I have decided that December first will be the day. I am going to take the compact pledge and buy nothing new for one year.
A few things I need to figure out will be the exceptions as we return home in January for our annual trip/holiday and while undies and socks are often allowed expenses, the kids will also need new clothes. I am a big believer in recycled clothes, but we are going to be in LA and may not have the time to find good quality resale stores. I may except their yearly clothes shopping from my "Compact Pledge".
As for Christmas gifts, I am either going to give my sisters something I make, or try to "cheat" a bit and get the gifts (probably gift cards) purchased before my start date. It is very hard to get presents for siblings and family members anyway, but count the fact that we live overseas and it is even harder. I want to give my sisters a gift that means something to them, that won't just be crap/clutter, and something they can use. My Sister Trish is getting a new home, so maybe a gift certificate for Lowes or something, maybe a months worth of housecleaning for those crazy few weeks after she has to unpack. For Kathy, I don't know. I hope to talk to her this weekend to see what she wants'/needs. I have some birthday gift ideas for the two of them that will not require new purchases, so I hope I can pull that together.
Ah, so much to plan in the next 2 weeks....