Local Crafts, Wizard 5k’s, and More: An Alternative Guide to Black Friday
With the holiday season’s arrival, my inbox is quickly filling with emails about Black Friday and other shopping deals, which are always tempting, but also, to be honest, a bit overwhelming. As such, I’m currently pondering the alternatives to spending money this week on more stuff that I probably don’t need…
A note: this post isn’t to shame Black Friday shoppers! For many families, this day is an opportunity to buy gifts and have fun with each other. And for many low-income folks, Black Friday is the only way they can afford “extras” such as Christmas presents, new electronics, or new clothes.
But, if you don’t need to buy anything this year, or if you’re like me and grow easily overwhelmed in shopping malls, there are plenty of other choices for the day after Thanksgiving.
Shop small and local.
While shopping online is incredibly convenient—how else can one order Christmas presents while eating leftovers in pajamas?—consider getting out of the houses to support businesses in your community, many of which host Black Friday events just like larger chains.
Local pop-up markets and craft fairs like downtown Renton’s Small Business Saturday offer some killer deals. The event’s website explains that, “as an extra incentive to shop local and support participating businesses, the event will include raffle drawings and prizes.” Seattle’s Holiday Market at Westlake Park also features unique vendors with handmade products. Or, stop by the Dibble House Holiday Craft Sale Friday evening for wine, appetizers, and a preview of the market’s goods; the suggested donation of $3 goes to the Ballard Food Bank.
Support an animal shelter.
Winter can be a hard time of year for our furry friends without homes. While the official day to give to charities is Giving Tuesday on December 3rd, there’s no reason you can’t start early.
Check out the Kitsap Humane Society’s Adopt ‘Til You Drop Black Friday Event in Silverdale—the shelter will waive all adoption fees for adult cats one year and up, and adoption fees for adult dogs and kittens will be $25 off. Woodinville’s Homeward Pet Adoption Center is also hosting a food drive through December 31st; generous, animal-loving souls can drop off cat or dog food at any of the drive’s locations, listed on the shelter’s website. Finally, MEOW Cat Rescue is hosting a holiday crafts fair and refreshments in Kirkland on Saturday, November 30th—proceeds support the shelter’s cats.
If you’re anything like me, however, I suggest you do not visit an animal shelter this week unless you’re prepared to walk out with a new friend.
Get outside and move.
The Washington-based retailer REI, who has closed their stores and their website every Black Friday for the past five years, has designed a “Opt Outside” campaign to encourage people to clean up their communities instead of spending money. Here’s a list of cleanup events in Mukilteo, Kenmore, and Seattle this coming Friday and Saturday.
Besides community cleanups, you might want to sign up for a race the day after Thanksgiving. (I know that I personally feel like my body is made entirely out of bread the day after, so getting my heart pumping sounds refreshing.) Grandpa’s Wishbone Run on Friday, November 29th offers half and full-marathon options.
On Sunday December 1st, the Wizards 5k “is a non-competitive 5k run run/walk will take you on a magical journey through Seattle’s Greenlake Park.” Participants should dress up as their favorite wizard, and strollers and dogs are encouraged.
What are your Thanksgiving plans this year? Let the Pickett Street team know at (firstname.lastname@example.org or (425) 502-5397).