How will you spend your holiday budget this year?

Friday, November 23, 2012

What will you do with your three-quarters of a thousand dollars?

That's how much you will spend on Christmas presents this year, if you're average, $770.

That's up a little from last year, according to a Nov. 15-18 Gallup poll of 1,015 adults.

But, it's nowhere near the $866 each of us spent in 2008, and a lot better than the $616 we shelled out in 2009, according to the poll.

According to a survey by the Retail Federation, which expects us to spend only $750 each, we'll spend $549 on all gifts, $422 on family members, $75 for friends, $23 for acquaintances and -- are we really surprised? -- $140 on "gifts" for ourselves while shopping for others.

Our friends at the world's biggest company, Apple Computer Inc., will rake in much of the profit by selling millions of iPads, but other, lower-cost competitors will make inroads in the tablet computer market, expected to be one of the hottest presents for Christmas this year.

Electronics of other types will take up much of the remaining Christmas budget, with televisions, smart phones, computers and videogames finding spots under the tree.

Today's "Black Friday" wasn't the mad rush it was in previous years, with more and more retailers spreading out the bargains, and more of the business is likely to shift online this coming Cyber Monday.

Still, we hope you'll consider a more thoughtful, personal purchase at a small, independent retailer on Small Business Saturday this week, looking for a quality, unique gift that can't be purchased in bulk at the big box store.

You'll have a good chance to find one before you check out KFNF's Christmas Light Parade Saturday night in downtown McCook -- there's little chance it will be snowed out like it was last year.

As an added incentive, there's a chance any purchases you make at a participating merchant until Dec. 15 will be free -- if it snows 6 inches or more on New Year's Eve! Who knows, stranger things have happened!

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