Buy Nothing Day 2014! November 28 2014

Already over the internet comes pouring a count down to “Black Friday.” This day that honors all of our culture’s commercial and competitive shopping instincts is now like some holier holidays in deserving a countdown.

Black Friday is aptly named. Don’t you think? Waldorf Publications wants to call it: BUY NOTHING DAY!

This is a bold stroke at building a new culture, a culture that follows the light, not the inevitable darkness that comes with this time of significant events.

On the brink of one of the more important seasons of the year that holds the Solstice and important observances in uncountable religions the world ‘round, it is a good idea. Last year Waldorf Publications started this and received many thanks for this new cultural gesture.

Gifts will come to you from us to emphasize how much is possible as an alternative to shopping on this day. It comes, interestingly enough, on the day after Thanksgiving. So join Waldorf Publications and fill the day with giving thanks on the premise that one day is not nearly adequate for gratitude to express itself fully and the mood of blessing can continue through the weekend with inner thoughts, distinct from purchasing. Together we can launch the time of heralding the coming light by buying nothing. Instead you can join in creating some easy things to sing and make!

Buy nothing! That’s the statement! That’s the Day!

Click here to download the complete "Buy Nothing Day" PDF, which includes the activities listed below, sheet music for "At the Ringing of the Bells" and the book "Little Gnome Tenderroot."


Buy Nothing Day Activity Ideas 2014


Holiday Countdown Action Flags

So to build up through the darkest hours of winter to the Solstice and the turning of the light, we suggest “Action Flags” (following prayer flags). These help count the days until the turning of the light through deeds. Each day has a verb or a quality attached to it to help us remember what the day can hold for our own efforts to “become the change we want to see in the world!”

We send a song, “At the Ringing of the Bells,” to help inspire what this might mean. When we hear bells ring can they remind of the virtues we can pour out into the world?

Trust – can we behave all that day with trust in ourselves and in others? In everything coming out well.
Peace – can I hold back on reacting all day long? Waiting in peace to see what an event really is or means?
Think – can we all pay attention to our own thoughts, our own concentration, so that we focus on one things at a time and banish all distractions from that one thought?
Wonder – The world is such an endless and generous panorama of beauty! Can we wonder at this, at the glory of snow flakes, the brilliance of the sun, and avoid falling into complaint about the cold?
Truth - can we watch ourselves tell the truth all day this day? Without exaggeration, or fibs, or pretending that we are one way when we are really another? Can we only say what we experienced and not repeat what others have said before we really know?
Admire – there are noble people in the world all around us. Some are quiet about it. Can we notice and acknowledge them?
Being Noble – can we be noble ourselves? Turn the other cheek when wounded? Refuse to lash back in anger? Notice those who need help and help them?
Rightness in doing — we know in our inner self, and can hear with our quiet inner voice what is right, good, the truth. Can we listen to that voice and decide today to do what’s right?
Light-filled thinking — can we think thoughts that lift us up and avoid thoughts that depress us or bring us — or others — down?

What You Need:
  • 25 pieces of 5.5” x 17” (or smaller) pieces of fabric (try up-cycling old pillow cases, sheets, t-shirts etc…. 25 strips of fabric 1” x 3.5”
  • Fabric or poster paints
  • Fishing line or other hanging string
  • Potatoes cut in half
  • Cookie cutters
  • Fabric marker (permanent markers will work)
  • Straight pins
  • List of “holiday” words (start with the words from the attached song “At the Ringing of the Bells” and brainstorm with the kids for other words that r remind them of the holiday)!

What You Do:

  1. On each 1” x 3.5” strip of fabric, write one holiday word with permanent marker.
  2. Grown-ups make potato stamps. Choose large potatoes that, when halved widthwise, have a surface wide enough to accommodate a cookie cutter. Place the cookie cutter on a table. Center the potato over the cutter and press the cutter at least 1/2 inch into the potato. Using a sharp kitchen knife, cut the excess potato flesh away from the cookie cutter, making slices perpendicular to the cutter. Once the excess potato is removed, pull out the cookie cutter.
  3. Fold each fabric strip in half and press to form a crease (this is also a grown-up job). This will make hanging easier.
  4. With the permanent markers on the bottom of each fabric strip, number each flag from 1-25; this will be the front side of the flag. Let the children decorate the front of each flag with the potato stamps.
  5. Flip the strips around so that the number is upside down and pointing away from you, this will be the back of the flag. Allow children to decorate the back of each flag. Let dry.
  6. With straight pins randomly attach a holiday word to the back of each banner.
  7. Hang each flag from twine.
  8. Each morning turn that day’s flag around and brainstorm with your child how you can bring that day’s word to life and then take ACTION!

    Stained Glass Votive

    A classic and simple activity that produces almost instant gratification! A great way to brighten up dark winter nights.

    What You Need:
      • Colored tissue paper torn into various sizes
      • Glass jars (emergency candles are great as well)
      • Glue mixture (2 parts water/1 part glue)
      • Paint brush
      • Votive candles

      What You Do:

      1. Paint glue mixture on glass and stick on tissue paper. Paint over each piece completely.
      2. Continue until the whole jar is covered!
      3. Place a votive candle in the jar and wait for winter’s darkness to fall!



      Natural Twig Votive

      What You Need:

      • Small glass jars
      • Assorted sticks & twigs
      • Twine/raffia
      • Hot glue gun
      • Scissors

        What You Do:

        1. Cut or break the twigs into lengths that are longer than the jar.
        2. Adhere the twigs along the outside of the jar with glue.
        3. Wrap the jar with twine, tie a bow and add adornments!


        Natural Twig Stars


          What You Need:
          • Twigs
          • Hot glue gun
          • Twine or raffia    

          What You Do:

          1. Arrange the twigs into an overlapping star shape.
          2. Apply a dab of glue at each of the overlapping spots.
          3. Wrap overlapping joints with twine.
          4. Decorate each star with twine, berries, raffia, pine needles etc.
          5. Loop a piece of twine or ribbon through the star and tie in a bow for use as a hanging ornament!


          Slow Cook Apple Butter

          What You Need:

          • 5 1/2 pounds of apples — peeled, cored, and finely chopped
          • 1/2 tsp cinnamon


          • Maple syrup
          • Ground clove
          • Nutmeg
          • Ginger
          • Apple juice or cider

          What You Do:

          1. Fill slow cooker with diced apple pieces over high heat for 4 hours. Stir regularly. Add a splash of juice or cider to reduce sticking if desired.
          2. Turn off heat and mash apples. (For extra smooth apple butter place apples in blender until desired chunkiness is reached.)
          3. Add cinnamon. Add optional spices now. (If too bitter — add maple syrup to taste)
          4. Cook uncovered on high for 45-75 minuted until desired thickness is reached.
          5. Once cool, store in refrigerator. To preserve freshness add a dash of lemon.


          We hope you have a wonderful day with your families!