For many, Black Friday means holiday shopping, but fighting the crowds can be a soul- and wallet-sucking experience. Kindle your holiday spirit by finding more meaningful ways to spend the day without putting your cash flow in jeopardy.
Ready to skip Black Friday? Try these stress- and retail-free ways to usher in the season.
1. Make your own gifts.
Homemade gifts often beat store-bought ones for two reasons. First, they’re usually less expensive, especially if you have materials on hand to make your own gifts and don’t have to buy anything. Perfect for keeping your holiday budget on track! Second, you can make something unique that shows just how much you care. Making gifts by hand may take a little more effort than simply buying them, but the recipients are sure to appreciate your efforts in the end.
2. Host a post-Thanksgiving potluck dinner with friends.
If you’ve enlisted some of your friends to join the Skip Black Friday Movement, celebrate with a potluck dinner. Go with a holiday theme and ask guests bring their favorite holiday dishes, or do something totally different! For instance, you could feast on the treats you loved best as a kid or dish up your favorite comfort foods for cold days. For minimal effort on all fronts, just share Thanksgiving leftovers. The idea is to enjoy the time you spend together without the Black Friday pressure to spend money.
Find more fun, affordable Friendsgiving ideas.
3. Enjoy the outdoors.
If you have the day off from work, make the most of it by venturing out. Clear your mind and get energized before the hectic holiday season. Go for a walk or a run, check out your neighborhood park, take your dog for a walk, or hit the local biking trails.
4. Bake holiday cookies.
There’s something about baking holiday goodies that puts most of us in a good mood. Maybe it’s the Zen-like quality that goes along with mixing the ingredients and rolling out the dough. Maybe it’s the scent of vanilla or cinnamon that fills the air while you listen to your favorite nostalgic holiday songs. Or, maybe it’s just the anticipation of eating those cookies warm out of the oven when they’re done. Whatever it is, remember to kick off the season of giving right—share your creations with others who’ve decided to skip Black Friday.
5. Volunteer for a good cause.
The holiday season is a reminder to do good for others, and Black Friday is a great time to do just that. Look to your community for opportunities to volunteer. Maybe your local soup kitchen needs extra hands or a charity needs helpers for a holiday fundraising event. You can also find ways to help others closer to home. Spending the afternoon doing yardwork for an elderly neighbor is not only rewarding, but it’s also a chance to foster deeper connections with the people around you.
6. Pick up a new hobby.
If you’ve always wanted to learn a new hobby, use Black Friday to get started. YouTube is a great resource. You can learn everything from how to draw, to how to crochet, to how to play guitar, all without having to leave the comfort of home.
7. Be a tourist in your hometown.
While everyone else is at the mall, plenty of other places will likely offer unusual peace and quiet. Think museums, parks, aquariums, botanical gardens, zoos, and other touristy locales. If there’s a spot in your hometown that you’ve been meaning to visit but just haven’t had the time, Black Friday could allow you to enjoy it crowd-free.
8. Get in the holiday spirit.
Just because you’ve decided to skip Black Friday doesn’t mean you have to be a Grinch. You can still get ready for the holidays. Put up holiday decorations while listening to some holiday tunes. Write out your greeting cards for the season while wearing the ugliest holiday sweater you can find. Or, spend the day on the couch with some popcorn and a collection of your favorite holiday movies.
9. Declutter your home. Then donate.
Decluttering your home is a great, low-key way to spend Black Friday, especially in anticipation of anything new you may receive this season. If the thought of doing the entire house is too overwhelming, try spreading it out over the weekend. If that’s still too much, focus on just one room or even a closet on Black Friday. Throw away or donate the things you no longer need, so your home feels cozy—not crowded—just in time for the holidays.