I was really late on this one but apperently it was Buy Nothing Day today. I knew I read about it earlier this month but then I've completely forgotten about it.
In any case, I think the message of this initiative is to reflect over Christmas-shopping as the day is strategically chosen to be just one month before Christmas; when the stores are obviously trying to market and lure you into buying as much as possible around this time.
I personally prefer to avoid the shopping malls before Christmas and instead if possible go around to Christmas markets: the Christmas feeling is usually nicer around there and it is easy to find home-made stuff or things you wouldn't find in a store.
The fair trade Christmas market in Stockholm would be something I'd like to go to - not sure I will be able to, though. Today I also rebelled against the buy nothing day (if you can rebell against something you didn't remember) and we went to the local village's Christmas market (and suprisingly enough I bought... toothpaste!). Tomorrow I'd like to go to the Uppsala castle's Christmas market, not only for the market but also because I haven't visited the castle yet and I guess it is something worth to see around here.
Another idea I like is the "charity gifts" but I've found that, just as it is horribly difficult to know what exactly another person might need, it is as difficult to know what charity or organization another person's heart ticks for. However, perhaps it is not such a big deal if the gift goes to UN or WWF as far as it helps doing a bit of good. Also Stefan and I have agreed that if we spend money on an organization or charity we prefer if they don't send us anything by post (no need of plastic toys, paper diplomas, etc.), if it's electronical it's ok.
All this Christmas shopping talking made me think that it would be interesting to make a survey and ask people what is the best Christmas present they ever got. What was yours? Do you even remember half of the things you've gotten?