November 14th, 2008
05:58 PM ET

How has economy changed your holiday plans?



FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The shopping malls, department stores and discount retailers are doing all they can to let you know the holidays are almost here. This year, they really need your business. Last month, retail sales suffered the worst monthly drop on record. And the outlook isn't so bright heading into the Christmas season.

The unemployment rate is at a 14-year high of 6.5 percent, foreclosure rates have spiked across the country. Even if you're fortunate enough to still have a roof over your head and a job to pay for it, your retirement savings have probably taken a pretty hefty beating... as stocks continue their slide southward.

So spending money on holiday travel, food and gifts may a little harder to swallow this year.

There is one bright spot: gas prices are down...a lot. So you can at least drive to your relatives'. There are no guarantees what you'll find on the table or under the tree when you get there though.

Here’s my question to you: In light of the deteriorating economy, how have your holiday plans changed?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Scott from Tucson, Arizona writes:
We've now done our first detailed budget, and tracked our spending down to the penny for the last two months to see exactly where we are. The result? In the current spreadsheet there is no column for gifts. We'll make exceptions of course, but our plans are very conservative.

M.B. from Virginia writes:
I'll be driving to visit relatives rather than flying, and spending less money per person on gifts. But as an adult, the most important thing about the holidays is to enjoy time with family, which doesn't cost a thing.

Gary from North Carolina writes:
Yes, for the first time in eight years, we can really rejoice. We have a glorious year to look forward to. And since when is happiness and giving related to the economy anyway?

Bill from Zion, Illinois writes:
I guess this year we'll hear even more than usual the lamentations about how the merchants are faring. We gauge our elections by countless polls and our Christmas season by sales receipts. Pretty sad.

Bronwyn writes:
Every year we send family members Virginia Hams, but this year due to the failing economy we will be sending Virginia Peanuts instead!

Tim from Boulder, Colorado writes:
Christmas is canceled. Bah humbug, Jack.

Garrick writes:
Jack, my plans are to go stand in front of the White House with my bills and ask Bush to bail me out.

Gary from Woodhaven, Michigan writes:
Maybe as a people we will learn what the holidays are really about, which has nothing to do with an economy.

Filed under: US Economy
soundoff (314 Responses)
  1. Brett in Oriskany,Va

    For me its a quiet Christmas at home with my lady. Presents will be few, dinner will be deer meat. Not that any of that is bad, we will celebrate and thank God for our bounty, even if it isn't what we had last year. My view is always to find the gift in a time of crisis. We have our love and that can't be taken by anyone.

    November 14, 2008 at 1:17 pm |
  2. Jan from NW Iowa

    Yes, I'm cutting back in cost of gifts, no fancy gift wrap, no new decorations, and choosing not to fly to see my son and his family at Christmas. I own a small retail store and sales this year are down 11% so far. The last two months are at a minus 15%. I'm afraid December sales may be the worst we've see in the 16 years we've been open. We're not shopping at Best Buys instead choosing to do more business at Walmart. I'm thinking alot of my customers think the same way towards my business.

    November 14, 2008 at 1:21 pm |
  3. eddie in NC

    Not one bit I am at that age where time with those I love has more meanning to me than all of the hoopla that we have been led to belive thats makes a good holiday. Fact is most of us spend to much money on things we dont need and people we dont like just for the sake of trying to fit in. tip save your money you may need it soon.

    November 14, 2008 at 1:22 pm |
  4. Conor in Chicago

    It hasn't. I am an athiest with no kids whos family lives in a different region of the country. I am sure me and the girlfriend will find something fun to do with our day off and leave at that. Ah!!! The secular X-mas, gotta love it!

    November 14, 2008 at 1:22 pm |
  5. Deb in Pennsylvania

    I, unlike Wall Street, have a budget that I have to adhere to, though I'd love to ask congress to help me out with a little bailout! Bah Humbug!

    November 14, 2008 at 1:27 pm |
  6. Bob D, Morristown, NJ

    We're returning to basics, and only venturing as far as our horse-drawn sleigh will take us.

    November 14, 2008 at 1:31 pm |
  7. chuck in cda

    Christmas is a time of GIVING and it"s the RIGHT TIME that Bush and Cheney start giving up some of those billions made on the oil companies and Halliburton.

    November 14, 2008 at 1:33 pm |
  8. Esther M. Akron Ohio

    why do we have holidays which require us to spend 75% of the retails profit in the year? Why is it that we put the face of religion on it? why do we not have a holiday from spending on ourselves and give it to someone who needs more than we want

    November 14, 2008 at 1:33 pm |
  9. marti thompson

    Yes....No Turkey and the fixins', instead roadkill and greens..

    November 14, 2008 at 1:34 pm |
  10. May-Tennessee

    Jack, our plans for the holidays this year will be to stay at home with our children...we will have far fewer gifts under the tree than previous Christmases, if any at all. But the greatest gift will be that we are all together and we will give thanks for that and pray for those who are even less fortunate than we are. Maybe next year will be a little better and hopefully we will still have a place to live.

    November 14, 2008 at 1:35 pm |
  11. Joe in VA

    Very few big gifts this Christmas, most spending on the grand-kids.
    We plan to travel from VA to Texas to have the entire family together. That will be our largest expenditure, spending it on something at matters.

    Chatham , VA

    November 14, 2008 at 1:35 pm |
  12. Paulette,Dallas,PA

    Hasn't changed my plans at all. I begin to shop for Christmas the day after Christmas and all throughout the year. I buy most of my gifts on sale and just keep stocking them up. Same with holiday food. I start buying the food and trimmings way ahead of time. A little each week so the last store trip before the holiday I only have to buy the perishables. I find that this system works for me and puts little strain on finances right at holiday time.

    November 14, 2008 at 1:35 pm |
  13. George

    This is not all new to me, I have been under pressure to pay my bills for some time now. If I'm lucky, i will order a chicken box from KFC for Thanksgiving, and put up our artificial Christmas tree the day after, and for Christmas we will have baked chicken same as last year. Nothing fancy, but you know what. It isn't about how much we can give, or recieve, but how we give thanks for our very being, and for our savior Jesus Christ. Those who celebrate these Holidays know what I am talking about and that is all that matters.

    November 14, 2008 at 1:35 pm |
  14. Barbara - 65 yr old white female in NC

    What holiday plans.

    November 14, 2008 at 1:38 pm |
  15. Lil from TN

    We plan to have a very low key holiday - giving no expensive gifts, taking no trips, having no holiday parties, and giving homemade gifts like bread and cookies. In my book, it would be tacky to make a big deal of the holiday in light of so many people suffering. Money, if one still had any, would be better spent in giving to charity.

    November 14, 2008 at 1:41 pm |
  16. Mari Fernandez, Salt Lake City, Utah

    Yes, this year we are giving our four-20-something kids, a vacation. One gift for the entire family. We have a good job, thank God, but we are being better stewards of God's gifts. Also, we intend to give more to charity since there are so many in need this year.

    November 14, 2008 at 1:42 pm |
  17. Janis, Lafayette, IN

    For this year, it will change alot. For the last several years, our family could not afford gifts for the Holidays, so we would have a nice meal together and enjoy the day. This year, my oldest daughter will not be with us because she is in Iraq and my other children are in another state. I do not have a home of my own anymore, so I can't have my family with me this year. It will be a very lonely and depressing time for me and my children because we will not be able to share the Holidays together. The financial constraints that we are under at this times is the major reason why we can't be together. It is sad to think that what is happening to the economy right now is tearing families apart.

    November 14, 2008 at 1:43 pm |
  18. Molly inTX

    Well Jack, I am NOT buying a new car & will be driving my 11 year old "still kicking" auto – it's paid for although past retirement kinda like me. We will not be exchanging gifts or going anywhere so my holidays will be pretty darn uneventful yet I am thankful I have a job & a place to live. I will get to see my kids & share a meal so it ain't so bad.

    November 14, 2008 at 1:47 pm |
  19. Mona

    . . . Jack, I'm going to pull out the old candy canes from last year for
    the grandchildren, and hope they won't know the difference.

    November 14, 2008 at 1:47 pm |
  20. Anne/Seattle

    While in years past I'd spend a few hundred dollars on gifts, this year I'll spend less than $100. My boyfriend and I have limited our exchange to 1 or 2 presents under $50. I don't have the money for the multiple donations I usually make to charities and that really tarnishes the Christmas spirit. I am making a few things for donation and I purchased toys for Toys for Tots in after Christmas sales last year. The rest of the ways I celebrate Christmas will be in tact because they have nothing to do with money.

    November 14, 2008 at 1:48 pm |
  21. Tim in Texas

    I expect to spend less time buying a whole lot of things that people really don't want or need and more time cooking things with the family, taking the kids sledding, and playing a crazy family football game in the snow. I expect to spend less time packing up stuff given to me that I don't really want or need, and a little more time packing up stuff that I don't want or need to give to charity. I'm looking forward to it.
    Tim in Texas

    November 14, 2008 at 1:49 pm |
  22. Susan in Maine

    As my 8 year old daughter said, "Mom you can't give what you don't have so don't feel bad, so let's give what do have which is happiness." Less "is" more for our family this holiday season. Because we have less money to spend on "wants" our family is focused this holiday on needs for others. We sat our kids down ages 8 and 10 and talked about needs of others in this bad economy. We talked about how lucky we are to have what we already do. We decided as a family to work the soup kitchen on Christmas day and to help out with organizations that help people less fortunate than us. Our kids were very excited.

    November 14, 2008 at 1:49 pm |
  23. Tony in Michigan

    This year everyone in my family is cutting back on gifts and spending from past years. This may be a good thing- less emphasis on material things and more on family and the holiday spirit.

    November 14, 2008 at 1:50 pm |
  24. Jason, Koloa, HI

    I've never had much to begin with so my plans haven't changed at all.
    I'll just be happy if my kids and my family are healthy and I hope the same for everybody else, including you and your family Jack. If there is anything good about having less, it's that it does move your focus toward what really matters the most.

    November 14, 2008 at 1:50 pm |
  25. John

    Jack: We plan more family gatherings less presents. All things will be paid with cash no credit cards. No traveling past 50 miles for any activity. It will not be as much fun, but maybe the true meaning of Christmas will shine through this year. Yes, Virginia there is a Santa Claus. Remember, Virginia, Santa Claus lives in your heart. Get the picture, Jack.


    November 14, 2008 at 1:52 pm |
  26. Ron, Centennial, Colorado

    Like many we will cut back on gift purchases and not take a cruise or go on a luxury vacation. We do this knowing full well that this will add to the downturn of our nation's economy, but what are we to do except wait for this fallout of bad management to pass so we might once again get on with our productive lives.

    November 14, 2008 at 1:53 pm |
  27. Chad N.

    The economy has basically cancelled all of my families holiday plans. I cant justify travelling, gifts, entertaining and all that comes along with the holidays if at the same time I am trying to figure out how to stay in my home, keep the electricity on, food on the table and having to look for some sort of work since I am unemployed as a direct result of the economy.

    Basically, what holidays? I am working on the survivingdays!

    November 14, 2008 at 1:54 pm |
  28. Richard, Enoch, Utah

    We have cancelled a trip we usually take in Janurary to keep more in our pocket for worse days to come. The "D" word being passed around so much lately, frankly has scared us. We don't know what tommorrow will bring!

