Small business Saturday

Small Business Saturday is just one of the backlashes against the Black Friday consumerist madness. Cyber Monday has grown into a black day all its own, and I’m sure the small business owners of the world hope that Saturday does, too.

I also saw a handmade/local crafts “day” being planned, but I can’t remember what it was called, which makes it impossible to Google. (Here’s a similar pledge.)

All of these, of course, share the conceit that it’s not the consumerism that’s the problem, it’s that you’re aiming your consumerist impulses in the wrong place.

The granddaddy of all of them, of course, is Buy Nothing Day.

Having just had two great experiences with local, downtown shops in the past week, and having had excellent luck last year having a local artisan custom-craft me a gift, you can tell I’m primed to support these causes.

And yet — I was at Wal-Mart yesterday. And I’ve already ordered gifts this year from Amazon.

So don’t feel bad if you did, too. But the Christmas season is such a spend-a-thon, it’s an excellent time, no matter what the prompt, to take a step back, a deep breath, and examine exactly where all that hard-earned cash of yours is going.

Hmmm, actually, that’s an interesting idea: Cash-only Christmas. Tackle the credit crisis and force local shopping all in one? LOVE IT.

(Of course, I’m not the first to think of it, but maybe I can be the one to make it a thing this year.)