Retail stores everywhere are gearing up for the holidays. Have you already gotten emails with Christmas gift suggestions?
My kids have been enjoying looking at pre-lit Christmas trees at Costco for the past month.
But me? I’m still contemplating what God is trying to teach me about my consumerism problems. I wrote a confession about it in a blog post here.
Something popped into my mind the other day.
No Buy November.
I quickly tried to push the thought away.
No buying for a month? Please don’t ask that, God!
No Buy November. The alliteration sounds catchy. I thought of it because of the whole “No-Shave November” thing. I’ve seen men grow out their beards through the month of November … and I think there’s a charity associated with it. Or maybe it’s just a hipster thing. Not sure.
Here it is on my mind again, five days into the month of November. I told God it was too late. The month had already started. But God said it’s never too late.
I’m committing to it here and now – with you as my witness.
Here are five reasons why you should join me.
Christmas is coming. The money we don’t spend this month can be saved for purposeful purchases and donations for the holidays.
Our houses are already full. At least mine is. There is nothing I could possibly need in the next 30 days that I don’t already have. Fasting helps distinguish needs from wants.
Use up what we’ve got. Instead of running to the store to get something new, let’s make sure our house is organized and we know where the extra toothpaste and water bottles are. I often feel tempted to buy a new ingredient for a dish I already know how to make rather than use up the ingredients I have in my pantry. But pantries can be overloaded – so let’s grab that food and make something tasty before it all expires!
Your budget will thank you. I hope you have a budget!!! It’s a beautiful and God-honoring thing to spend less than you earn.
Fasting is good for the soul. Retail-fasting, included. Anytime we feel a pull to click on “buy now” or to throw something extra into the shopping cart, let’s turn to God instead. And thank God for what we already have.
Essential edibles that you need for the next 30 days (no bulk purchases) because you have run out and there’s no other good option in your freezer/pantry/etc. Like…
Meat (personally, I have enough meat in my freezer to last us months … I just have to remember to get it out and thaw it!)
Essential toiletries that you need for the next 30 days (no bulk purchases) because you have run out. Like…
Restaurants – but not too often
Things/Events I’ve already committed to
Bills and Tithes and Childcare Expenses and Savings, etc. – obviously
What’s not allowed?
Coffee that you don’t make at home
Candy and sweets – anything the body doesn’t need
Things that are usually in the “miscellaneous” category of the budget – like…
More of what I already have in my house
Entertainment – like movies
Giving up this is going to be hard:
Thanksgiving extras. Tablescaping. Fall decor.
Pumpkin. Spice. Latte.
Black Friday. Enough said.
I usually like to get ahead on my Christmas shopping in November. But this year, I’m resolving to simplify. I’m also resolving to do the shopping in the first week of December. Personally, I agonize for weeks about finding the right gift for the people in my life. I’ll wander the aisles at my favorite stores and click on all the links in the email promotions sent to me. But this time I’m going to purposefully procrastinate and then set a deadline for myself. I’ll focus on it for a week and then be done. And hopefully this way I won’t get stuck in the trap of finding a lot of ideas of things I want to buy for myself, too!
I’m not imposing this fast on my husband. That’s his own decision. But I will be imposing it on my toddlers. They certainly have enough play-things!
Others have made more radical resolutions to combat the inner drive towards consumerism. We could do those things, too … some day. But as for right now, this is a good place to start.
Goals are always more fun and easier to achieve with friends at your side. Send me a message if you are planning on doing something similar!
Question for you: What kinds of things are you drawn to buy in the month of November?