December 2nd, 2008
01:28 PM ET

How has economic crisis affected Christmas shopping plans?

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/12/02/art.shopping.a.gi.jpg caption="Sales for Friday and Saturday were up about 2 percent from a year ago."]

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The nation's retailers got a bit of boost on Black Friday. Sales for Friday and Saturday were actually up about 2 percent from a year ago, according to research firm ShopperTrak. But the Christmas shopping season has a ways to go, and the jury is still out on whether the beleaguered consumer has enough left in his jeans to make the season a success.

Federal Reserve Chief Ben Bernanke says the bad times will be around for awhile. The Dow plunged 680 points yesterday on the news that the U.S. economy is officially in a recession and has been for a year. Manufacturing has dropped to a 26-year low. The fate of U.S. auto industry remains uncertain. Unemployment stands at 6-point-8 percent. And news of layoffs continued today in both the private and public sector. Washington Mutual is planning to cut 9,200 jobs. The City of Atlanta announced today it's laying off 222.

There's not a lot out there to put you in the holiday spending mood.

Here’s my question to you: How has the economic crisis affected your Christmas shopping plans?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Lou writes:
It hasn't at all, and judging by the line I stood in at Target the other day, I would say it hasn't slowed down a lot of folks. I gave myself an early Christmas present by deciding to shut off the TV and throw away the paper. Getting a break from the doom and gloom media has been the best thing I could have done, and may be the best thing we all could do for the economy.

Dan from Chantilly, Virginia writes:
I guess it means a lot more parents will be trying to convince their kids that time together with the family is the "true" meaning of Christmas. I don't think that's going to go over well.

Randy writes:
Actually I'm expecting a great Christmas this year. I've submitted my requests to Congress for both a bailout and an economic stimulus package. The wife and kids are anxiously waiting for the check to arrive.

David from San Diego, California writes:
We plan to do almost nothing, and we are feeling quite well off financially. It is time to become a less-materialistic society and focus on the things that really matter-like football.

Cheryl from Westfield, Massachusetts writes:
About the same. And for the first time, being the poor, "hand to mouth" member of my family, has paid off. You can't lose what you didn't have invested!

Lester writes:
If I can't bake it, cook it, or find it in the house, it won't be a Christmas present. I'm not spending any money. Not even on wrapping paper. Lost my job, looking for a new one and times are thin...

Ken from Seattle, Washington writes:
I have had to take you and Wolf off my Christmas list. Sorry guys, maybe next year.

Filed under: US Economy
soundoff (241 Responses)
  1. Ralph, Corpus Christi

    Like a Grinch!

    December 2, 2008 at 1:29 pm |
  2. Markel Houston

    Christmas is only for the kids this year. Mom & Dad are the only adults who will receive gifts.

    December 2, 2008 at 1:35 pm |
  3. Cori from Colorado

    Our budget belt is very tight, and we're only paying for necessities, you know, food, clothes, paying the rent, those little things.

    December 2, 2008 at 1:38 pm |
  4. Joe in DE

    Spending less, reduced travel.

    December 2, 2008 at 1:40 pm |
  5. Jamey in Chesterfield, VA

    Jack, Shopping plans? I know what I want before I leave the house and don't stray far fom my list. Giving is a year round event and in a year as bad as this... I carefully scrutinize every trip I make from my home. As if it weren't bad enough... I give to the local charities that call me at home, the CFC at work, the church gets its piece of the pie, along with the barber, the car wash team, and the guy that brings my groceries to the car. If anything my plans are downsized from years past, now I am the point I am ready to out-source the Holidays!

    December 2, 2008 at 1:41 pm |
  6. LYNDA in CT

    We are taking care of our immediate family. We understand, there may be some, unable to give, and out of respect to all, we will make a donation to an animal shelter, in our freiends' name.

    December 2, 2008 at 1:42 pm |
  7. Katiec Pekin, IL

    Our family is putting more emphasis on being together than on
    exchanging gifts.
    Amid all these diasters that have happened to our country, maybe,
    Jack, some of us will realize the true meaning of Christmas
    which is not glitter and gift giving. Am planning on putting
    more donations into the buckets and charities begging for
    help to help so many in need. Am sure many Americans will
    be doing the same.

    December 2, 2008 at 1:44 pm |
  8. don Calgary,Alberta

    look at it like this; gas prices have come down; so if you budgeted for the high gas prices then take that money for the x-mas gifts unless you in debt from buying 4/gln gas; then pay off debt! get ahead of your government; stop spending!

