Black Friday White Elephant Exchange

So the video begs the question: How to OccupyXmas?

The following idea comes from Adara Scarlet.
What is your idea on how to OccupyXmas? Submit them to me at DennisTrainorjr at gmail dot com with the subject line “OccupyXmas” and I will post them on this website.

Black Friday White Elephant Exchange

My name is Adara, and I would like to make a proposal to all of the Occupy movements:

Every year, people line up earlier and earlier the morning after Thanksgiving, hoping to save big on their holiday shopping. While it is obvious that Christmas, Hanukkah, and many other holidays have become commercialized, it is not necessary to give up the spirit of giving in order to give up the spirit of corporatism. Although the paradigm has been shoved down our throats since birth, the fact is that exchanging gifts does not have to mean lining up at 2:00 a.m. to get a flat screen TV.The spirit of giving is not limited to materialism.

In less than 2 weeks, the biggest shopping day of the year will come around once more. This year is a special one in that it is the first time Black Friday will coexist with the historic Occupy Wall Street movement.  Obviously, we will not be a part of the crowds at malls across the country, but boycotting big corporations only resolves half of the issue. Are we going to stop celebrating Christmas and Hanukkah altogether? I know I’m not, and I’m willing to bet that most of you don’t want to either.  After all, the holidays are about giving, and it’s a great feeling to pick out a thoughtful present for a person you care about. The standard holiday narrative lumps together generosity and materialism; two philosophies that have nothing to do with one another.

I am proposing a Black Friday White Elephant exchange, to take place in every city, at every Occupy encampment. This event is intended not only for members of the Occupy groups, but for any person who would like to participate. We all have things that we don’t need, and as they say, one person’s trash is another person’s treasure. I propose that all cities who want to participate find volunteers to print fliers, send out press releases, collect White Elephant items, staff the gift exchange events, and anything else that can help make this a success.

We have about a week and a half to make this headline news and collect donated items. Please remember: This event is all-inclusive. Anyone can donate and anyone can shop at the free store. It is not necessary to donate in order to participate.

Volunteers may start collecting donations as soon as they would like. Items should be sorted by category to make this like a real store, only free.  It is up to each Occupy movement to decide where the events will take place and if they will be broken up into neighborhoods or centralized. Free stores will open up early on Black Friday, replacing the usual ritual of spending with sharing.

By doing our holiday shopping this way, we will be able to hurt the bottom line of big corporations, get rid of unwanted items, and help each other by giving items away. This will send a message to the corporatocracy that we can easily celebrate the holidays without them.

Occupy Xmas

Santa Claus is coming to town, and to your mall, and your occupation.

Occupy Xmas: starting black friday, 2011.


Buy Nothing Christmas is not really about refusing to spend a dime over the holiday season. It’s about taking a deep breath and deciding to opt out of the hype‚ the overcrowded malls‚ and the stressful to–do lists. It’s about reminding ourselves to really think about what we are buying‚ why we are buying it‚ and whether we really need it at all. (

Unregulated hyper-capitalism is a homicidal force.

The Christmas season is celebrated in large part by submitting to and cooperating with this force.




Twitter: @OccupyXmasTime






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