Shopping While the Turkey’s Still Warm

The day after Thanksgiving is the traditional start to the holiday shopping season and that usually prompts a number of stores to open at the crack of dawn. Crowds of shoppers gather in the dark as they wait for the doors to open and their chance at deeply discounted DVD players and such. This year, retailers are going even further. According to a story in the 11/5 issue of the _Chicago Tribune_, dozens of malls are planning to open right after midnight.
h3(matt). Matt’s View
p(matt). Assuming you haven’t finished all of your holiday shopping by now, here’s an idea for an unusual gift that both you and the recipient are likely to enjoy for years to come, and it doesn’t require shopping under the influence of tryptophan: an agreement to stop exchanging gifts with each other, or at least to put some limits on the gift giving. Before you rename this eNewsletter _Scrooge About Money_, hear me out. Gift giving is a very common budget buster, with the short-term joy generated by most gifts quickly replaced by the long-term pain of having to pay the bills. And if you think about it, how many gifts do you actually remember? How about presenting this idea to one person on your shopping list this year? If you just can’t break the habit of spending money on each other, consider pooling what you would have spent and giving the money to a good cause. The joy from that is likely to last a lot longer than the joy of receiving another sweater.

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