A Survival Guide For This Holiday Season

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A Survival Guide For This Holiday Season

Survival Guide

A Survival Guide For This Holiday Season

I usually get most of my holiday shopping done prior to Thanksgiving. Completely avoiding the annual post-Thanksgiving rush has been an objective of mine for some time. Survival It is not the case in 2007.

Survival Guide

Survival Guide

However, my delayed shopping for the holiday season this year is hardly unique. A Consumer Reports survey of the American public indicates that only 22 percent of people anticipate finishing holiday shopping right after Thanksgiving. This compares to 30 percent in 2006. In fact, 45 percent of respondents said they do not anticipate finishing their shopping until the second week of December, and another 20 percent said they would be out shopping until December 24th.

In general, the public will be shopping later in the season and I will be among the crowd. So what kind of a crowd will it be? What is the mood of the consumer in America in late 2007? The information obtained from various polls and surveys does not indicate much holiday cheer.

High energy prices, a mortgage loan crisis, and talk of a recession have hurt American confidence in the economy. World events such as the war in Iraq, instability in Pakistan, and a potential conflict with Iran have added to the unease. In general, Americans enter the holiday season in a dark mood, with economic worries, product safety, security fears, and the high cost of energy fueling their growing pessimism.

This Holiday Season

Therefore, with the consumer in such a sour mood, it is critical this holiday season to have a survival guide. Here is my list of twelve do’s and don’ts.

1. Think twice before buying clothing as a gift: More than two thirds of people intend to buy clothing as a holiday gift this year. Consumers indicate that clothing is their number one gift idea. Indeed, more than half of men said they were disappointed to receive various types of clothing for the 2006 holidays including socks, sweaters, and shirts.

2.Give men electronic gifts: Nearly 25% of men surveyed chose electronic items as their primary gift wish for the holidays. many men hate receiving clothes, but love electronic gifts.

3. Buy women gift cards: This is the top choice holiday gift requested by women, according to recent surveys.

4. Avoid the temptation to re-gift: Overall, nearly 25% of us now re-gift items that we previously received. Nearly 75% of people are not on a holiday budget. The 25% who are on a budget are probably the people who are re-gifting. Note: if you are re-gifting, make sure you are not giving the item back as a gift to the person you received it from originally.

5. Don’t give a lump of coal as a gift: In the last several years this has been a gift given. This year it may be seen as a serious attempt of charity to help a person.

6. Don’t eat fig pudding: I don’t believe anyone does this, but it’s an old time tradition and this warning belongs in every holiday survival guide.

7. Don’t buy a black Christmas Tree: They are for sale at high prices and they are the apparent new trend in holiday decorating design. Think of what you are doing.

8. Say “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays”: We should remember that more than two thirds of Americans prefer to use the phrase. However nearly 90% of Republicans prefer Merry Christmas to less than 60% of Democrats.

9. Don’t sing , ” I’m Dreaming of A White Christmas,” ” Baby, It’s Cold Outside”,. Are we hoping that everyone north of the Mason/Dixon line goes broke due to the high cost of heating. These songs are no longer politically correct.

10. Last year’s most popular holiday vacation destination for Americans was Malaysia (great work by the Malaysian travel bureau). Canada or Alaska instead of Malaysia.

 

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