    November 14, 2008 at 1:54 pm |
  29. Paul Round Rock, Texas

    Except for the meal and football what Holiday Jack Bush was even able to mess this up.

    November 14, 2008 at 1:55 pm |
  30. kate

    No browsing, no gift guides, no holiday strolling through the mall. I am only giving gifts of what is absolutely needed, and no amount of catalogs, commercials or special offers is going to change that! And cash only! No credit cards!

    November 14, 2008 at 1:57 pm |
  31. Pat,Lexington, Ky.

    The only ones in my family who will receive presents are my 14-yr. old, 5-yr.old, and 4-mo. old grandchildren. And no new wrapping paper or bows. And I'll be sending leftover Christmas cards from years past, and e-cards.

    November 14, 2008 at 1:57 pm |
  32. Louise, Massachusetts

    I am returning to the "Good Ol' Days" approach and thinking of gifts from the heart instead of the Mall – one night of free babysitting each month for neighbors with small kids; apple pies for the dearest friends, goofy homemade mittens for nieces and nephews. Honestly, I haven't felt better about Christmas in decades!

    November 14, 2008 at 1:58 pm |
  33. Joe in DE

    I will spend less.

    November 14, 2008 at 1:58 pm |
  34. Shirley -AK OHIO

    Well, since my children are old enough to know when hard times are amongst us, they are okay with having Christmas in the Spring around income tax time, by then everything is on sale and they get more than what they would have gotten on Chrismas day, a win win situation.

    November 14, 2008 at 1:58 pm |
  35. Brian from Fort Mill, SC

    I will take my family to Kentucky Fried Chicken on Monday, and we will lick our fingers on Tuesday!

    November 14, 2008 at 1:59 pm |
  36. Mary from Houston, tx

    Yes, the budget is strained, so the holiday's will be also.
    Thank you president photo-op, and vp ebenezeer cheney.

    November 14, 2008 at 2:00 pm |
  37. Bob from Southfield, MI

    It's going to be a nostalgic Christmas, Jack. There's going to be and early depression theme. Maybe we can have a beer with the president!

    November 14, 2008 at 2:00 pm |
  38. Dennis, Cleveland ,Ohio

    Budget for Gifts, cut 50%

    November 14, 2008 at 2:01 pm |
  39. Jane (Minnesota)

    Our plans aren't changing this year. My mother has had to struggle to make ends meet since 1999 when her share of my father's pension fell to 1/4 of what it was after his death. We as a family made a decision to scale Christmas spending way back at that time so she would not feel obligated to buy gifts.

    November 14, 2008 at 2:04 pm |
  40. Frank from Peterborough

    Well Jack I just consider Christmas for the kids and the family so people just have to buy within their means and the family part will look after itself. It's also nice for anyone financially capable to give a little something to the less fortunate so their kids and family can partake in the holiday season.

    November 14, 2008 at 2:04 pm |
  41. Gary - Woodhaven, Michigan

    Maybe as a people we will learn what the holidays are really about, which has nothing to do with an economy.

    November 14, 2008 at 2:06 pm |
  42. rwhite

    Yes, less gifts, less expensive gifts, and with gas prices so low, we will drive up north (we live in Florida) to see family, rather than the still expensive airline tickets and rental car. On that trip, rather than the nicer hotels, we will stay in budget motels and drive longer distances to get to our destination so the motel bill is lower. And we will be buying luncheon meats and making our travel meals like when I was growing up, rather than stopping at fast food restruarants which cost too much today. Lot's of changes for Christmas. And we'll do just fine.

    November 14, 2008 at 2:09 pm |
  43. Gloria East Bay CA

    No more Prime Rib, Turkey, Ham & fine wines. Just Mooseburgers, beans and plenty of water.

    November 14, 2008 at 2:09 pm |
  44. J in ALT

    There will be more huggs and less gifts this year. Maybe it's just what our country needs.

    November 14, 2008 at 2:09 pm |
  45. Katiec Pekin, IL

    Think this Christmas will be different for many. We all got
    carried away with our purchasing of presents etc.
    Maybe one good thing will come out of this and Christmas
    will once again become a time for family being together,
    love, kindness and good will to all shared.
    This is truly what makes Christmas so special.

    November 14, 2008 at 2:10 pm |
  46. Eileen Peabody

    No change really. I'll bake my apple pies, spend the day with family, and I found a GREAT bakery for reasonably priced pastries.....so that's the plan for Christmas Day.

    However, gift giving will be curtailed to some degree, but my kids are fantastic and they have always appreciated what I have given them. Since they are young adults, money is the gift...what I do to make it fun is wrap different denominations in gift boxes of all sizes.

    Love is the basic ingredient here, and not matter what the economy is....we will always be rich with love.

    November 14, 2008 at 2:12 pm |
  47. Joe in MO

    We're old retired gizzards. We don't do a whole lot on holidays in the best of times.

    November 14, 2008 at 2:12 pm |
  48. Larry in Florida

    Well, I'm going to have to break the news to my Grandkids that Santa Clause has been laid off. Seriously Jack, there is going to be ample space under the Christmas tree. I'm going to be thinking of things my parents and grandparents did for me and my sisters when we were children. We made things for each other and we especially made things to decorate the tree with, that we went out and found in the woods,. I have great memories of those Christmas's and I'd like to recreate that this year. Holiday's aren't about money. But please, don't everbody go out and cut their own tree. That could be a natural desaster.

    November 14, 2008 at 2:14 pm |
  49. Gary NC

    Yes, for the first in eight years we can really rejoice. We have a glorious year to look forward to. And since when is happiness and giving related to the economy anyway?

    November 14, 2008 at 2:16 pm |
  50. Carol, Springfield

    Yes Jack. For starters I am going to give away some of the stuff that
    I shopped for throughout the year, and hid in the closet from my
    husband. I knew those things would come in handy one day.

    November 14, 2008 at 2:18 pm |
  51. Barb New Port Richey Fl

    Oh my God Jack, the holidays!!!! Do ya think I can get a bail out from congress too?

    November 14, 2008 at 2:19 pm |
  52. KarenB, Florida

    Just be sitting around waiting for the next shoe to drop.

    November 14, 2008 at 2:19 pm |
  53. Meg Ulmes

    The economy is forcing me to really think about how I can best spend my holiday money. I am cutting back–which is not a bad thing. Christmas has gotten out of hand in American anyway–too much materialism. It's time that we got back to some true celebrating–and not so much greedy materialism.

    Troy, Ohio

    November 14, 2008 at 2:20 pm |
  54. Richard McKinney, Texas

    Jack I honestly can not say that my holiday plans have changed one bit. I don't travel during the holidays because it is too expensive too dangerous and too time consuming. Even to go on a 2 hour flight it takes 12 hours and that is with no delays for weather or mechanical failures. I avoid a body cavity search by Airline security and If the airline strikes your bags and presents won't get there even if you do. Nothing like your body being violated and not even getting a kiss or reach around from the TSA agent. I send my Christmas by mail each year and stay home where I am nice and warm and safe. Cost has never been a problem. It is the inconvenience of it all.

    November 14, 2008 at 2:21 pm |
  55. Greg in Cabot AR

    Jack, I am sorry to say that I will not be not be contributing to the economic recovery of the retail sector this year. Although my wife and I are doing ok financially, we plan to give cash to the kids and grand kids to help them have a happier holiday season. That way, they can decide if they if they need to fill the stockings over the fireplace with holiday surprises or the fuel tank that heats their home.

    We have asked the kids to limit what they spend on us to less than the cost of a half tank of gasoline for their car. In return, they can take the cash we give them at Christmas and use it for whatever they choose. Hopefully, they can go to the day after Christmas sales and buy what they want at huge discounts.

    November 14, 2008 at 2:21 pm |
  56. Paula

    Our Christmas will be quiet... but there's lots of love in our house... I will buy gifts for the grandbabies... cook Christmas Dinner as always... and we will sing Christmas Carols and watch the movies of Christmas past. I won't be overspending... I will be looking ahead to Christmas future... I am sure there are many good ones yet to come. We live in a great country and we have a brand new president... We have much to be grateful for...

    November 14, 2008 at 2:21 pm |
  57. Mark in OKC

    Other than serving squirrel instead of Turkey for Thanksgiving and cancelling Christmas, no, my plans have not changed at all.

    November 14, 2008 at 2:24 pm |
  58. Willow, Iowa

    I'm a nurse. I will probably work on Christmas eve and Day, also New Years Eve. I will run over to my daughter's Christmas morning for a few hours, and eat at work. Everybody in a nursing home needs extra hugs on holidays, and we all try to make it cheerful and Christmasy. Its the best feeling in the world to work in a nursing home on a holiday.

    November 14, 2008 at 2:24 pm |
  59. Arielle of Glendale, CA

    Yes, I was laid off and my boyfriend has had to pay more of our bills from his measly salary. We can no longer afford to fly back to NY to visit our families for the holidays.

    I was able to find a temp job, but they only pay me on days I work; and, since I do not accrue vacation, I cannot afford to take days off. I hope to be able to see my family next year.

    Also, I am not buying any presents this year. Bills must come first.

    November 14, 2008 at 2:24 pm |
  60. Ron in Oregon

    It won't make a difference to me because I have been setting aside money all year. The kids will still get presents, the grandkids too. Sometimes you just have to plan ahead, and I have. What's so hard about figuring that one out?

    November 14, 2008 at 2:26 pm |
  61. Pugas-AZ

    I plan to get in line at he Salvation Army for the holidays. After years of giving, this year I'm taking. I will probably have lots of company, and it dosen't look good down the road. Maybe the government will finance my meals next year.

    November 14, 2008 at 2:26 pm |
  62. Tina (Ft Worth)

    What holiday? No gifts for the adults but a few for the kids. That is it.

    November 14, 2008 at 2:26 pm |
  63. ST

    They aren't changing that much. We (my husband and I) will exchange our lists as usual, but mine will be a little smaller this year. I don't want to spend very much this year. We will only buy for the young nieces and nephews and our parents.

    November 14, 2008 at 2:27 pm |
  64. Pat in NM

    At the very least, my plans for holidays will change since the deteriorating economy is deeply affecting the lives of the rest of our family and our friends.

    November 14, 2008 at 2:27 pm |
  65. Scott - Kansas

    My plane ticket cost more. That's it.

    November 14, 2008 at 2:29 pm |
  66. Roger from Espanola, New Mexico

    For those of us who feel that families being together during the holidays, thinking more kindly toward our fellow creatues, and being grateful for the opportunities we have had, thoough sometimes ignored, is what the holidays should be about, there probably won't be much adjustment. Perhaps we need to reevaluate our priorities in general.

    November 14, 2008 at 2:30 pm |
  67. Larry Coury ( Houston, Texas )

    Jack –

    No change here....We're on the other side of the hill, so to speak...
    We're not changing any diapers / sending kids to school / College / buying their books / feeding them / & etc...& etc...

    We've "been there, done that" Now we're going to fly "across country" to see the kids.

    Larry Coury
    Houston Texas

    November 14, 2008 at 2:30 pm |
  68. ava Kingsland,GA

    Since I know the real meaning of Christmas and have taught my 4 kids that meaning, we will have a great holiday. We will spend Christmas Eve and Day with family and friends. Every year, we pick 4-5 neighbor to take baked goods that we bake and give. They are thankful for the thought. My kids never expect expensive gifts and are only allowed to spend $10 on anyone they buy a gift for (family, friends and yes even me).

