Canada invented Buy Nothing Day, now observed worldwide either on the Friday or Saturday following Thanksgiving. Besides concentrating on saving the planet with less waste, people also have parties to cut up credit cards, have a winter coat exchange, and steer empty shopping carts around a store. Some people also see it as a way to support retail clerks required to work on a day that most others have off--at possible danger to the clerks.
Do you shop over the Thanksgiving weekend? Could you participate in Buy Nothing Day? (For college students, that's every day).
And speaking of poor college students, here are some do it yourself ideas to make simple Christmas Gifts:
Ideas to make with items from the Dollar Store: http://www.trendsandideas.com/exciting-dollar-store-diy-projects/