Imagine if retailers held a nationwide super-spectacular sales day \u2014 and no one came. I don\u2019t mean customers. Picture sales staff, cashiers, and even managers not showing up to open the doors for the usual frenzy of mass, crass, crazy consumerism. Maybe it\u2019s silly \u2014 some would say even un-American \u2014 to think that stores wouldn\u2019t open to cash in on a hugely promoted retail bonanza. Yet here it is: REI, the national purveyor of outdoor gear and sporting goods, says it will no longer participate in the shopping spectacle known as \u201cBlack Friday.\u201d This ritual of non-stop door-buster sales now overwhelms Thanksgiving. This holiday is meant to be a calm, family-oriented time to get away from all the hubbub of life and reflect on our blessings. Yet in recent years, such national chains as Macy\u2019s and Wal-Mart have led a corporate assault on Thanksgiving with a buy-buy-buy blitz of consumer come-ons. \u201cRush to the mall,\u201d shout the barrage of Black Friday ads \u2014 enticing us to reduce our values to shallow monetary value \u2014 i.e., discounted stuff. They\u2019ve turned this contemplative day of thanks into a weekend of worshipping mammon. \u201cEnough!\u201d says REI. The national retail co-op with 143 stores and $2.2 billion a year in sales is raising the ethical bar by boycotting Black Friday. Instead of shopping on the Thursday and Friday of Thanksgiving weekend, REI is urging its workers and customers to break out \u2014 literally. Take a walk with family and friends, enjoy a bike ride, visit a public park, and otherwise get outside the soul-suffocating syndrome of constant consumerism. What a concept: Don\u2019t shop \u2014 live. Connect with people, nature, the spirits\u2026and yourself. For more information, go to REI\u2019s special website: OptOutside.REI.com. OtherWords columnist Jim Hightower is a radio commentator, writer, and public speaker. He\u2019s also the editor of the populist newsletter, The Hightower Lowdown, and a member of the Public Citizen board. OtherWords.org.