    November 14, 2008 at 2:30 pm |
  69. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    No, the Holiday hasn't changed my plans. I was broke last year and I'm broker this year.

    November 14, 2008 at 2:31 pm |
  70. Simpliticus

    The economic situation doesn't bear on our holiday plans. In fact, we are considering somethings we have never done during the holidays. A trip to San Antonio to take in the River Walk during the Christmas period to see the festive regalia is under consideration. Such plans can be considered in light of recent family situations financially. Only weather concerns us at this time and NOT the economy!

    November 14, 2008 at 2:37 pm |
  71. Diane Glasser

    No parties and at least a 50% drop in the amount of money spent on gifts. I am making my own gifts this year.

    November 14, 2008 at 2:37 pm |
  72. Jaime, Sunrise Florida

    Best excuse to not buy presents in a long time. Usually it's just cause I'm lazy and unimaginative, but now I've got an excuse!

    November 14, 2008 at 2:38 pm |
  73. Kevin, Punxsutawney, PA

    THIS year, that lump of coal that I usually get will actually be worth something. How long do you suppose a sock of coal can heat a house in the northeast?

    November 14, 2008 at 2:38 pm |
  74. Annie, Atlanta

    You'd be amazed at the amount of money you can save throughout the year by putting away all your change and dollar bills. We will have Christmas as usual. I'm just not sure when the bottom will fall out.

    November 14, 2008 at 2:40 pm |
  75. Caroline, Hamer SC

    Yes we will stay home and not be spending any money.

    November 14, 2008 at 2:42 pm |
  76. don in naples, florida

    My christmas last year was humble, and my christmas this year will be humble– just my wife and I enjoying the one certain day off we will have together uninterrupted. There will be no extravagant gifts or spending. And we will probably not make the trip to visit our families. It's actually refreshing learning how to not overindulge during christmas time. If the recession goes long enough and deep enough the american spectrum might change altogether, and what used to be the most profitable time of the year for businesses will now be just like any other day.

    November 14, 2008 at 2:43 pm |
  77. d

    Yes, in fact for the last 10 years we have scrimped on holidays, birthdays, NO vacations, NO movies or date nights and the list goes on and on. We are at a point that we are just working to pay the basic bills. Everything else has been put on hold for a long long time now.

    November 14, 2008 at 2:44 pm |
  78. Mike S.,New Orleans

    This year my relatives will recieve small, framed pictures of the gift I would have bought them if I had the money.

    November 14, 2008 at 2:44 pm |
  79. Linda in Florida

    I wonder if all the banks, AIG, the Wall Street firms, etc. will be thinking of the rest of us, while they are reveling in their bailouts, bonuses, etc? I will be celebrating the fact that on Christmas Day there will only be 26 calendar days until Barack is sworn in as President!

    November 14, 2008 at 2:45 pm |
  80. Rex in Portland, Ore.

    Not mine, Jack. How about yours?

    I am retired with a guaranteed fixed income from SocSec and my employer's pension plan. I have no debts other than a small mortgage on my condominium, live frugally, have no dependents, and am going to marry a rich woman soon.

    November 14, 2008 at 2:46 pm |
  81. cy gardner

    I'll be home for Christmas. You can count on that. cy gardner arlington ,va

    November 14, 2008 at 2:48 pm |
  82. Bill, Quarryville, Pennsylvania

    Jack we have always been a family who enjoyed being together for Christmas. Some years like the ones when I was working and not on a fixed income and received a bonus we were able to buy more gifts. We never traveled except to go to each other's houses within the state of Pennsylvania. Now that I am on a fixed income and the economy is in bad shape plus having new additions to our family we cannot afford extra gifts. But our holiday plans are still the same, to celebrate Christmas together and enjoy what we have.

    November 14, 2008 at 2:49 pm |
  83. Larry from Georgetown, Texas

    If were fortunate for Thanksgiving we'll go help fix food for the shut-ins and needy in our area and for that other holiday we will be blessed if we get to see our grandchildren and then we'll try and help someone in need. Aren't the holidays about giving thanks, not receiving gifts.

    November 14, 2008 at 2:50 pm |
  84. hugh ~ tracy, california

    "The Grinch That Stole Christmas" is a replicant multiplied into a thousand Ebenezer Strooges! I won't be getting that prize turkey this holiday season, and Tiny Tim will just have to wait for that overdue operation.
    Thanks wallstreet execs,
    Bob Cratchit

    November 14, 2008 at 2:52 pm |
  85. Scott Miller

    We've now done our first detailed budget, and tracked our spending down to the penny for the last 2 months to see exactly where we are at. The result? In the current spreadsheet there is no column for gifts. We'll make exceptions of course, but our plans are very..... conservative (wink). Scott Miller, Tucson AZ

    November 14, 2008 at 2:52 pm |
  86. arlene rannfeldt

    It means less of everything..A smaller meal,less presents for the kids,no driving anywhere except to my own kitchen. If you look at it as the glass half full maybe people will take a real look at the meaning of christmas and still feel blessed with what they have although it may be less. I am thankful to have some rather than none.

    November 14, 2008 at 2:53 pm |
  87. Michael and Diane Phoenix AZ

    Not really...We were thinking of just getting away for a few days to a neighboring state to have some time to ourselves and enjoy some nice winter weather.

    November 14, 2008 at 2:54 pm |
  88. MB in VA

    I'll be driving to visit relatives rather than flying, and spending less $ per person on gifts. But as an adult, the most important thing about the holidays is to enjoy time with family, which doesn't cost a thing.

    November 14, 2008 at 2:55 pm |
  89. Craig from Pa.

    We were just told at work that we won't be getting our year-end bonuses this year. We've used that for our holidays in the past....I should have grown up to be a CEO so I'd have a couple million to splurge on everybody over the holidays

    November 14, 2008 at 2:57 pm |
  90. sully,,,,,,,forest park ga

    well jack i never like christmas anyway so i guess it won't be any different for me.

    November 14, 2008 at 2:59 pm |
  91. Sarah Louise

    I think most people will be cutting back this year except maybe the bunch of 'bankers' who got a bailout.

    November 14, 2008 at 3:00 pm |
  92. Mike, Syracuse NY

    While flying to Tahiti on my private jet, I'll be serving only domestic caviar instead of imported in solidarity with the less fortunate.

    November 14, 2008 at 3:00 pm |
  93. Ann, Newton, New Jersey

    Everyone hurting financially, so only young grandchildren getting gifts this year, but is that what it is really all about? Families gathering and loving each other is what is most important and is the real meaning of the holidays.

    November 14, 2008 at 3:00 pm |
  94. odessa

    i'm only looking out for my kids..i will watch my dollars as well my finances..the holidays are meant for children as well the poor..i couldn't stand that palin and gop mocked obama for being a community organizer at the convention..i remembered that jesus christ was a community organizer meaning helping the poor and he never forgot where he come from..maybe it's time for everyone to wakeup and start thinking about it all the time..

    November 14, 2008 at 3:03 pm |
  95. Annie Florida

    Santa will not be coming to our house this year. However, we have sent a big stocking filled with black coal to Bush and Congress for their Christmas present from us.

    November 14, 2008 at 3:03 pm |
  96. Cliff, Front Royal,VA

    It has't changed mine. The economy is bad for many and fir some it is not because of the government

    November 14, 2008 at 3:03 pm |
  97. Diane/Allentown, PA

    Instead of the whole big turkey deal for dinner, we're having chips and dip!!!

    We've just started making presents out of construction paper.......and no, my boys aren't young, they're adults and very good with scissors it turns out!!! I'm getting a complete outfit, head to toe!! Hat and shoes included-just can't wear it in the rain.

    Brings a tear to your eye, doesn't it?

    November 14, 2008 at 3:05 pm |
  98. Roger from Espanola, New Mexico

    For those of us who feel that families being together, thinking more kindly of our fellow creatures, and being grateful for opportunities we have had, though sometimes ignored, is what the holidays are all about, (aside from religious beliefs,) there probably won't be much adjustment. Perhaps we need to reevaluate our priorities in general

    November 14, 2008 at 3:05 pm |
  99. Rose in Az

    A little but not much, I have six grandchildren and I sure can't ignore them, there may be fewer and less expensive gifts but they will have gifts from Grandma under their trees. They are all old enough to understand the state of our economy and they will be grateful for whaever they get.

    November 14, 2008 at 3:07 pm |
  100. carol in Oregon

    It will be the same as the last six years. We have not spent money on gifts except for children. We give "white elephants" at a family Christmas party and have had more fun than any Christmases I can remember. Our houses are full of things we have that we wondered why we ever bought them. My junk is sometimes someones treasure or at least a good laugh. But the greatest thing is no debt.

    November 14, 2008 at 3:08 pm |
  101. Maggie Muggins From Selwyn

    The best thing to do is keep the TV turned off so children can't get hooked on all the toy ads being aired from now until Christmas. That way there won't be any pressure on parents to overspend to give their children presents that aren't within reach of the family budget.

    Once the above has been accomplished then just buy presents within the budget and the children will be quite content and happy with the presents they get.

    November 14, 2008 at 3:10 pm |
  102. Lynn, Boise ID

    The only change we have made is we got rid of the credit cards last year, so we no longer have to pay interest on our purchases. But, we have always kept our Christmas splurges low and celebrated it for the religious holiday it is, so maintaining our standard in any economy isn't too tough.

    November 14, 2008 at 3:10 pm |
  103. Laurieann Petker-Huffman Willits, CA

    Holiday plans...no tree, no gifts, just family love and top ramen instead of turkey

    November 14, 2008 at 3:11 pm |
  104. Brian in Denver

    I am driving to California instead of flying. (staying in rest stops and bunking with friends) As far as holiday dinner, nachos at the Chargers game. Then, total unemployment as a realtor when I get home. Fortunately, no dependents. Taking care of my elderly father.
    I chose to leave accounting because I hated the corporate ratrace.
    Am returning, however I am almost 20 years older, and am overqualified.

    This really hurts.

    November 14, 2008 at 3:12 pm |
  105. Hubert Bertrand

    It's time to stay home with the ones you love, And not going and spent,spend spend to feed the (greedy ) big companys.Let them stay home with their love ands and forget money,

    November 14, 2008 at 3:13 pm |
  106. Sonoran Desert DT

    What Holiday Plans???

    November 14, 2008 at 3:14 pm |
  107. wally Ruehmann las vegas nv

    nothing has changed, except iam a tick broker then last year. i won't be buying any overseas stuff from walmart. i do have my eye on one of those teddy bears made by the grandma's in Vermont though...will get one and share it....

    November 14, 2008 at 3:15 pm |
  108. Dick B

    My understanding was the government is including the holidays this year in the 700 billion bailout package.

    November 14, 2008 at 3:16 pm |
  109. Kerry

    Because of this horrible economy, my wife and I are more determined to make our children and our grand-childrens holiday eventful for them. It's probably more important than any time to make this holiday special because who knows what's going to happen in the future...

    November 14, 2008 at 3:16 pm |
  110. kenneth sibbett

    Instead of sitting on the front porch and watching cars this year, My wife and I are thinking about sitting on the back porch and watching birds fly.

    Kenneth Chadbourn N.C.

    November 14, 2008 at 3:16 pm |
  111. Bruce St Paul MN

    I'm just going to sit home and roast my nuts over an open fire. If I can't afford firewood, I'll buy some GM stock certificates and burn those.