    December 2, 2008 at 1:47 pm |
  9. Roy - Chicago, IL

    I will shop sparingly and look for deals, my dollar limit is lowered.
    But when people are killed by voracious shoppers I think it gives a good indication how desperate people are for a good deal.
    BTW, the retailers should STOP these insane Black Friday 4AM deals.....we see people get violent and very non-Christmasy when forced to shop like animals.

    December 2, 2008 at 1:47 pm |
  10. Molly B

    Molly B – Tama, IA

    Most of my recipients are adult. As I hate to shop (have for years)
    I will be giving them cash, which they can put to good use or

    December 2, 2008 at 1:48 pm |
  11. Dennis North Carolina

    It means shopping cheap and have strict limits.

    December 2, 2008 at 1:49 pm |
  12. Steve of Hohenwald TN.

    None, i`ve been poor for a long time. Just sounds like i`ve got some company now.

    December 2, 2008 at 1:50 pm |
  13. Lee in TN

    I feel like have betrayed the grandkids this year,because most of the money is going for the necessities.

    December 2, 2008 at 1:51 pm |
  14. Kevin in Dallas, TX

    The economic crunch only affected how much I plan to spend. The fear of death has affected where I spend. No risk of being trampled or shot when shopping online!

    December 2, 2008 at 1:51 pm |
  15. JD, North Carolina

    We are putting the money towards the travel costs of visiting each other rather than buying presents. None of us want to run up the credit card while we are facing potential layoffs.

    December 2, 2008 at 1:52 pm |
  16. PoliticoMike

    This is the first year I will not be going back east to see my parents and family for the holidays. Times are bad, Jack, but gotta keep going, right?

    December 2, 2008 at 1:54 pm |
  17. Willow, Iowa

    I gave my daughter money this year for Christmas, so it will help her buy Christmas for her children. She and her husband are working two jobs each this month so the kids will have a decent Christmas . Since I already gave her the present, we then went shopping together for the grandkids and we had a great time, which is the greatest present for me.

    I'm planning on making fudge and cookies. The only ones getting a bought gift are the grandkids.

    December 2, 2008 at 1:54 pm |
  18. Stacy from Loudoun County VA

    Jack, I guess I may actually have to eat the fruitcakes I get this year instead of passing them on as gifts "I purchased" with love.

    December 2, 2008 at 1:54 pm |
  19. Jerry, Silver Spring, MD

    Jack, in my home Christmas has never been about buying gifts.

    December 2, 2008 at 1:55 pm |
  20. Mike S.,New Orleans

    Like millions of other Americans, my Christmas shopping was cut short by "I'm sorry, but your card has been declined."

    December 2, 2008 at 1:55 pm |
  21. Bizz, Quarryville, Pennsylvania

    I am on a fixed income and my wife is still working. We are able to spend as much as we spent last Christmas or even more. But when the economy news keeps getting worse with no light at the other end of the tunnel makes a person very conservative when spending money on Christmas. I guess what keeps us from going overboard is fear. Fear of what is lying ahead. But we will have a happy Christmas because it is not the gifts that make a happy Christmas but family getting together that makes a happy Christmas.

    December 2, 2008 at 1:56 pm |
  22. Jenna Wade

    How has the economic crisis affected your Christmas shopping plans?

    Since I've been without work for 3 years now, and no one is hiring those over 40 – let alone anyone else, we are now only able to do for the grandchildren and no one in our family is able to get them what they hope Santa will bring. Their father too was unemployeed for months and our kids almost lost their home.. We gave them what little savings we had left..

    So there will be no tree, no gifts for the adults, no Christmas cards, etc..

    We are all hanging on by our teeth.. And things will get worse before they get better.. That is the reality..

    I hope that by next Christmas things will be better for us all.

    Roseville CA

    December 2, 2008 at 1:57 pm |
  23. Judy, Exeter, Calif,

    We've been scaling down for some time now. As my husband nears retirement, we have gradually began replacing expensive gifts with home made items, and food. The budget is closely adhered to. I think I like this much more than fighting the shopping crowds anyway, and our bank account remains intact.

