I have a confession to make. I spent many years of my earlier life shopping for Black Friday bargains along with the rest of the crowds, waiting in line for stuff I didn’t need, and in some cases didn’t even want.

Once home with my hands full of shopping bags filled with sale items, I would frequently experience buyer’s remorse and regret spending more money than my budget allowed.

Why Holidays Can Be Challenging for Others

Holidays can be hard for those who are single, divorced, widowed, in poor health or without family and friends to share the holidays with.

Holidays can be lonely and isolating, so shopping Black Friday sales can help divert attention away from the loneliness and sadness. It might even help numb the pain of the holiday blues for a little while at least.

But you won’t find me shopping in the malls on Black Friday this year! I’ve been there, done that, and learned many valuable lessons along the way. 

And just in case you’re on the fence about whether or not you should go shopping on Black Friday, these are my 3 big reasons why I’m not going to shop on Black Friday.

1.   It diverts attention away from more meaningful and fulfilling things to do with your time.

One of the lessons I learned long ago was that stuff doesn’t make me happy and certainly, more stuff will not make me even happier.

Having downsized and decluttered numerous times, I’ve reached a point where I truly enjoy living in a smaller home with less stuff and fewer distractions. I’m content. I have all I want and all I need.

I now have more time, money, and freedom to do more of what I want to do and I find true joy in using that time and my God-given talents to help others. I now have more time to write, research, speak, produce videos, and most recently launch a new 60-page workbook and companion, Rita’s Minimalist Essentials to help you get started and stay motivated on your decluttering journey so you can cross the finish line.

Having less stuff and not buying more is a feat that I never knew I could accomplish, but once I decided to stop buying more and instead, focus my time and attention on what matters most, I’m far happier and more fulfilled than if I bought 5 deeply discounted dresses.

2.   It detracts from the true meaning of the holiday season.

Time spent shopping, endlessly buying more, focusing on what we think we want and don’t yet have diminishes the meaning and purpose of the holiday. 

The reason for the season is to take time to slow down, gather with family and friends, to celebrate, and be thankful for all we DO have, and be content with that. 

The Black Friday ads that bombard us are designed to call attention to the “good deals”, thereby calling us away from the importance of the holidays, the ads encourage us to spend money on unnecessary purchases and to create pressure to “buy now”, to overspend on things we don’t even know we want.

In the end, quality time spent around the table with loved ones is far more important than wasting time and money on more stuff. 

All you have to do is look around and you’re likely going to see that you already have all you want and all you need. It’s right in front of you.

3.   It distracts from the real reasons we are in a never-ending search for more, bigger, better stuff. 

If you’re not happy with yourself, or with what’s going on in your life, shopping and buying more will not bring lasting happiness and peace.

If you’re lonely or sad, the emptiness cannot be filled with material possessions.

At one point in my life, I was definitely guilty of shopping to fill the gap of loneliness and sadness. Now that I’m in a happy, healthy, loving relationship, nothing… not one thing I ever bought could compare to the inner joy and peace I now feel. 

What I did learn through the process of all of the shopping sprees was that when I started to fill my time helping others, volunteering, and making a difference in someone else’s life, my own life and happiness increased incrementally. The satisfaction far outweighed any “successful” shopping trip I ever went on! 

On a deeply personal level…

I spent time this weekend visiting my brother who is in hospice care. 

In spite of his deteriorating condition, I was moved and deeply inspired by his response to my question:

“If you could wish for one thing right now, what would that be?”

He responded by saying,

“Since I can’t be with all of you this holiday, will you please send a few photos so I can celebrate with you in spirit?”

His simple, heartfelt request serves as a reminder that in the end, all that really matters is love, faith, family, and friends.

In his weakened state, my brother has not forgotten the importance of time together, whether near or far.

Wishing you all a holiday season filled with love, laughter, togetherness, and many new happy memories!

Live the life, you love… By DESIGN!

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