Here's a piece of advice for the last-minute shopper: if the gift you're about to give is less than ideal, then leave it unwrapped. You may just spread more cheer this season.
Consumption -- the throughput of physical materials in our lives -- is not optional. And our faith tells us that with God's help, we can do it well, even virtuously.
Society doesn't seem so civil anymore. Black Friday this year has given a black eye to the start of the official holiday season, a season that used to be associated with the phrase, "Peace on earth, goodwill to men." Is society really less civil or has it always been and I'm just now hearing about it?
Aside from faux nonprofits like some of the major health insurance companies, universities, trade groups, influential cultural organizations and many ...
We are a less hospitable nation. Hospitality has been exchanged for a heightened hostility. Let's call it pepper spray hospitality, which is, in fact, no hospitality at all. We are a spray first, ask questions later, kind of society.
As more people, mostly mildly perturbed Caucasians, stumble into the café, the rain intensifies, prompting the recitation of precipitation history from Señor Clavo: "It has only rained twice in the past year, amigo, for ten minutes each."
Every year on Black Friday, people are getting injured and in some cases losing their lives just for some price cuts. Things have gotten too serious for this to continue.
Whenever possible I look to smaller, one-of-a-kind shops for the little treasures that loved ones will cherish forever. And New York City is the capital of the unique boutique!
This year 40% of consumers will have their information misused. Given the just as staggering figures for online crimes against businesses, what are companies supposed to do?
Having celebrated "Buy Nothing Day" on Black Friday last week instead of braving potential assaults of pepper spray at Walmart or even worse, I now am faced with the prospect that this year, I must once again enter the belly of the dreaded shopping beast.
At a time when the economy is so fragile, you would think that store employees would greet consumers with enthusiasm.
Despite the down economy, Americans are still buying, buying, buying: This past Cyber Monday was the heaviest online shopping day of all time, with $1.25 billion spent. And as a result, our garbage cans are fuller than ever.
Maybe instead of worrying if you saved 10%, 20% or 50% on something most likely made in China, that you can exist without, you can be part of baby steps to mindfulness and an appreciation of what is around you.
My plan this year for Black Friday was to sit out the retail game altogether. That was before I saw the ad in The New York Times. "Don't Buy This Jacket," exhorted the full-page message sponsored by the Patagonia Common Threads Initiative.
Consumerism is here to stay, at least for a while. Along the way, consume has become a negative word, but there are other meanings.
The smell of turkey lingers in the house from morning to evening. The plate settings are positioned and the television channel is set for the first fo...