Skip Black Friday and go straight to Plaid Friday.  Do not pass go and do not collect electronics you don’t need and DVDs you won’t watch.  The dream of a stress-free, mall-free and food-court-free Holiday shopping experience is alive and well this Friday, November 23rd. It’s called “Plaid Friday“.

According to the website, this is the mission of Plaid Friday:

The name Plaid Friday celebrates the diversity and creativity of independent businesses. Plaid Friday is the fun and enjoyable alternative to the big box store “Black Friday”, and is designed to promote both local and independently owned businesses during the holidays.

Plaid Friday was conceptualized in Oakland, CA, a city known for strong shop local campaigns. Plaid Friday brings back the nostalgic times when shopping for friends and family was a pleasurable leisurely activity.

Plaid Friday 2012

Think of Plaid Friday as the year’s best excuse reason to wear your beloved grunge-era flannel shirt.  On what other day of the year are you allowed, nay, encouraged, nay, rewarded, to proudly sport the thread-bare plaid flannel shirt you wore to every Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, AIC and STP concert? As a bonus, some participating shops, bars and restaurants will give you a special deal if you wear plaid on Friday when visiting their establishment. Yes, this plaid thing is for real.

Head over to Oakland on Plaid Friday. The locals there have made it very easy (and extremely fun, by the sounds of it) to get your Holiday shopping done and done.  Details about special deals, participating businesses and other fun stuff can be found on Oaklandish’s blog.  Also happening across the bay on Friday is the second annual “Oakland In The Black” holiday shopping event and community celebration.  Oakland In The Black – “a holiday shopping and community effort to help keep independent local businesses in the black” – is pairing up with Plaid Friday to offer an amazing shopping/exploring/hanging out/eating experience in the form of local, independently owned pop-ups, retailers, artists, restaurants and more.  Oaktown is not to be missed this Friday.  Making a guest appearance as the icing on the cake is free street parking in Oakland, all day Plaid Friday and every Saturday for the rest of the year!

I can understand you still want to snag that out-of-this-world deal on the latest gadget. If you find yourself planning a visit to that big square store with the big yellow letters, wear plaid when you shop there as a way to show your support for local and independent businesses.

If the thought of leaving the house on the Friday after Thanksgiving is filling you with dread, you can participate in Plaid Friday online.  Several local etsy shops are participating in Plaid Friday/In the Black and are offering great deals. Don’t forget to wear plaid and happy surfing.

p.s. A little blue bird who goes by the name “Twitter” told me that Oaklandish will be offering a Free Limited Edition Plaid Friday t-shirt with all purchases over $75.  This event keeps getting better and better.

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