Taking a look through the blogs still attached to the Blogging Alliance of Non Partisan Canadians, I came upon this post from A Peek Inside the Fishbowl. Within, Andrea describes her family's commitment to boycotting the post-Christmas shopping sheninigans that afflict the sanity of otherwise rational people at this time of year. This has been something her family has committed to for six years now, including this pledge:
Until Feb 28, we pledge to buy only purchase essential items for ourselves and for our family: groceries/consumables, gas, basic hygiene (shampoo, soap, but not cosmetics), medicine and essential clothing.
She has my sympathy. The week after Christmas is, for Canadians, our equivalent to Black Friday in the United States. There's too many people charging after too many deals, not out of any real need for anything, but because things are cheap and we're consumed by our desire to consume. The fact that we've bastardized a perfectly good holiday name ("Boxing Day") and applied it to the whole week ("Boxing Week") speaks volumes.
I can't help but wonder if the Boxing Week boycott is as ineffective as the calls for gas station boycotts that we occasionally get in our spam filters, but I can see that this boycott is different. The big thing is, this is not about trying to get big oil companies to try and change their behaviour. Rather, it's about grounding ourselves, deciding for ourselves to not take part in this insanity, lest we be swept away by it. It strikes me as a fundamentally healthy and fundamentally personal exercise.
Though I do wonder what would happen if this became a large movement -- large enough to noticeably turn crowds away from the stores after Christmas. How much wailing and gnashing of teeth would there be? Would participants be labelled Communists or vegan-Earth-First-hippie-loonies? Or would some businesses get sneaky, like this:
"Boycotting Boxing Week? Good for you! Now that the boycott is over, come own down to Crazy Dave's to catch our Post-Boycott specials, today only, starting at midnight, March 1st! Come one! Come all! Now with more effective crowd control measures to prevent the unfortunate incidents that afflicted us after last year's Boycott Break Fast..."
Wouldn't put it past them. And they'd probably get crowds too.