Come all ye fair and tender shoppersTralala, it's Buy Nothing Day! If you're in the US or Canada, that is; in other countries it's November 24. Buy Nothing Day was founded in 1992 to help us think about how we consume; it's no accident that it falls on Black Friday, the biggest shopping day of the year. There's a lot of potential for preachiness with something like this, so I reckon it's best to approach it in the spirit of having fun and raising awareness. Adbusters has some good ideas for stuff to do, as well as posters you can print out.
Be careful how you spend your dough
It's like a puddle after a rainstorm
It first appears, then there's no more
Adbusters also makes ads for BND every year, and then tries to get big networks to run them—with varying success. I like this one, which involves mittens (though the music, well, ...).
Lots of places will have skillshares and other events, so if you want to get involved, check your local weekly to see what's happening near you. And if taking your folks to the potluck at the anarchist bookstore sounds implausible, consider designating a surrogate Buy Nothing Day for yourself later in the week--that's what I'll likely end up doing.
For more info, consult Treehugger. Everybody now:
Oh stuff is handsome, stuff is charming
And stuff is pretty when it's new
But so much stuff is made of plastic
And unlike money, it will never go away even when it is no longer useful or appealing or lovely to view