    December 2, 2008 at 1:57 pm |
  24. Jim/NC

    Far less money for shopping. My pension plan has been reduced by 51% and I had to go back to work last March. My wife lost her sales position with a builder that liquidated their business after twenty-five years of success. However, any one that places the blame on one party is not well informed...politicians performed micro-surgery on our economy and both parties brought their own surgical tools to the operating table.

    December 2, 2008 at 1:58 pm |
  25. Ralph, Corpus Christi

    Like a Grinch!
    Ralph, Corpus Christi, Texas

    December 2, 2008 at 1:59 pm |
  26. Gary of El Centro, Ca

    This Christmas will be a little on the bleak side when compared to the last several years. Money is getting tight.

    December 2, 2008 at 2:01 pm |
  27. Tom in Desoto, TX

    It hasn't a bit. I have no children and my wife's been grumpy this year...she's getting coal.

    December 2, 2008 at 2:01 pm |
  28. Diane, Barneveld, NY

    I refuse to shop on the weekend of "black Friday" and this year, I think I will just refuse to shop. I might spurge for a couple pair of socks to stuff what little money I have in them and if the price of stamps don't go up, I might buy a few cards to send to family and friends.

    December 2, 2008 at 2:02 pm |
  29. Paulette,Dallas,PA

    Fortunately , my shopping is already complete. I start the day after Christmas and continue to pick up gifts a little at a time throughout the year. This method does not put big financial stress on the budget right at holiday time. Besides that, I just couldn't go out there from Black Friday on with all those crazy poeple pushing and being so rude. I quietly sit at home and wrap my gifts and watch you and Wolf!

    December 2, 2008 at 2:02 pm |
  30. Barbara - NC

    Shopping? Until my job is brought back "on-shore", there'll be no shopping.

    December 2, 2008 at 2:02 pm |
  31. David, Tampa, Fl

    I'm a Buddhist so I only give thanks for the men that gave us something rich to contemplate, the New Testament. I'll be giving love this year instead of presents so I won't be stimulating the economy much. To All, a most Pleasant Christmas and Holiday Season. Eat heartily, next year we starve.

    December 2, 2008 at 2:02 pm |
  32. Jason, Koloa, HI

    My checking account was overdrawn, so I gave the bank three $20.00 presents.
    Two of my credit cards were slightly over the limit, so I gave the credit card company two $30.00 presents.
    Then I got to give my landlord, the electric cooperative, and the cable company some returned check presents of about $20.00 apiece.
    Now I here the government is going to take all of our tax money to bail out banks and credit card companies among others. Huh?

    December 2, 2008 at 2:02 pm |
  33. Rex in Portland, Ore.

    Not at all, now that I have found that rich woman to marry. Thanks, anyway.

    December 2, 2008 at 2:02 pm |
  34. Ken in Seattle

    I have had to take you and Wolfe off my Christmas list. Sorry guys, maybe next year.

    December 2, 2008 at 2:04 pm |
  35. PC from Atlanta

    Definitely, I found out that I will be laid off at the end of the year. I will have to save every extra penny I have, so the family will have to understand that there won't be much gifts.

    December 2, 2008 at 2:04 pm |
  36. Doris, Fort

    Simple Jack. This year I will pass by the Christmas display isle at Walgreens and cut right over to the Valentine's day set-up.

    December 2, 2008 at 2:04 pm |
  37. DT from Arizona

    Not much really. We do not get caught up in the spending and shopping frenzies which have absolutely nothing to do with Christmas.

    December 2, 2008 at 2:07 pm |
  38. Terry from North Carolina

    What Christmas shopping ? Now that we can finally afford gas to go shopping there is no money left for gifts, we have to catch up on the past due bills. I guess everyone gets coal and a bar of ivory soap in their stockings this year.

    December 2, 2008 at 2:07 pm |
  39. lou

    It hasn't at all, and judging by the line I stood in at Target the other day, I would say it hasn't slowed down a lot of folks. I gave myself an early Christmas present by deciding to shut off the TV and throw away the paper. Getting a break from the doom and gloom media has been the best thing I could have done, and may be the best thing we all could do for the economy.

    December 2, 2008 at 2:08 pm |
  40. Randy from Salt Lake City

    Christmas? Baaaaaa Humbug!

    December 2, 2008 at 2:09 pm |
  41. Barb New Port Richey Fl

    It means we will not be spending the holidays with our grandchildren, I will miss my grandsons 1st birthday and if it isn't on sale, it won't be bought> Happy Holidays everyone!

