In the weeks before Black Friday, the Boycott Black Friday backlash against Christmas commercialism is sure to pick up steam. A Google search for "boycott black Friday" generates 66,000 results. Without the quotes it's 40 million results.
Here at The Christmas Game we boycott Black Friday every year. But we also boycott the day after Black Friday, and the days after that, too.
The annual Boycott Black Friday kabuki may feel good, but it doesn't do much, because sending a message to commercial interests that are incapable of hearing or responding to that message is ineffective.
If you really want to take the wind out of their sales (pun intended), what you do on Black Friday does not matter. What matters is that you must do these three things:
1. Buy fewer presents
2. Spend less overall on presents
3. Broaden the focus of your celebration beyond presents
As long as the Christmas tree is the holiday's centerpiece, and as long as kids look forward to Christmas primarily because of the goodies they know they will be getting, nothing much is going to change.
It's not as easy as it sounds to buy fewer presents and to spend less. Your social circle may be expanding, people's expectations may be rising, things cost more, and the commercial interests can give you so much for your money (did you see the new iPad???).
But it's much easier to buy fewer and spend less, if you can substitute for the missing presents something that is worth more than presents. For example, the gift of time. Giving someone your time, and your attention, may be the greatest gift of all. Or create moments of genuine togetherness, or meaning. That's what people will remember long after the decorations come down.
The reason we invented The Christmas Game was to create an enticing path to a better holiday that our whole family could tread together.
It feels grinch-like and unseasonable to tell the kids "No presents this year," or to accuse them even implicitly of being shallow materialists just for wanting what they have been told to want, and what everyone else seems to want and to expect.
The better way is to offer them something more fun and more satisfying than a brief fury of wrapping paper. If it's more fun, and lasts longer, and feels better than the old presents ritual, the family will go for it hook, line, and sinker. And you will spend less and get more out of every Christmas.
The Christmas Game is a proven format that really works.
Don't tell your family that you are going to play The Austerity Game this year, with fewer presents, because it's the morally right thing to do, even if it is the morally right thing to do. Instead, tell them you are going to play The Christmas Game, which includes presents, but also includes much, much more. Then build a wonderful game that will be the start of a new way to celebrate, forever.
The Christmas Game is a great idea whose time has come. Get The Christmas Game now, and when Black Friday hits, you'll be ready to opt out in a much bigger way.