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a couple relaxing in front of the fire on Black Friday

As the ‘official’ start of the holiday shopping season, Black Friday has almost become a holiday in and of itself. And with many stores opening as early as 4 pm on Thanksgiving, it’s making the day less about gratitude and more about greed.

The truth is you don’t have to shop on Black Friday to get good deals on holiday gifts. In fact, many shoppers get caught up in the hype and end up spending more than they planned on things they don’t really need.     Opt Out of the Black Friday Madness

This year, try something different. Opt out of the Black Friday madness and try one of these free or cheap holiday activities instead:

Holiday Movie Marathon

Pop the popcorn, set up a hot chocolate bar, and spend the day watching all your family’s favorite holiday movie classics. It’s a perfect way to relax and usher in the season without spending very much at all.

Start Making Holiday Treats

If you’re planning to give homemade treats as gifts, get started now so you don’t have to rush later. Spend the day assembling ingredients, preparing gift packaging and putting together batches of cookie dough for freezing. Then when the time comes, all you have to do is bake.

Put Up Seasonal Decorations

You don’t need holiday Muzak and crazy crowds to start feeling festive. Start decorating your home with the decorations you already have and you’ll get that same excited, holiday buzz without spending a dime.

Discover DIY

Even if you don’t consider yourself creative or crafty, there are lots of fun and festive gifts you can make yourself – and there’s nothing that beats the personalized feeling of a handmade gift. Check out loads of ideas here.

Shop Local

Instead of pouring your money into big box stores on Black Friday, wait until Small Business Saturday to shop locally owned businesses in your community. You can catch up with friends, learn what’s new in your neighborhood and support the local economy. For every $100 you spend at a local business, $68 stays in the community, vs. just $43 when spending the same amount at a national retailer.

 

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