    December 2, 2008 at 2:12 pm |
  42. chuck b

    this has effected millons and now we get the truth that this recession has been here since 2007 ??? the lies keep coming out from this adminstration.... why don't they have the diginity to leave and allow the new adminstration to get any early start on cleaning up this mess. And not allowing anymore messes to happen ????

    December 2, 2008 at 2:12 pm |
  43. Jackie in Dallas

    Luckily for me, I did a lot of my Christmas shopping (such as it is) earlier in the year. I don't have much family, so my friends are my target audience, and most of them like books and music. Thank goodness for online buying and Wish Lists! What really has been affected is how much I can give to charity. Since I'm so close to needing it myself, now, I may have to curtail money outgo and instead do service for my favorite charities. I guess I can eat at the homeless shelter and serve, before I sleep there that night...

    December 2, 2008 at 2:16 pm |
  44. Catherine

    As I have a pretty big family, children(adults), grand-children and great grand-children, a few years ago we started drawing names and set a $$$ limit on presents. As I am retired and on pension, I bake for friends and family. A little something for everyone and a full box of home baking for the one that I drew. Every one loves that especially those that don't bake.

    December 2, 2008 at 2:17 pm |
  45. Annie, Atlanta

    I'm afraid to spend any money this year. I don't know what the next year or two will bring. On the bright side, my husband and I just gave each other a new roof for Christmas thanks to hail damage from summer storms and our insurance company.

    December 2, 2008 at 2:18 pm |
  46. Scott - Kansas

    I get better deals!

    December 2, 2008 at 2:18 pm |
  47. Richard McKinney, Texas

    Well Jack, I no longer have a Christmas tree. Too expensive. I bring the kids into the computer room and we start the computer up for 5 minutes a day and look at the Christmas tree screen saver instead. I bought each child one present this year and each are edible items of food so we can have Christmas dinner. We took the dog to the pound because we couldn't afford to feed him. We no longer have any mice in the house though because the cupboard is so bare they all died of starvation. I guess there is always a bright side to everything. Merry Christmas Jack.

    December 2, 2008 at 2:20 pm |
  48. karen-phoenix

    I'm a woodcarver and made all my presents. People really like it better. I also get the wood free from a shutter company–I go "dumpster diving" for wood!!!

    December 2, 2008 at 2:20 pm |
  49. Melissa in IN

    What shopping plans?

    December 2, 2008 at 2:20 pm |
  50. Simpliticus

    I am looking for a new car! And why not when prices are so low and going lower! Buy low, sell high!

    December 2, 2008 at 2:21 pm |
  51. Don Fort Gratiot MI

    Ask the poor soul who was trampled in front of the Wal-Mart. People have become desperate to get a bargain, It reminds me of the behavior you see when food is dropped off at a refugee camp. Come on people – get a grip! I think I'll do my shopping online this year and find a bargain in safety of my home.

    Fort Gratiot MI

    December 2, 2008 at 2:22 pm |
  52. Christine, Edmeston NY

    Two years ago we moved our gift-giving holiday to the end of February. Everything costs a fraction of its pre-Christmas price, and no one is all stressed out by the holiday pressures. This liberates December as a month to do things more leisurely, observe church events, go visiting, do some volunteer work, and other low- or no-cost activities. Now more than ever, our new little tradition seems like a pretty good idea.

    December 2, 2008 at 2:23 pm |
  53. Dave, Brooklyn, NY

    Not at all. I’ve done my shopping. I try to get it all done before the madness starts and the decorations go up – which means I started in July.

    December 2, 2008 at 2:23 pm |
  54. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    Jack: I figured that as a taxpayer and being burden with paying for the bailout for all the inept financial institutions and banks-well, I'm going to treat myself and my family first--and worry about the bailout later.......because I "earned it,"-didn't steal it.

    December 2, 2008 at 2:26 pm |
  55. Dave from Orlando

    Since I don’t like being trampled very much, I will wait till after the crowds subside and there are real discounts.

    December 2, 2008 at 2:26 pm |
  56. hugh ~ tracy, california

    Cold-hearted Ebenezer Scrooge didn't raise my salary, in fact, I had to take a cut in pay. He told me if wallstreet didn't give out bonuses this Christmas I don't get one either. So, I won’t be getting that prize turkey this holiday season, and Tiny Tim will just have to wait for that long overdue operation.
    Wallstreet, you guys are "The Grinches Who Stole My Christmas!"