    November 14, 2008 at 3:18 pm |
  112. CJ

    Our plans for the holidays, including Santa Claus, just went through the economic blackhole. Both my 36-yr old son and I (61-yr old female) lost jobs in the home improvement sector this year – him just today. He has a wife and 2 pre-teen children. How many more of us have to go on unemployment and assistance before this gets fixed. We know it is not just us – but where is our bailout? I would love a good vacation....oops, networking and training opportunity.

    Hampton VA

    November 14, 2008 at 3:20 pm |
  113. Sue

    Wow! Our Christmas will be "thin", but maybe that is a good thing.
    The holiday has become far too expensive and its true meaning has
    been lessened for many. This year we'll have a Christmas like I did
    when I was a child–fewer gifts, but more celebrating the holiday's real meaning.

    November 14, 2008 at 3:21 pm |
  114. Stacy from Loudoun County VA

    Jack, with the birth of our twins in October, this is going to be the best Christmas ever. No one in Washington, Republican or Democrat, is going to ruin that for our family. It will be small and not much, but that is what Christmas is about. It is more Norman Rockwell than Madison Avenue, and thank the maker…it’s about time!

    November 14, 2008 at 3:26 pm |
  115. lynnej

    A lot. Gift shopping will be done via AVON and maybe JCPenney sales. I'll spend no more than $100 (if that much) and everyone will be happy, including me because I won't be paying for this year's gifts by this time next Xmas.

    November 14, 2008 at 3:28 pm |
  116. John in Santa Barbara, CA

    I have an artificial tree, so I won't have to go out and buy one. I have all the decorations from last year, so that's okay too. One doctor told me to lose weight, so I won't be eating a big Christman meal. The economy has caused everyone to be in a bad mood. They gripe all the time and are mean to each other. So this year the big difference is, because of the economy, I have to figure out where in Southern California does one go out to purchase big lumps of coal.

    November 14, 2008 at 3:28 pm |
  117. Ed, Alliance, Ne

    I'm not spending money I do not have in the bank.

    November 14, 2008 at 3:29 pm |
  118. Marcy

    Yes, the state of the economy has changed my vacation plans... I'll be working instead!
    Sebring, FL

    November 14, 2008 at 3:30 pm |
  119. Bob

    Santas' bag will be considerably lighter this year when he comes down our chimney.

    Louisville, Ky

    November 14, 2008 at 3:31 pm |
  120. susan from Idaho

    I plan to do even more the needy. There is something about sharing that is good for your self-esteem and makes one so thankful for what they have.

    November 14, 2008 at 3:34 pm |
  121. Paul S. Columbia, SC

    Until American Flags are proudly displayed identifying American made goods, expect the same thing you got from me last year. Nothing. I cannot and will not buy from any retailer that forced American manufacturers to go offshore to have their product made cheaper or not sell their product. This is not free enterprise. It is blackmail.

    November 14, 2008 at 3:34 pm |
  122. Judy, Exeter, Calif,

    No changes. We have a family reunion in November, and then it's off to the bay area for Thanksgiving. Christmas will be as it has for the past 6 years. No tree, no decorations, just peace and quiet. We love it.

    November 14, 2008 at 3:35 pm |
  123. Wendy Theriault, Nashua, New Hampshire

    We're doing a pot luck for Thanksgiving and Christmas gifts will be concentrated on the grandkids. I've been knitting all year for the adults. The important thing is that we'll all be together.....and we alsways enjoy each other's company. We're looking forward to it.

    November 14, 2008 at 3:36 pm |
  124. Tom Ft Lauderdale

    The price of gasoline has dropped to a level that I am considering a trip to visit relatives out of state. Now if I get a job maybe Christmas too. Is it possible that a gallon of gas will cost the same in 2009 as when Bush took the white house 2001.....

    November 14, 2008 at 3:36 pm |
  125. Kerry Diehl

    Actually, it has made my life much easier....

    No driving, no traffic, no malls, no cards, no shopping and best of all…no spending!!

    November 14, 2008 at 3:36 pm |
  126. Cori from Colorado

    Jack, I've calculated my budget through the end of this year, and I've already spent paychecks I don't have. Christmas? Well, no gifts for anyone, except two each for the kids, which will be clothes they desperately need. We're not getting a tree this year, we can't afford it. Thankfully, we will have food, and our family will be together. Really, that's what matters in the end. Let's hope the New Year brings in good tidings.

    Cori in Colorado

    November 14, 2008 at 3:36 pm |
  127. Sandra fromTexas

    We have no small children in the immediate family anymore, so we have decided to not buy presents. We will get together for dinner and give thanks. Hopefully, we will still have our jobs.

    November 14, 2008 at 3:37 pm |
  128. The Trippster of PA

    Not a pinch. Having less cash on hand has no impact whatsoever on our family's most precious gift. You need to watch "A Christmas Carol," or "It's a Wonderful Life" again and this time pay attention.

    November 14, 2008 at 3:37 pm |
  129. JW Georgia

    My plans to buy you and Blitzer a diamond encrusted watch have been cancelled. Instead, you get what everyone else on my list will get.....a whole hearted wish of "Happy Holidays", and a hope we as a nation can pull out of this economic mess, otherwise next year I predict there will be fewer cable subscribers to even do that.

    November 14, 2008 at 3:39 pm |
  130. Les Oklahoma

    Well Jack don't expect that big gift this time around and my turkey dinner my turn to beans and corn bread some of the good thing I can keep is a fire in the fireplace, family and friends. I guess it want be as bad as some of course Holiday's are what you make them.

    November 14, 2008 at 3:46 pm |
  131. Teeps, Port Huron, Michigan

    Yes, I can even afford coal for the stockings.

    November 14, 2008 at 3:47 pm |
  132. garrick

    hi jack
    my plans are to go stand in front of the White House with my bills and ask Bush to bail me out,everyone need to join me.

    November 14, 2008 at 3:47 pm |
  133. Ray in Nashville

    I've been unemployed since last spring, so I will have to cut back. Ho!

    November 14, 2008 at 3:48 pm |
  134. lisa tx

    no charging cash only.

    November 14, 2008 at 3:48 pm |
  135. Reuben Huggleby Minneapolis,MN

    I'm actually ahead of the game as far as buying my gifts this year. Normally I am a last minute shopper, but this year, I have selected most of the presents and am actually well under budget. All this doom and gloom about the economy certainly has me worried.

    November 14, 2008 at 3:49 pm |
  136. Geoffrey in Lowell, MA

    You practically answered it yourself. I will drive away from my relatives and contemplate a beautiful winter landscape at no cost to anyone.

    November 14, 2008 at 3:50 pm |
  137. Karen - Nashville

    Yes. My husband and I are giving to charity instead of each other.

    November 14, 2008 at 3:51 pm |
  138. Daniel Ambrose


    Absolutely is has. Spending less and buying the essentials. No more are the days of lavishly spending like their isn't a tomorrow. Yet, the upcoming holidays will see a big trickle down effect at least for my entire family. I have to look a the potential of years of this economic inprisonment this country is in and stretch and save for years to come. I'm defintiely staying at home this year for the holidays!

    Daniel Ambrose,
    Atlanta, GA

    November 14, 2008 at 3:51 pm |
  139. John in Rohnert Park

    Very few gifts this year and inexpensive ones at that. It looks like we're all going to do the same thing so there shouldn't be much guilt. This year pretty much ALL Americans are in the same boat. In a way, it's giving us all a new found sense of unity again.

    November 14, 2008 at 3:51 pm |
  140. Pat

    Yes, Jack, it has. We are staying home for all 3 holidays.

    As far as shopping is concerned we have cut back on our list for giving and have decided that $15 is the most will will spend.

    Gas may be lower now but it normally goes up right before and during any holiday.


    November 14, 2008 at 3:52 pm |
  141. Sandi, Chicago

    Our family is certainly cutting back on presents. I am encouraging less expensive ones and better yet, homemade ones. The most important thing is we will celebrate the holidays together and be thankful for all our blessings.

    November 14, 2008 at 3:52 pm |
  142. Sadie, Newport

    Who needs gifts when we have Barack, Jack?

    November 14, 2008 at 3:54 pm |

    What I am doing for Christmas. Not much for the men in the family socks and underwear or the women of the family towels and washrags.
    Going to a major discount store all their stuff is made in China. I wish he was made in
    United States of America.

    Dale southeastern New Mexico

    November 14, 2008 at 3:56 pm |
  144. Neatha in Kansas City

    Yes, we will be scalling our spending way back and driving to see family instead of flying. Also, there will not be a lot of frills this year, just the bear minimum. Besides, for the first christmas in 8 years we all have hope, and what more do we need. Well, besides a living wage and more jobs. All in good time and good cheer.

    November 14, 2008 at 3:57 pm |
  145. kelly from SP

    No I live in an urban community where these economic problems have been the normal. We in the urban community have been struggling for generations. I'm glad that American can now see that just because your having a hard time finacially making a decent living doesn't make you lazy, just unfortunate. This finanical Crisis will pass and it will make many people appreciative instead of judgemental.

    November 14, 2008 at 4:00 pm |
  146. Michael from Greenfield, Wi.

    That is a resounding YES! We were the big spenders in the family's. We gave the nicer high end gifts, and we always provided the main course for the tables. This year it is just the main course, no other gifts whatsoever. We had to circle our wagons for self protection against the Robber Barons of Wall Street and Washington. The future looks very bleak to us, and we can't trust anyone.

    November 14, 2008 at 4:00 pm |
  147. Jay-San Antonio

    This year we will be dining at home with a smaller Table, Thankful for what we do have, praying for those who have less. We as a family will spend less, but we are giving more away. We have clothes in our closet with tags on them. Never one and we cant wear them. They will be given away to the less fortunate and not sold at a garage sale.

    November 14, 2008 at 4:04 pm |
  148. Bryan Colorado Springs


    My plans have changed instead of traveling I will be staying home.
    I cannot see spending all my time being trapped at airports being over charged for every little thing . Its rediculous to think anyone would
    go through all that just to see relatives you hardly know. And listening
    to everyones stories of how the world revolves around them.
    I will spend the holidays in me warm home eating food I like, being
    with my beautiful wife and children, watching football and just being happy.

    November 14, 2008 at 4:04 pm |
  149. Don in Fort Gratiot MI

    My plans have changed, and probably for the better. Less spending, less presents, less travel, less indulding might mean less stress and less headaches for me and my family. Maybe I'll spend some of my time reading a good book, I borrow from the library. Happy Holidays to you and your viewers Jack.
    Fort Gratiot MI

    November 14, 2008 at 4:05 pm |
  150. Spencer, Newport News, VA

    It hasn't Jack. I've always been underpaid and that doesn't have jack to with the economy. Wages in America need to be increased.

    November 14, 2008 at 4:06 pm |
  151. Sam Taylor Lake oroville, CA

    Well instead of Cranberry sauce it will be cranberry jelly on toast.
    Instead of Turkey it will be Turkey hot dogs with cheeze Whiz
    for thankgiving, and turkey bologna for Christmas.
    If we would have had ham, for New Year it would have been
    our Noisey Uncled Roasted over an open spit, but his ham buddies
    would have been looking for him, so we decided just to have another
    round of Turkey hot dogs, maybe we could afford some turkey
    Chilli on top.
    No stuffing this year.
    Santa might not be able to afford to travel on this one

    November 14, 2008 at 4:08 pm |
  152. Pete, Fla.

