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Wow. Black Friday is a complicated day.

Firstly, we all need to buy less – for our planet, for our sanity, for our financial well-being. We especially need to buy less junk – less plastic toys for our kids that hold their attention for 30 seconds and then end up in the landfill. We need to stop the insanity of buying gifts for people who don’t really want them, and definitely don’t need them, just because the advertising and marketing machines tell us we should. So, I fully support turning Black Friday into Buy Nothing Day.

I love the efforts of some companies to boycott Black Friday. Like REI with their #OptOutside campaign. Check out their website for an amazing video on this.

And in Ottawa, Octopus Books. They are closed today to celebrate Buy Nothing Day.

Secondly, online Black Friday deals are making it even harder for locally owned, independent stores to stay in business. So if you want to take advantage of some Black Friday deals, it would be better to go and spend your money at your local stores. Without these locally owned stores, we won’t have any downtown or main street to walk through. We won’t have people willing to support our local sports teams and school fundraising initiatives. We won’t have a community that we are encouraged to get out and walk in. And this will make all of our lives less full.

This is a good video to watch about Amazon to make you think twice about what you are ordering online.

To counter all this yuckiness around Black Friday – the destruction of our planet and the decline of our communities – you could buy our book – which has 75 Acts of Kindness you can do together as a family to spread friendship and love and build a friendlier, stronger community.

You can buy this, at its regular price, on our website.

But if you live in Ottawa, I would recommend you buy it from one of the amazing local retailers who sell it for us: Tag Along Toys, Octopus Books, Singing Pebble Books, & All About Kids

If you live in Kemptville: Bodhi Tree Yoga Centre

And in Collingwood: Elephant Thoughts

I guess, to summarize all my complicated feelings about this, I would say that we should really think about what we are buying on Black Friday. Think about whether we are getting caught up in the over-consumption craze and buying things just because they are on sale. And if we really have thought about some items that we really want to buy, see if we can buy them locally and support our independent stores on Black Friday. And if you want to have a yearlong activity you can do with your family to feel better about the world, buy our book!