    Sincerely poor,
    Bob Cratchit

    December 2, 2008 at 2:29 pm |
  57. odessa

    i'm watching my budget all the time and only shopping for the kids..i don't want to spend all of my money..my bills must be paid,having a roof over my head and providing food on the table..i pray for the homeless and other people who are struggling everyday.. i also give to charity too because i want all god's children to survive and be happy..i hate seeing people in pain without things or without families; that isn't right at all..

    December 2, 2008 at 2:29 pm |
  58. Ann from Newton, New Jersey

    The meaning of Christmas has gotten too commercial. We all bring something to the table and even though we are all struggling to make ends meet, are thankful we all have our health and can together to celebrate Christmas the way it should be, as a family.

    December 2, 2008 at 2:30 pm |
  59. Bev, Los Angeles, California

    Most of my friends and family are either drawing names to get one gift or cooking and providing food instead of gift giving. These are hard times for everyone!

    December 2, 2008 at 2:31 pm |
  60. Vinnie Vino


    If all the people of this great country spent alittle more this Christmas season we can kick start economy, without the Government's involement. Because as we can see from their inability to handle their own economic bailout plans. We need the rich people to put their money were we need it and for us poor people to spend what we can to help fix the country's economic crisis...

    C.I., New York

    December 2, 2008 at 2:34 pm |
  61. lynnej from lattimore, nc

    Easy. Instead of a $200 or $300 xmas spending spree at JCPenney's, Walmart and other stores, it is a $30 Avon shopping spree.

    It is the thought that counts, not the amount spent on the gift. With all of the greed and excess that we have seen the last eight years, we have lost the real meaning of the season.

    December 2, 2008 at 2:36 pm |
  62. Karen McCullough

    Hi Jack,

    I'm giving gift cards this year. They can be used by the recipients whenever they want to redeem it and for whatever they want or need.

    December 2, 2008 at 2:37 pm |
  63. John in Prospect Park New Jersey

    Christmas has been cancelled this year. Hopefully next year will be a better year. I sent out sympathy cards to my friends and family a week before Thanksgiving.

    December 2, 2008 at 2:38 pm |
  64. Bruce St Paul MN

    The anticipation is all gone. I already know what I'm getting. Another day older and deeper in debt.

    December 2, 2008 at 2:38 pm |
  65. Anne from Vero Beach, FL

    Our local paper ran an article about a 72 year-old man in a wheelchair, a veteran, with no family, who needs a new refrigerator. After reading that I knew where the money I have to spend is going this year. The nieces and nephews I usually give gifts to do not need
    anything. They will each get a card telling them a donation in their name was made to someone in real need.

    December 2, 2008 at 2:42 pm |
  66. carson

    effected like a disaster .

    December 2, 2008 at 2:45 pm |
  67. Mike, Syracuse NY

    It depend Jack, what was the last Mega Millions lottery winning number?

    December 2, 2008 at 2:45 pm |
  68. Ruthie, Stone Mountain, GA

    I told my 6 year old son that the toys on his Christmas list cost a lot of money and he may not get everything. He told me, "toys are free, Santa brings them." So Santa has being doing a lot of talking to get him to shorten his list.

    December 2, 2008 at 2:46 pm |
  69. Dave in Saint Louis

    Let's just say it killed a poor guy at a Wall Mart!

    December 2, 2008 at 2:47 pm |
  70. carson

    effected like hurricane.

    December 2, 2008 at 2:47 pm |
  71. Tony in Michigan

    We're cutting back and I'm only buying if it's half off or better.

    December 2, 2008 at 2:47 pm |
  72. Dick B

    What do you mean economic crisis?

    December 2, 2008 at 2:47 pm |
  73. jyll from TEXAS

    Ho! Ho! Ho! Looks like we all got Scrooged this year!

    December 2, 2008 at 2:49 pm |
  74. Tina (Texas)

    I only spend on the kids. The adults are out of luck and beside you can't please most adults in gift buying anyhow. Christmas should be for kids.

    December 2, 2008 at 2:50 pm |
  75. Brian from Fort Mill, SC

    The recession doesn't affect my Christmas spending much at all. I happen to be one of the rarest of Americans, someone who actually celebrates Chrismas as Jesus' birthday!

    I usually just buy gifts for family that I would have bought them anyway, except I just wait till Christmas to give it to them.