    I've introduced a new calendar to my kids, and it doesn't contain the date December 25.

    November 14, 2008 at 4:09 pm |
  153. Honest John in Vermont

    Cut back for Christmas Jack? Of course. Hey, can you get me an invitation for the AIG or Morgan Stanley Christmas parties...maybe I can get a small bonus or something?

    November 14, 2008 at 4:10 pm |
  154. Gia in Los Angeles

    Our family is cutting in half it's cap on presents for each other. My office has cancelled exchanging gifts and, instead, decided to just go out to lunch as a group and split the cost.

    November 14, 2008 at 4:10 pm |
  155. bj hewlett in hampton,va

    for one its made me find better,affordable bargins. plus the economy has made it hard for a vet like me to get stable employment with the way the market is at this time

    November 14, 2008 at 4:10 pm |
  156. milt wofford

    All you have to do is look at the daily dow/jones closing figures to realize what is going on – wall street is buying and selling after making enough noise to cause the market to go up and down on an almost daily basis. the guys doing this are making a killing while the rest of us are trying to figure out, if it went up 555 yesterday, and nothing new has happened, why did it go down so much today? I say it is not happening without being caused, on purpose, to make some big bucks. wish you could prove it.

    November 14, 2008 at 4:11 pm |
  157. Kevin, Chester Springs PA

    Not really... The holiday season is about spending time with family and friends. It's about tradition, memories, laughter, faith and hope for new beginnings. It's not about flat screen TVs, IPODs, Wii's, the latest laptop or fashions. So no, a tougher economy won't change Christmas for me. It will only serve to remind me what is truly most important to me and what I am sincerely grateful for in my life.

    November 14, 2008 at 4:11 pm |
  158. bj hewlett in va

    just made me tighten the wallet and look for more bargins

    November 14, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  159. John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt

    Thanks for reminding me!! I have to start collecting email addresses for my Christmas E-card list!!

    November 14, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  160. Jolaine from Iowa

    Can we get a holiday "bail-out" package? Paging Mr. Paulson, This is the Bank of American Taxpayers – it's time to call in your loan.

    November 14, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  161. Mike - Hot Springs, Ar.

    When you are old and retired the holidays do not have the glitter they once did. We will enjoy our days and do what we always do. Nothing much has changed over the years. We just sit in our house by the side of the road and watch the world go by.

    November 14, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  162. Jolly Potter, NY

    i already booked my trip overseas to see my folks in the UK and am not changing that. Family is very special and no price can be put on its value. The plus side is the exchange rate is now better since the financial markets collapsed and we will have a bit more to spend than anticipated. You have to be positive and take the bad times as well as the good – a better day will come. Out with the Old (Bush) and in with the New (Obama) – it can't come fast enough.

    November 14, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  163. Bob in Baltimore


    My plans are the same as the last 7 years with one difference. I'm going to try to work as much OT as possible, 1 gift for the wife, 1 gift each for the daughter and grandson. No lights, no tree, no gifts for myself (I'm too old anyway).

    The only thing I'll do different is raise a glass to Mr. Obama and his staff and wish them Godspeed in fixing this mess. God Bless us Everyone for the change.

    Oh yea, I'm at least going to make a nice baked ziti dinner too.

    November 14, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  164. Patricia

    My husband and I have jobs that are secure, so it's hard for us to take the country's economic downturn as seriously as we probably should. We are within five years of retirement so our funds are in jeopardy. As the holidays approach, we have tried to communicate with our grown children that, like them, we need to learn to cut back on our spending.
    We remember when people did more with less and were happy. We remember when eating out was special and when new clothes, household items and cars were something you saved up for, rather than bought on credit.
    So, what we are going to do differently is tell the kids "You're educated and you're married, so Santa doesn't come here anymore–except for the granddaughter, who will make a haul."

    November 14, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  165. Kirk, Apple Valley, MN

    Hmmm, let me see. How can I say this? YES!

    November 14, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  166. Jess, Ohio

    yes... hand made magnets for everyone this year...

    November 14, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  167. Rob , NYC

    sure does. the stores say they are hurting , but am I the only one thats not seeing things marked down . and 10% off is not a sale .that stuff isn't gold-mark it down at least 50-60% off.Its all made in Asia. a shirt your paying $ 60.00 for costs the most $ 8.00–its shear profit .You wouldn't believe the profit margins of a macy's–their everyday sales are a joke . time to reign in some of the profits-stores used to keystone–which was if it cost 8.00 you doubled the price , now some stores are working on 200% even though they'll never admit it.

    November 14, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  168. Vicki Ontario Canada

    Every Christmas for a lot of years I have always saved re-useable wrapping paper, ribbons and boxes as I come from the generation that recycled before recycling became the in thing. I am rather cynical when there is so much talk about the three R's – and I don't mean reading, 'riting and 'rithmatic. The one thing about this rcession is that it makes most people stop and think about spending on things we don't need. Credit cards have also contributed a great deal to overspending and debt.

    November 14, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  169. lisa from FL

    Jack...the holidays are about family and friends....not things. That's one of the reasons this country is in the shape that it is....creditcards maxed out. I will be helping out in a charity project, spending time with loved ones and spending what I can actually pay cash for.

    November 14, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  170. NANCY , Grand Ledge MI

    The wall street grinches have stolen Christmas!! Perhaps with no money to spend, we will all focus more on the real meaning of Christmas, not the commercial version! Our family is cutting back. We are thankful that we have a home to celebrate in. Many others don't. Maybe we can pitch in and help them instead of going deeper into debt for unnecessary items!

    November 14, 2008 at 4:21 pm |
  171. debinOH

    Not spending anything this year Jack. I really feel bad because at some point I think we should be spending to help employees & employers. However with two kids in college & no way of knowing if we will have jobs in the coming year I just can't part with a penny. Oh well, at least "that one" won the election. That is enough to brighten our holidays. You betcha!

    November 14, 2008 at 4:21 pm |
  172. Joe, Arlington, Virginia

    Jack, I just spent our family holiday on 150 gallons of fuel oil that now costs $3.09 per gallon.

    November 14, 2008 at 4:22 pm |
  173. Sue/PA


    We are going back to the basic meaning of the holidays. Family and friends, food, and counting our blessings. My 4 grandsons are going to be very disappointed. No expensive games this year, just socks and underwear. Fun Nana no more.

    November 14, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  174. David,San Bernardino,CA.

    No,my plans have not changed. I have more junk than I need,I'm not going to buy anymore.

    November 14, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  175. DAWN

    YES Hope we don't have to start recycleing toilet tissue

    November 14, 2008 at 4:25 pm |
  176. Ken in NC

    Jack, I bouth most of my gifts at the "After Christmas Sales" last year. My problem is not getting the gifts but shipping them.

    November 14, 2008 at 4:26 pm |
  177. David,San Bernardino,CA.

    I'm just going to warm myself with a lump of coal and have a moldy crust of bread for nourishment.

    November 14, 2008 at 4:26 pm |
  178. Daniel, Indiana

    It hasn't. I've been seeking employment for over a year, to no avail. I have no plans made to change.

    November 14, 2008 at 4:27 pm |
  179. Jim Rogerson

    My holiday will be based on the minimum cost that I can get by with. Some things are required: presents for my relatives especially my younger brother. We must travel to see him because we only see him two or three times a year. Everything else is optional.

    Jim of Charlotte, NC

    November 14, 2008 at 4:28 pm |
  180. Adem Jemal, California

    I have been broke for the last few years, but hopefully, congress will pass the second gift package soon that would cover my Turky.

    November 14, 2008 at 4:28 pm |
  181. s buczak

    i usually have a big family christmas, but this year, even though my marine son just came home from iraq, i plan to have something small......just can not afford all the trimmings...worried we will not get the college loan for next year for my daughter who will be a senior...not spending alot for presents either...about 75% less then last year.....very dismal feelings, but we have a nice home, transportation and our health.......better off then some people, i guess......................................mattituck, ny

    November 14, 2008 at 4:29 pm |
  182. Gigi in Alabama

    Not really, I have had to economize and downsize for the last eight years. Our family draws names and then we set a limit on how much is to be spent.
    We also try to remember that Christmas is not really about Santa Claus but is meant to honor our Lord, Jesus Christ.

    November 14, 2008 at 4:32 pm |
  183. Ken in NC

    This Christmas is going to be so bad that I will be resending my old E-Cards from last Christmas but hopefully to different people.

    November 14, 2008 at 4:34 pm |
  184. Kate - Arvada, Colorado

    The economy hasn't changed our holiday plans but we had to cancel a trip to Africa next spring which was a life-long dream.

    November 14, 2008 at 4:38 pm |
  185. Jim/NC

    In terms of gifts, absolutely! But we will still gather to celebrate the birth of Christ with friends and family.

    November 14, 2008 at 4:41 pm |

    no money...........no spendy.

    November 14, 2008 at 4:42 pm |
  187. Ed

    When the grinch stole christmas all the who's in whoville sucked it up and celebrated anyway because the script writer knew there would be a happy ending. In the real world there's no bail outs for Christmas. Not sure it's even Christian, skipping Christmas.

    November 14, 2008 at 4:43 pm |
  188. Happy in Arizona

    Thanks to Bush and Chaney, I have had to cut out Xmas gifts to my family and friends. I can't wait for January 20.

    November 14, 2008 at 4:44 pm |
  189. Michelle, PA

    One of the changes is Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners will be potluck instead of asking one family member to incur most of the cost of feeding everyone. Also, I am not giving purchased gifts to any adults on my list, it's homemade all the way!

    November 14, 2008 at 4:44 pm |
  190. David, Tampa, Fl

    Jack. Not really. I have already cut back on that sort of thing over the last few years. If you can, I urge everyone to see or at least call family and friends. When things get worse next year you might not be able to. Hope all have a wonderful Holliday season.

    November 14, 2008 at 4:47 pm |
  191. Kev - NJ

    Personally it hasn't, but with the majority of the people it's going to have a serious effect. Here again, we have a Domino Effect, that will cause more problems than can be handled. Malls and stores will close and jobs lost. Suppliers of finished products will layoff and possibly close. Manufacturers of products, will layoff and possibly close. Then another possible bailout. The Country, nor the people can handle much more and everyone will watch as the Domino's Fall.

    November 14, 2008 at 4:48 pm |

    One word. YES

    November 14, 2008 at 4:49 pm |
  193. L.M.,Arizona

    I was going to spend about $30 now I am going to spend about $20.


    November 14, 2008 at 4:53 pm |
  194. Roy - Chicago IL

    We will scale down and look for the true meaning of the season which does not mean SHOPPING!
    I don't think it will be good for Christmas or the economy if the only store making a profit this December is WAL-MART.
    Now is not the time for big-box discount retailers to drive both their suppliers and their competitors to the brink of extinction. I believe predatory companies like Wal-Mart do feel this way and will try and capitialize on the bad economy.

    November 14, 2008 at 4:55 pm |
  195. Cathy, Los Angeles, CA

    We'll probably get a smaller tree this year and put a few less presents under it. But we will still plan on a nice meal and will spend time with family and friends.

    November 14, 2008 at 4:56 pm |
  196. Carol Northampton, MA

    I will use the bad economy as an excuse not to get all "materialed up" over the holidays, yay!

