Since last Jan. 1, Jessica and Jaime Gabriel and their three sons – Andrew, 9, Ben, 5, and Will, 3 – have embarked on a challenge to buy nothing new for a full year. They explain: "[W]e are making a conscious decision to go to the other end of the buying spectrum so that next year when we start buying again, we will be able to know where the middle is for OUR family." With the exception of food, hygiene and safety products (like new brakes for their truck), almost every material item they’ve purchased this year has been sourced second-hand. Jessica made a random mention of this on her Facebook account early in the challenge, and it drew so much attention that she started a blog about it in March. As the year draws to a close she remarks on a number of things they've learned from their experiment. Quotes from the blog:
- Our main focus is to teach not only ourselves, but more importantly our children, the value of a dollar, delayed gratification and reevaluating our needs and wants as well as how to meet them.
- [W]hen we DO go back to buying, we will be making more informed choices, where the bottom dollar isn't always the guiding force. Sometimes you can't get more for less. Sometimes you have to spend more to get more.
- We are going to start thinking of some great decorations that we can make once and use for all our birthday celebrations and start a tradition of our own, a tradition of longevity, items with memory and family time while doing it.
- LOVE the library!
What do you think of making a family resolution? Trying something new just to see what would happen? What if we turned off the television for a year? What if we embraced the radical Sabbath Manifesto? How would our thinking change? What would we learn? What would we embrace in the time freed by changed practice?
I hope the coming year will be one of life and growth and joy and family. Let me know if you decide to make any changes!