppers, and they too agree. Once you go thrifting regularly, standard retail loses a lot of its appeal. Where's the fun in buying the same mass marketed stuff that everyone else has when you can find something unique?
- A clear conscience. Every year it seems, there's notable concern of which retailers are exploiting their domestic workforce or which manufacturers are using sweat shops to assemble their products. While you may not know the information behind every brand you will find secondhand, you can be safe in the knowledge that your thrift store purchases are making a difference in the community and keeping usable goods out of the landfill.
- A keen eye for what we have and what we no longer need. I often times wonder how many secondhand cycles some of my beloved thrifted finds have made since they were donated by their original owner. Because I know I've donated previously thrifted items back to the thrift once I no longer have a use for them. It's the truth that the best thrift shoppers make the best thrift donors. We keep the secondhand cycle going strong!
- A bit of serendipity. Fate, an intervention of the Thrift Gods, a stroke of secondhand luck...whatever you choose to call it---you know it when you see it. When you find that certain something that you've been searching for...that feeling that it was waiting there to be found by YOU and only you. That feeling, well that's just priceless.
In closing, I would like to wish all of the you the happiest of Thanksgiving holidays. And I thank you for reading Let's Go Thrifting.