    November 14, 2008 at 4:56 pm |
  197. Sherri

    At home with famiy grateful for a roof over my head BUT no Christmas shopping of any kind because I like millions of others we are living paycheck to paycheck and I'm working Temp because F/T jobs are hard to find. I see the House/Senate are talking about bailing out the Auto Industry and they have put the Stimulus package on the back burner which is disappointing because there are so many people jobless and the unemployment extension would help them, also the $$$$ that would be sent to the states to rebuild their infrastructure would create jobs right away BUT that wasn't important enough to them. No Jack, there will be no Chistmas shopping by me nor any of my family & friends are saying anything about a big Thanksgiving dinner or any Christmas shopping.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:00 pm |
  198. Tomika, Charlotte NC

    Jack, I don't really feel that my holiday plans will change. I don't go crazy and feed into the commercialism of the holiday. I get what I can afford. The real shopping starts the day after Christmas when things go on sale.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:02 pm |
  199. chuck b

    The economy has effected "most everyone". This has been brewing for a long time. This began under the tax code re-writes of the 1980's under Ronald Reagan and the de-regulation of the late 1990's and early 2000's under G.W.Bush . This proves that the Republican economic plan does not work. Its been tried twice and has not work either time.You can not sufficate the working class to grow the economy. The "trickle down economics" does not work, so quite trying it, the american and world economics are at stack.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:04 pm |
  200. Pat in Atlanta

    They've changed in a good way. Much less emphasis on the quantity of gifts, more on the love in which they are given. Being together with family and friends is what it's all about anyway. Sorry retailers, it's just not going to be your year.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:05 pm |
  201. Linda, Charleston SC

    You bet it has Jack. There will be no Christmas giving this year. No money spent as I've been unemployed for the full year. I've never had this happen in my entire life. Least my house didn't forclose, I gave it away to a sell that might get me by for a few months. I'm a single parent of an underage daughter and what has happened in this country is a crime. I've worked my full life and all I can do is pray that we don't see the streets before this is over.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:10 pm |
  202. vern-t anaheim,ca

    we will be staying home this christmas and buying less for ourselves,relatives and friends and cutting down on our christmas card list.i am unemployed and am having difficulty finding a job even a part time job but i suspect many americans are in a similar situation

    November 14, 2008 at 5:11 pm |
  203. Kim, Dodge City, Kansas

    I'm going to Henry Paulson's house this year. I hear the money is really flowing freely there, and you don't even have to account for any of it.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:11 pm |
  204. Suzanne

    Yes, the economic crisis has forced me and my family to cut back and Christmas will be included. I have cut back on areas like yard service, phone service, cable and am looking for other areas to cut expenses. Christmas will be good this year and even my children know that we will celebrate but with less gifts under the tree!

    November 14, 2008 at 5:12 pm |
  205. Nancy, Tennessee

    As a citizen in the lower middle class - maybe even low income, Christmas dinner will be about the size of the holiday cheer here at our house. This will not be the first Christmas that this was the case where no gifts were exhanged not even hankerchiefs or ties. I do have one concern for Christmas. I do still have a television to watch and every year I watch the show about how the White House is decorated from stem to stern. Millions of dollars are spent. In light of the economic disaster, do you think Laura Bush should have trees in every room and replicas of the white house made of chocolate? Wouldn't it be nice to see the White House with only one big tree to show that government spending doesn't have to be so frivilous in times when everyone else has to tighten their belts so tight?

    November 14, 2008 at 5:12 pm |
  206. tj TAMPA


    November 14, 2008 at 5:13 pm |
  207. Jeffrey from LA, California

    The one thing it has changed in my life, although minor, but still annoying, is the fact that there is not enough money to upkeep the pool and jacuzzi in the small middle class gated community I live in. Thats preety annoying.....

    November 14, 2008 at 5:13 pm |
  208. David

    not much I didn't have money to enjoy any way.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:14 pm |
  209. tom in Iowa

    Yes, my family have all grown up and I now live by myself. It costs too much to Travel on my income and my son lost his job so I will be spending this holiday season alone. But that's okay Jack at least I will be able to continue to watching your show.

    Tom in Iowa

    November 14, 2008 at 5:14 pm |
  210. Sham

    I had to tell my son that the only lights we'll have for Christmas will be the ones that we use all year. I was laid off so my son and I won't be having a Christmas this year. Fortunately we'll be at my sisters for Thanksgiving.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:14 pm |
  211. PAT California

    I have 4 adult children, with families. All are college graduates. All of them have been struck by the economy. Two have lost their jobs, one her 401K. The last an extreme pay cut. None are even buying Christmas cards, much less gifts. Being retired, we have helped with whatever we have, without forcing our care on them. The AMERICAN DREAM has turned into a NIGHTMARE!!!!

    November 14, 2008 at 5:21 pm |
  212. Jackie in Dallas


    Some of us haven't had jobs this year, so there hasn't been money to put aside. I just started a new one a couple of months ago, and will be lucky if my Christmas present is that I DON'T lose my home. No, it wasn't beyond my means...I bought it nearly 20 years ago with a VA loan. No, I don't spend a lot on toys and cars, trips, etc. I got caught in the telecom meltdown, followed by the meltdown caused by 9/11, and had to compete with 35,000 other high-tech professionals in my area alone for very few jobs. Most of them got off-shored to China and India.

    I count my blessings, though. I have good friends, and now have voted for a man who may actually make a difference in the White House. And I'm humbled to know that as bad as things are for me, I'm still head and shoulders above many in this country who haven't had jobs or friends to help. I'm also grateful I'm not a smug, heartless person who thinks that because things haven't gone South for me, that all's alright with the world, and those for whom things are not so good, it is their fault.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:22 pm |
  213. Lucy, Miami, FL

    Yes, we will buy some jelly for our peanut butter sandwiches and a little gas for Christmas. Then we will light a candle or two and bundle up in a blanket if it’s cold since we can’t afford the power bill. We will have the Halowwen candy my kid got for our dessert.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:23 pm |
  214. Michael, Mattydale, NY

    My mom is already fretting about not hsving any money for gifts for people and I admit that I do not know how I will give anything they might want so I will hav eto give a small gift they might need such as a gift card for the grocery store.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:24 pm |
  215. Brian - Los Angeles, CA

    The expression "time is money" holds true for this year. It is not so much the lack of spending money that changes my plans as it is the fact that I will be working to make money that will more or less kill my holiday plans.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:25 pm |
  216. pat Green

    Yes definately...it's getting worse every year. Family, fireplace, food, wine, and renting some movies is perfect. Gifts are starting to take a back seat. I'm getting used to it and it's not seeming like the most important thing anymore...at not like it used to be. I can remember having gifts stacked so high around the tree years ago, now...eesh...pretty bare. I think the economy has people really thinking about what the holidays are really all about. Family.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:25 pm |
  217. Karen - Missouri

    It's not going to change my plans. I make a lot of handcrafted items for Christmas and will continue to do so. Christmas in the Ozarks has always been a "down home old fashioned Christmas" so even the economy doesn't put a damper on our Christmas. After all, Thanksgiving and Christmas are are faith, family and our nation...and all the gifts I make are Made in America!

    November 14, 2008 at 5:28 pm |
  218. Natalia, Albuquerque, NM

    It hasn't really changed my plans that much. I never did live by credit cards and loans, so my household has not been directly affected by this crisis. I am one of the lucky few. However, some of my family members have been hurt. I will try to help them out with gift cards at grocery and supercenter types of stores. The only obvious way the economy has affected me this season is that I have not given as much as I normally do to local and national charities and also have given less to others than in the past. I am waiting for the new year to bring some economic growth and stability.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:28 pm |
  219. Jason Columbus, Ohio

    Luckily we stay at home for christmas, since our children are younger. We might drive to the inlaws if the weather is ok. We in the past visited family during christmas, due to the past experineces we stay at home for chrismas day. We told our relatives that they know where we live and are always welcome for the holiday. The only effect for the Holiday is the spending expenses, this means less toys for the kiddy's. My kid's say thanks alot Wall Street.....Slackers!!!!!!

    November 14, 2008 at 5:31 pm |
  220. Ralph Nelson

    I think you're looking at 11 to 12 percent unemployment. I'm disabled so it does not affect my spending plans, but causes fear of benefit loses, and I seek ways to contribute to food banks, etc. It is so unnecessary had the economy been properly run by the Republicans and not returned to the 19th century (deregulation) Classic Economics. The president trying to hide and say it is not my fault is shameful. He is. Ralph, Yakima, Wa.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:32 pm |
  221. Harry

    My travel plans have not changed at all. I will be traveling to the stores to do my Christmas shopping, just the same as every other year.... on Christmas Eve.


    November 14, 2008 at 5:35 pm |
  222. Jennifer - Raleigh, NC

    Less focus on gifts, and more focus on family will be the silver and gold in this year's Christmas. Rather than wasting time and money on a commercial enterprise, our family will be gathered around the biggest gift of all – each other.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:36 pm |
  223. Steve Canada

    Whatever I can afford, paying cash..I want a do it yourself kit to declare myself a bank, so I can apply for some of my money back thru the bailout cash, but I can't afford it.....Family, Family, Family..it should be that way anyway....!!!

    November 14, 2008 at 5:38 pm |
  224. mary CT

    No credit card spending.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:39 pm |
  225. Diane Memphis

    I will be lucky if I can afford something nice for my granddaughter. I have already told everyone else no presents, save your money.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:42 pm |
  226. gerry luimes

    Thanksgiving or Christmas;What's this about spending?
    Those with means can act like they feel. If those who count pennies want to spend with abandon they know that payments will be due for the rest of the following year. Solution? Never spend more that you can afford and you will NOT run into difficulties...Simple,isn't it?

    November 14, 2008 at 5:46 pm |
  227. perry jones


    November 14, 2008 at 5:48 pm |
  228. Chris, Thousand Oaks Ca

    My Christmas gift came on November 4th!

    November 14, 2008 at 5:48 pm |
  229. AndyZ Fairfax, VA

    Ya know, there is an upside to our current fiscal debacle. Many of the illegals are going back to their third world homes of origin. I can hear the health care system breathing a sigh of relief.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:52 pm |
  230. Janice,Minnesota

    As I enter my 9th month of unemployment, I will be simplifying everything. Very few small gifts for the kids will be purchased. I write this with humbleness and try to remember that because of my family, I will have a hot meal at Christmas and loved ones to share it with. I will also remind myself that I have a warm bed to sleep in. It is more than some people have, and I will be thankful for it.

    November 14, 2008 at 6:03 pm |
  231. Susi Learn-Tucson, Az

    to tree, no decorations, no gifts for anyone.

    food and shelter are more important.


    November 14, 2008 at 6:11 pm |
  232. Robert in Galveston

    What holiday, I have been unemployed for over two months and even here in "No Recession" Texas the prospect look bleak. Might be because I'm over 60. Maybe I can be a department store santa.

    November 14, 2008 at 6:11 pm |
  233. MATT

    Can't get much gifts without a credit loan! I wonder why the goverment doesn't just use the rest of the bail out money and create their own bank? Then logicaly, they could lend to domestic intrests only, home loans pesonal and commercial credit. And just maybe we'll have something to put on americas family table.

    November 14, 2008 at 6:12 pm |
  234. Affy

    one thing is for sure Jack, the economy has given me an excuse for not visiting the in-laws.

    November 14, 2008 at 6:12 pm |
  235. Darrell Wayne


    The plans have changed. There will be no gift exchanges within our family and friends. I'm so poor these days, I can't even pay attention! Christmas, Bah, Humbug!

