The Year without a Purchase is the story of one family's quest to stop shopping and start connecting. Scott Dannemiller and his wife, Gabby, are former missionaries who served in Guatemala. Ten years removed from their vow of simple living, they found themselves on a never-ending treadmill of consumption where each purchase created a desire for more and never led to true satisfaction.Read more...
The Year without a Purchase is the story of one family's quest to stop shopping and start connecting. Scott Dannemiller and his wife, Gabby, are former missionaries who served in Guatemala. Ten years removed from their vow of simple living, they found themselves on a never-ending treadmill of consumption where each purchase created a desire for more and never led to true satisfaction. The difference between needs and wants had grown very fuzzy, and making that distinction clear again would require drastic action: no nonessential purchases for a whole year. No clothes, no books, no new toys for the kids. If they couldn't eat it or use it up within a year (toilet paper and shampoo, for example), they wouldn't buy it.
Filled with humorous wit, curious statistics, and poignant conclusions, the book examines modern America's spending habits and chronicles the highs and lows of dropping out of our consumer culture. As the family bypasses the checkout line to wrestle with the challenges of gift giving, child rearing, and keeping up with the Joneses, they discover important truths about human nature and the secret to finding true joy. The Year without a Purchase offers valuable food for thought for anyone who has ever wanted to reduce stress by shopping less and living more.
- ISBN-13: 9780664260682
- ISBN-10: 0664260683
- Publisher: Westminster John Knox Press
- Publish Date: August 2015
- Page Count: 200
- Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 0.57 inches
- Shipping Weight: 0.7 pounds
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2015-08-17
- Reviewer: Staff
In 2005, a life-changing mission year in Guatemala inspired Dannemiller and his wife, Gabby, to develop a family mission statement: live with integrity, be grateful what they have, grow in faith together, and serve God's people. Ten years later, living in the suburbs with two children and feeling spiritually off-track, they embark on another yearlong experiment to reinvigorate their mission, hoping that by radically reducing their material consumption they can remove unnecessary distractions, appreciate their current abundance, and become more mindful of God and more able to share their resources. With playful chapter titles ("Yoga Pants and Jock Straps") and self-deprecating humor, leadership consultant Dannemiller explores a handful of recurring themes, such as wanting "to do the right thing, but not wanting to force our values on other people," the difficulties around deciding what's a necessity, and managing social pressures, particularly rituals and expectations around gift-giving. Dannemiller also includes references to psychological studies on such topics as how retail therapy and charitable giving stimulate the brain. Despite some repetition, the family's challenges and creative responses prove thought-provoking, entertaining, and moving. Appendices include practical tips gleaned from the year for readers similarly inspired. (Aug.)