I avoid malls and shopping centres like the plague. I can't stand going there for any reason any time of the year. Now that I live in the middle of nowhere I don't get to one very often at all. Suits me just fine. However, this year I found myself in a city visiting a relative over the holidays. On boxing day we were leaving town when I decided to go to the store to pick up some stovepipe I need for my rocket mass heater. I don't get to town very often so a nose dive into consumer hell was necessary.
You'd think (silly me does anyway) that the stores would be empty. After all, didn't everybody just get everything they had pressured their loved ones into getting for them? Don't they have all year to get all the junk they don't need (or even want)? Seems like a really piss-poor way to spend a day off. Searching for that one last spot on a horizon to horizon parking lot. Zombies shuffling around in circles desperate to find that one piece of plastic Chinese shit that will complete them. Mixed amongst the herd are the frantic bargain hunters. The neediness on their panicked faces is sad, pathetic. There are no good boxing day sales anymore anyways. The current economy won't allow it. Everyone has cut everything as far as they can in a vain attempt to keep this bullshit 'consume it all' game going a little longer.
I do a lot of my shopping at the local waste transfer site. Recently I scored a really good bike, tools, motors, wheelbarrow, and electronics. Yesterday I picked up a grinder and eight lengths of 2"x10" wood. Who the hell throws away perfectly good wood like that when living on the bald-assed prairie? Sure, the shit grows on trees, but there ain't no trees for hundreds of miles. Whatever. Can't beat 'em and sure as hell ain't gonna join 'em. As they throw out perfectly good items to make room for things they will throw out next year (or sooner), I scoop up many items that are useful for free. There are a lot of projects on the old domestead and I am glad to not have to purchase everything I need.