    November 14, 2008 at 6:12 pm |
  236. Matt (San Mateo)

    We'll be steering clear of the malls, but giving more to food banks this year.

    November 14, 2008 at 6:12 pm |
  237. richard ross from new mexico

    i have no plans to go anywhere for the holidays dew to the money situation regaurdless of the gas prices you still need money

    November 14, 2008 at 6:12 pm |
  238. Sly, Alpena, Mi

    The only thing i can tell you Jack, is that their will be no Christmas Tree in my house, and with no tree, No Presents.

    November 14, 2008 at 6:12 pm |
  239. Nicole Sandoval

    Flights are cheap, I'm heading to Hawaii.

    November 14, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
  240. marlon- CA

    Jack, I plan on living vicariously through the 750+ billion dollar bail out

    November 14, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
  241. Hans

    This is probably the only good thing to come out of this bad economy: this holiday season, no in-laws to go see, none to come over. Everyone's keeping the festivities small, simple, and away from us and each other.

    Staten Island, NY

    November 14, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
  242. Diego, UT

    I am an International Student attending the University of Utah. I was planning on flying back to Peru to see my family for the holidays, but price for plane tickets soared this year. It will be the first Christmas away from my family.

    November 14, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
  243. Andre

    I live in New York, and usually fly back to visit family in Alabama for the holidays, but this year I don't know if I will be able to afford the flight, along with the cost of staying somewhere outside of my home. Not only is the flight expensive, but the baggage fees are just ridiculous. Something must be done about this and the other financial problems, or else America will lose whatever economic superiority it has left, and that's very little.

    November 14, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
  244. Brian S.

    This Christmas my family is doing a Secret Santa deal. It includes grandparents, aunts, and uncles. I have a feeling we won't be alone this year in our altered holiday plans.

    November 14, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
  245. Andrew H

    With the economy in the toilet, my family has decided that instead of buying everyone a gift, we will just do a secret santa. Each person will buy one person one gift. It makes for less stress around the holidays, less bills to pay later and hopefully bigger and nicer gifts. As for travel, I will probably take that road trip that I thought was impossible 4 months ago when the gas was over $4 a gallon. California here I come.

    November 14, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
  246. Deborah Williams

    Home cooked Food and family. Presents for just the kids.That's it this year. Not buying presents for anyone over 10 years old!

    November 14, 2008 at 6:14 pm |
  247. Linda, Oklahoma

    My daughter and ehr family in Wisconsin was coming to visit, but because of the economy and her employer doing cutbacks, she cannot take the chance asking for days off....That is going to make for a msierable Christmas at my house!!!!

    November 14, 2008 at 6:14 pm |
  248. Alex

    I went from planning a trip to Vegas for the holidays to just staying home. Plus, no shopping for me this year either. What a difference a year makes.

    November 14, 2008 at 6:14 pm |
  249. Suzanne in NorCal

    Since I am currently out of work, I will be making cookies for all my gift recipients this year. It's a way for me to show my love even though I barely have two nickels to rub together right now. This is all contingent upon my being able to pay my rent on December 1st so I have a kitchen in which to bake the cookies!

    November 14, 2008 at 6:14 pm |
  250. patricia in ohio

    Jack, our family has been trying to scale back holiday hoo-hah for some time, so the current economic environment has just made that a bit easier. Time to stop all the mindless extravagance anyway. We prefer to give a little something to nursing home residents or Toys for Tots instead of buying each other things we neither want nor need.

    November 14, 2008 at 6:14 pm |
  251. Brian in Tampa, FL

    My holiday plans have improved.
    With lower gas prices, I can afford to join my extended family for the holidays. Plus, the desperation of the retailers mean deep discounts and better quality gifts for the same cost. Loving it!

    November 14, 2008 at 6:14 pm |
  252. Ermina

    The gas prices have decreased and I don't thank Bush for it but for the holiday season I won't have the lavish spending ability so I'm going to be more frugal and wise. Also, shopping for people closest to me has become more of a priority as opposed to everyone I know.

    November 14, 2008 at 6:14 pm |
  253. George B

    For the first time in a LONG time I am looking for gifts that are 100% American made. It is hard to find items but not impossible. I do not want to participate in financing the infrastructure of China this year.

    November 14, 2008 at 6:14 pm |
  254. Craig Chilton

    A can of mini-ravioli and some mashed potatoes done on the stovetop, along with some stuffing, corn, and peas... but no
    turkey in the oven, And verbal agreements with relatives and friends to exchange NO gifts this year.

    November 14, 2008 at 6:14 pm |
  255. Sandi Richard

    I'm a waitress, bottom of the todem pole. So, in order to buy one gift and a nice Christmas outfit for my 3 children, my ultimate sacrifice is working on Christmas and missing the joy of the day to pay for the overhead!

    November 14, 2008 at 6:14 pm |
  256. Georgette, Manalapan, NJ

    Christmas presents for our grandchildren are at least 50% less than last year. As a retired couple, we also had to cancel a DisneyWorld trip with the kids because our pension savings took a huge nose dive. The saddest part is that we know we will not be able to afford to reschedule because the remaining money will be used only for the basic necessities in the future.

    November 14, 2008 at 6:14 pm |
  257. Ariana

    Everyone in my family lost their jobs and we foreclosed our house in Scottsdale, Arizona. I am temporarily living in my brother's house, so we are not going anywhere for the holidays this year.

    November 14, 2008 at 6:14 pm |
  258. Nick from Florida - Age 11

    The economy is affecting our Christmas, although we live in a very fortunate family. For example this year there's no new computers, macs, or new TVs. Jack please put this on the air, i'm trying to convince my parents that we should stimulate the economy by having a BIG Christmas but they won't listen.

    November 14, 2008 at 6:15 pm |
  259. Kristina

    My husband and I are thankful for all those frequent flier miles. We booked tickets from Oklahoma to Pittsburgh in June. As a result of blackout dates, we're flying on Christmas Eve. After Christmas we'll be renting a car and driving 8 hours to Connecticut for a wedding because, even with gas prices, it's cheaper than flying. Let's hope a nor'easter doesn't blow in!

    November 14, 2008 at 6:15 pm |
  260. Tom

    I've been out of work since almost last Christmas, so this is my rule for Christmas gifts in 2008: If you're under 18, you get a gift. The younger, the better the gift! If you're over 18, be lucky to get a Christmas card!

    November 14, 2008 at 6:15 pm |
  261. Phyllis Blazer

    No presents for anyone – but lots of food for local foood pantry.

    November 14, 2008 at 6:15 pm |
  262. Terry

    The economy has cost me my job, house and wife this year.
    There is nothing to celebrate.

    Terry in Georgia

    November 14, 2008 at 6:15 pm |
  263. Linda C. Hall

    By Christmas I will not be visiting my son and grandkids, I will be living with them as I walk away from my mortgage. It is the only way both of our households can survive.

    November 14, 2008 at 6:15 pm |
  264. Eileen

    This holiday season, I will tell my 20-something sons to hold to their money, Dad and I would rather not receive but have the kids hold on to what they have. These times are humbling, no need for bah humbug–let's give to those less fortunate.

    November 14, 2008 at 6:15 pm |
  265. Dave in Nashville

    Maybe once we can just enjoy the holiday season with less, because more is obviously not better.

    November 14, 2008 at 6:15 pm |
  266. Eric Bracke, Fort Collins, CO

    Christmas actually seems much nicer this year. We're cutting back on gifts and travel and going to enjoy the reason for the season. There's always a silver lining.

    November 14, 2008 at 6:15 pm |
  267. Rex Kuntzelman

    Jack...I'm going to drive over to Grandmother's house. We will have a nice roasted turkey with trimmings. Gifts will be smaller this year. Our Son is deployed to Afghanistan, with the NE National Guard. We gave him a digital camera.

    November 14, 2008 at 6:16 pm |
  268. David Pickett Janesville WI

    The only changes we have made are the accesories of our holidays. Without sounding like a complete "hippie", our household has found that love and kind words go much further than our US dollar.

    November 14, 2008 at 6:16 pm |
  269. Jan Toth

    Holidays will be very quiet as no one can afford to pay for the travel or take the extra days off of work. So no children, no grandchildren, no present buying (Sending gift cards instead) That way we don't have to pay shipping for gifts. Kids can go buy what they want the grandkids to have.

    November 14, 2008 at 6:16 pm |
  270. Sara from NY

    Holiday plans might not be as big as usual- maybe not as much gift giving- my friends and I are swapping the gifts for a dinner out together. Plus Im graduating from college in a month.... I should really be saving because who knows when I'll find a job in todays economy.

    November 14, 2008 at 6:16 pm |
  271. Erika in Petersburg, Va

    I'm fairly confident that most will suffer this holiday season as a result of our economic downfall. With businesses filing for bankruptcy left and right on top of many losing their jobs, this holiday season will be less than jolly.

    November 14, 2008 at 6:16 pm |
  272. John Bloom - New York

    Jack –

    For many years now my wife and I have set a strict limit on holiday gifts; in tough times its maybe one hundred dollars, in good time no more than two. Here is the trick; as many presents as possible for that money. People would be amazed at what you can do on a budget like this, how much fun it really is, and how much the gifts actually matter. This year will be the same, and I'd advise everyone to give it a try. Keep it small, fun and practical.

    November 14, 2008 at 6:16 pm |
  273. Gene B

    Holiday?? And what would we be celebrating?
    Not the upcoming year, or even the year after that. Holidays used to be a time to relax, a day off from work. The majority of us can't relax, and many are out of work!

    November 14, 2008 at 6:16 pm |
  274. Rich from Chicago

    Jack – my plans haven't changed. Actually, I hope to be spending LESS of my own money. I've written to Henry Paulson, requesting some of that juicy bailout money. Why not, it's my money to begin with!

    November 14, 2008 at 6:16 pm |
  275. Dale

    I have always been an optimist and believe all will be well. However, that is a long term feeling and for now caution is warranted until we have an idea of where the country is going. I think we need to treat the holidays as Holy Days and give thanks for what we have and work for the change that we have voted for and create that better world.

    November 14, 2008 at 6:16 pm |

    My daughter will not be coming home for Thanksgiving from college this year. After researching flights, we decided it was too expensive to get a flight for that weekend just for her to return a few weeks later for Christmas break.
    It's the first time I will not be with her on a Holiday...ever.

    November 14, 2008 at 6:16 pm |
  277. Larry Young

    Once we recognize that the real meaning of Christmas is to love your fellow man and to relish in family, we will not be so hopelessly subordinate to the pull of corporate and religious America. So, we will buy gifts, to be sure, but the real celebration will be our family reunion.

    November 14, 2008 at 6:16 pm |
  278. Wendy

    I actually got in what in spanish is called a 'tanda' its a way to save money for liike a short term loan. for 2 months, I was giving 100 a week to a certain person. there's a group of 8 of us doing this. then, each week everyone gives in their 100 and one person receives 800. I get the last number, which is for nov 22nd weekend, which is going to give me money for xmas gifts and thanksgiving dinner stuff. I dont know if you understand the concept I'm talking about but thanks to this
    "short term" personal savings, I was able to collect money from my husband's paycheck that would otherwise be spent on other things.
    Definitely not giving as expensive gifts as I'm used to.

