We got the free samples on Friday and liked them so much, we participated–in BND. NOV 23 was Buy Nothing Day. No traffic snarls on Goose Creek. We saw two cars go past the house and got a truckload of firewood from the edge of the pasture. No money changed hands.

However, we did think about taking in a movie while we weren’t at the mall: What Would Jesus Buy?

The Shopocalypse is upon us–Who will be $aved? From the trailer, it looks more than a little corny but its message is timely. I’m gratified to know the forces against STUFFISM are rising. Consumption of matter and energy and shopping as a hobby has reached toxic levels (for the planet and in our homes) and WWJB is part of the growing backlash. Bring it on.

BTW, it’s not too late to get your own free samples of NOTHING. You might just find it gives you greater peace and satisfaction than any SOMETHING you ever bought without knowing exactly why and then barely being able to afford it. You might even plan on modifying your shopping list downward for Giftmas this year!

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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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  1. My total contribution to Black Friday was a soda and candy bar at 7-11. Well, I also paid for my daughter’s riding lesson, but I don’t think that counts.

  2. Last year, I discovered Heifer International and gifted our 16 grandchildren with baby chicks! One of them was expecting a $300 electronic device, but his Dad was absolutely delighted with the Heifer gift, although he had to explain to his son that someone would NOT be coming to HIS front door bearing chicks.

    His Dad (my son the pilot) has moved his family out of the city into the country and plans to use Heifer International for his own gift list this year.

    I may send bees this time~

  3. We saw that film at SXSW last March; Reverend Billy was there to answer questions afterwards, and the gospel choir got up on stage and sang, which was fun.

    I felt like the film was a bit of a one-note wonder — I might have wished for a bit more substance, or else a bit more editing down — but on the whole, it’s a thought-provoking film, and it has good things to say.