on Nov 17, 23

Make this Black Friday a Good Friday

By Sue McCabe - What have Black Friday sales and Christmas got in common? Spend, spend, spend!

Black Friday ads are now appearing everywhere, trying to whip people into a spending frenzy next week. We know this will be followed by a quick upswing in similar Cyber Monday marketing; prior to moving on to commercialise Christmas (then the Boxing Day sales, Valentines Day gimmicks etc).

Let’s just take a pause and think it through!

Yes, sales are great if you need to buy things (and times are tough). And yes, spending money on Christmas baubles and presents is lovely if it sparks joy for givers and receivers and makes the festive season more special. And yes I buy things I need on sale and I give presents to family members who want a gift.

But last Black Friday New Zealanders spent $67m (and $350m in the seven days ending November 26). Last year Trade Me reported 3400 unwanted Xmas gifts had been listed for resale by 9am on Boxing Day!  Wellington City Council said Wellingtonians sent 40 per cent more rubbish to the landfill in December than in any other month.

We’re overdoing it, often because we're acting habitually and not pausing to think about our Xmas plans and spend.

So the team at The Good Registry is asking you to pause and think - for the sake of your wallet and the environment (because possessions = carbon). What do you really need in the Black Friday sales? What will actually make Christmas special?

If you have enough possessions to live comfortably yet you’re tempted to get more/upgrade due to Black Friday and Cyber Monday hype, perhaps it’s time to consider donating to a community group that helps those who don’t have enough.

The Good Registry offers you an alternative to buying more things this Christmas. You can instead give someone a Good Gift Card and they can choose which charity to redeem it on. Or set up your own Good Registry and ask your friends and family to donate to your chosen charity rather than give you more possessions.

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