    November 14, 2008 at 6:16 pm |
  279. Zeke

    Nothing's changed here Jack, I've always been maintained a healthy freelancer's cynicism. I plan to not be able to afford to retire, not be able to take a vacation, and not to be able to do anything special for the holidays. Sometimes I get a bit of extra work, but I just save that money for the times when I can't get any work, which is much more common over the last eight years.


    November 14, 2008 at 6:17 pm |
  280. Carole in California

    Most definitely....our family rents a house in an ocean town which is central for all to gather for Christmas and the week after.....not this year.
    We have agreed to also spend less for each others gifts.

    November 14, 2008 at 6:17 pm |
  281. stephanie

    We've got three young children who will definitely received less gifts, but will be just as happy playing in the yard with family.

    November 14, 2008 at 6:17 pm |
  282. phil

    I for one am sending gas cards as gift cards. I know that it will all be used and if nothing else they can drive to go window shopping.

    November 14, 2008 at 6:17 pm |
  283. Meredith

    I already got Christmas by Obama winning the election. Anyone who is under the age of 12 is eligible for gifts this year.... otherwise, no gifts for anyone. I have to save my money for the last remaining days of the Bush administration. Who knows what other financial debacle he'll give us before Jan. 20?

    November 14, 2008 at 6:17 pm |
  284. John in San Ramon California

    I have ten siblings, all baby boomers and most living in Michigan. When you add spouses and children there are 49 family members. With the economy in turmoil we collectively decided not to exchange gifts for the first time. We are all fortunate to have jobs (at least for now) so we will adopt a family less fortunate.

    November 14, 2008 at 6:18 pm |
  285. jordan

    I actually have no plans for this years holiday because I already celebrated it on November 4th, When Obama got elected.

    November 14, 2008 at 6:18 pm |
  286. Brian

    I have been out of work for (1) year now and have pretty much liquidated my assets. Sadly enough "Christmas" has been cancelled here and possibly for many hard working Americans in this Country as well.
    Brian in NC

    November 14, 2008 at 6:18 pm |
  287. Lynn Martin

    Well Jak, my wife and I will be taking advantage of the cheaper gas to drive around and look at Christmas lights. That is if any one can afford to put them up this year. I know I cant.

    November 14, 2008 at 6:18 pm |
  288. Joe Eweka

    My life has changed tremendously. No more luxury. No fun trips. I stay home and buy nothing I truly can't do without. Dollar General and Wal-Mart are the only places I shop, and only if I have to shop at all.

    November 14, 2008 at 6:18 pm |
  289. Rosemary Weis

    This year we will be 'giving more love & less gifts'. for the holidays. We are holding on by our fingertips everyday and praying that the new administration has the strength and wisdom to steer us to a better life next year!


    November 14, 2008 at 6:18 pm |
  290. Bill, Zion IL

    I guess this year we'll hear even more than usual the lamentations about how the merchants are faring. We gauge our elections by countless polls and our Christmas season by sales receipts. Pretty sad.

    November 14, 2008 at 6:18 pm |
  291. Lynn J of Mansfield, LA


    I won't let the Grinch (economy) steal my Christmas. It maybe without boxes and ribbons, but I'll celebrate in the same spirit as in years past.
    I never spend beyond my means.

    November 14, 2008 at 6:19 pm |
  292. Lendale Fortenberry

    Jack, I am very sad to report that I had to change my Thanksgiving Plans from driving to Dallas for a traditional thanksgiving dinner with my family to hanging at home away from my family. This will be the first Thanksgiving away from my family. Thanksgiving is a very important holiday for my family.

    November 14, 2008 at 6:19 pm |
  293. David Pickett Janesville WI

    This year we are hoping for "clean coal" from Santa.

    November 14, 2008 at 6:20 pm |
  294. Elizabeth, Idaho

    No change. I am not a shopper, except for the essentials. I don't buy Christmas presents, except for my son. I save and use my money to go abroad yearly filling up my world map with pins. This Christmas and New Year, we are going to Thailand.

    November 14, 2008 at 6:20 pm |
  295. Sarge

    Nothing changes. The family came to our senses years ago and came up with a sensibile plan for yule time spending. We each choose names out of a hat after the Thanksgiving meal and that is who we buy a present for using a $50 limit. Children below age
    18 are exempt. I recommend this to others......


    November 14, 2008 at 6:20 pm |
  296. Linda T. of Kentucky

    We will do what we pretty much always do. There will be family gatherings, game playing, great food, good drink and good cheer to all. Sounds corny, but that is what it is all about. We will buy a few gifts for the immediate family (our kids), but everything else is just about getting together. This Christmas hoopla has been out of hand for years. We all buy things we don't need and run up charge accounts we can't pay. We budget all year into a Christmas account and when it's gone....it's gone. We are thankful we have jobs and a home. There are so many that are hurting...... For example, all those Wall Street CEO's they will not get there usual 10 million dollar bonus, it will probably only be 2 or 3 million, how sad......

    November 14, 2008 at 6:20 pm |
  297. Don in Tampa Florida

    Sure my holiday plans have changed. With most of my family in the midwest flying there is out of the question. With the price of oil down nearly 80 doillars a barrel the Airlines have not reduced their fares or even brought down the fuel surcharge they imposed when oil was $140.00 a barrel. If we are not careful they will be asking for a bail out too. Where are all the dollars they are collecting on their high prices and the fuel surcharge going. Maybe they are planning a big CEO party in Las Vegas with AIG.

    November 14, 2008 at 6:21 pm |
  298. Vern Beard

    Jack, both the Thanksgiving and Christimas holiday plans have changed for my family. First of all, we will have a shared Thanksgiving celebration in one location with everyone bringing a dish. The meat will be provided and cooked by the men in the family. Children will participate in the baking and assisting in the kitchen this time.

    For Christmas, we have all agreed not to purchase gifts for adults. I have asked that each of us give my grandchildren one gift each which will amount to 6 gifts. They will then have to choose one of their gifts for us to take to one of the homeless sheltes on Christmas day. We will also take fruit and homebaked cookies to the shelter.

    November 14, 2008 at 6:21 pm |
  299. Ryan Dean/ Roseburg, Oregon

    it's nice that gas prices have dropped. However it does not come soon enough for the holiday season. We the consumers have spent to much of our money on just commuting to work. Therefore this takes away the money that we would have spent on holiday purchases. This also goes in conjunction with those families who's jobs are presently lost or are in danger if loosing. So no we will not be bmaking the trip to California this Christmas season.

    Ryan Dean
    Roseburg, Oregon

    November 14, 2008 at 6:21 pm |
  300. Jeremy in Virginia


    I don't understand. My wife and I have twin 20 month old boys, a 3 year old house with the mortgage to go with it, 2 cars (one a 2007) and make less than $60,00 a year yet we are not afraid of all the things you keep trying to scare us with. I guess saving for big purchases and spending less than you make is a strange concept in this country but it seems to work for us and we plan to have a very merry Christmas with a lot of fanfare!

    November 14, 2008 at 6:21 pm |
  301. Don

    Jack as tiny tim's christmas was written about a cup of hot soup and a hard lump of bread. Uncle Scrooge (the Senate and Congress) have not had the three ghoste visite yet so the taxpayer will go with out. Heres a question for you, How many families will lost their jobs and homes in November and December? Mims Florida

    November 14, 2008 at 6:21 pm |
  302. Jay from New Jersey

    No, our plans have not changed. A few years ago we traded in giving expensive gifts that no one needed for the priceless benefits of spending time with family. No stress, no topping last year's gift. Just a little holiday cheer. We don't spend much but this year we may go overboard and give an extra gift to charity. There has never been a shortage of need in this country, so maybe this year more people will experience the joy of giving.

    November 14, 2008 at 6:22 pm |
  303. Diana

    We started tightening our belts last year as the housing mess began to surface and an economic slowdown looked as though it was a question of "when" and not "if". To be honest, we all sensed that Christmas was beginning to get a bit out of hand. With my two sisters married and two new nieces to add to the mix, we decided to draw names rather than to buy for everyone. Wow, what a relief! I cannot tell you how much it improved our Christmas last year. Everyone still bought for the girls, which was fun, but we all commented on how much more relaxed we felt throughout the holiday season. I felt wonderful as I went to the mall and picked out ONE very special gift (not the usual eight to ten), and getting the credit card bill in January was a breeze. I'm looking forward to our new "tradition" this year.

    November 14, 2008 at 6:23 pm |
  304. Tom Tupper

    My wife and I have decided to cut Christmas in half. As a matter of fact we will have an old fashion Christmas which means making more out of less by making things out of nothing. We still have a lot to be thankful for. Merry Christmas.

    November 14, 2008 at 6:23 pm |
  305. Jeff

    The nations economy has forced me to make smaller purchases and fewer for the family. I consider myself lucky to be in the position to do that, a lot of famillies are completly unable to purchase any. Maybe this era can be a learning experience for the Y generation that money does'nt grow on tree's and you should be thankful for what you do have.

    November 14, 2008 at 6:23 pm |
  306. Kristal

    Pretty much I've explained to my kids that other than necessities like clothing, they are each limited to 1 additional present, so ask wisely. Other than that, we"ve cut back, if not eliminated, the extra gifts for teachers, co-workers, and extended family.

    Flint, MI

    November 14, 2008 at 6:23 pm |
  307. Karl from SF, CA

    Due to lack of financing, my holiday plans have been cancelled. I will give something to those few who are near and dear to me, like grand kids,but no parties or cards this year. I have enough cell phone mnutes to call and give a personal greeting.

    November 14, 2008 at 6:23 pm |
  308. Lynn, Columbia, Mo..

    We're going to wrap up and give bread and water cause that's what we're living on. Hope they like it.

    November 14, 2008 at 6:24 pm |
  309. Kjetil

    Hi Jack, we have spent our holiday in the US two times the last three years, but with the recent development of the US currency we will probably turn our nose to Bulgaria next time. California and Florida and a number of other states are great destinations for Europeans, and we hope to come back soon!

    Kjetil, Norway

    November 14, 2008 at 6:24 pm |
  310. Allen in Hartwell, GA

    Jack, this year I won't have to listen to everyone point out what a scrooge I am for not spending a lot of money for presents, since many more will be forced to cut back.

    November 14, 2008 at 6:26 pm |
  311. Mindy

    We've come to our senses and decided to have a "white elephant " Christmas this year. It will be fun and still filled with presents and surprises, yet the difference is no one will have to go shopping to buy presents this year; a white elephant is a gift you can find in your closet or basement or anywhere really – it's a gift you already own and wrap up to pass on to someone else.

    November 14, 2008 at 6:26 pm |
  312. Iris

    As part of a large extended family that includes a variety of conditions – layoffs, newly hired, retirees; here's what we're going to do: We're having a secret santa for all of the adults, so we won't have to buy duplicate gifts. As for the children, they'll get age appropiate gifts – one of which will be a magazine or book club – the gifts that keep giving.

    November 14, 2008 at 6:26 pm |
  313. Sue from Pleasant Valley, NY

    No wrapped packages under the tree this year, Jack. My children will get shares of stock (when will it ever be cheaper?) and my Mom and siblings will get donations to a local soup kitchen made in their names. My husband and I don't need anything, but so many other people do.

    November 14, 2008 at 6:29 pm |
  314. Bronwyn of Virginia

    Every year we send family members (Smithfield) Virginia Hams, but THIS year due to the failing economy we will be sending Virginia Peanuts instead!

    November 14, 2008 at 6:29 pm |