    December 2, 2008 at 2:51 pm |
  76. Greg in Cabot AR

    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.

    That way, I can skip the madhouse of Christmas shopping and the family won’t have to worry about standing in long lines to return their gifts…..if they don’t want the cash, they can always give it back.

    December 2, 2008 at 2:53 pm |
  77. Carol Weyle

    I'm a single Mom in Colorado, all three of my sons are serving in the military, one heading out as medic in Army National Guard to Kuait. One at Ft. Lewis Wa, one at Ft. Campbel-he has 4-young kids. Ky. My spending for the holidays is for just the "kids"-, for my sons, friends, extended family, I think the best we have to offer one another is support, care, love, and what is truly important. Maybe the economic downturn has a bit of a "silver lining", should we be reminded that holidays are more than "black Friday shopping" and what can be bought, or had, but about what can be given, shared, and appreciated -together, as a family, and as a nation. So my holiday emphasis and spirit is about these important issues and caring about others, those military families who are not welcoming home their loved ones from Iraq or elsewhere, either by separation, or by misfortune and war.
    So, even in tough times, hours at work being cut ( mine are) or eliminated, etc, lets remember there is worse...... to deal with and appreciate what we do have..... most of all .. our loved ones and their wellbeing. We can all "spend" of the heart!
    Carol Weyle
    Colorado Mom, Lakewood Co.

    December 2, 2008 at 2:54 pm |
  78. Larry from Georgetown, Texas

    We've finished our shopping. Bought the grand kids a wood spoon and got an old pot from the Goodwill Store so they have a noise maker and their parents gift cards from grocery stores so they would have food for all and to all a good night.

    December 2, 2008 at 2:57 pm |
  79. Devon - Alton, Ilinois

    It never impacted my shopping due to the fact I get everybody gift cards anyway.

    December 2, 2008 at 2:57 pm |
  80. jyll from TEXAS

    Ho! Ho! Ho! Looks like we all got Scrooged this year! I wish there REALLY was a Santa Claus...maybe he could fix this whole mess....

    December 2, 2008 at 2:58 pm |
  81. Linda in Bisbee, AZ

    I haven't bought a Christmas present in decades. The economy has nothing to do with it. I just got sick of the whole crazy mess, and I quit participating. I enjoy the pretty decorations and the carols on commercials though. (Spirit of Christmas and all). ROFL

    December 2, 2008 at 3:01 pm |
  82. Don (Ottawa)

    For me it's a good thing. I've always said its the thought that counts not the price.

    December 2, 2008 at 3:02 pm |
  83. John from collinsville, Illinois

    HO ! HO ! HO ! I make my presents out of old used GOP clothes donated from Sarah Palin....

    December 2, 2008 at 3:02 pm |
  84. Stanley

    I never did like giving gifts, now I have an excuse.

    December 2, 2008 at 3:03 pm |
  85. Gary - Woodhaven, Michigan

    Christmas, I believe, is about reaffirmation of the love that lays in our souls. Where we reconnect spiritually to those around us and those afar. This is my plan, I do not understand how an economy will affect this.

    December 2, 2008 at 3:07 pm |
  86. Erik

    It's getting so bad, this message is the only gift I can afford to get for you and Wolf. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!!

    McDonough, GA

    December 2, 2008 at 3:08 pm |
  87. Bennie

    Hi Jack:

    Just a built in reason not to buy gifts for people that I did not want to buy for anyway.

    Avon, IN

    December 2, 2008 at 3:08 pm |
  88. erico 33139

    Let put it this way. I will be celebrating Christmas in its most Christian way. That is, in a humble, low tone and kind-to others way. Definitively not allowing all the pressures of TV and other media marketers on us to spend, drink and eat till our hearts' content; while the less fortunate this season have to live and do without. Something like the Big 3 automaker CEO's who have tone down to $1 salary and clipping their corporate jets' wings.

    December 2, 2008 at 3:09 pm |
  89. Dan, West Virginia

    Jack, . . . I will be using the word SPAM in its original form this year.

    December 2, 2008 at 3:09 pm |
  90. Jake, Oregon

    I'm a Scrooge. We don't do shopping specifically for Christmas. We try to buy wisely throughout the year. Mosty of the time we are able to buy things in boxes that have never been opened. That week after Christmas is a great time to get stuff that's been used or rejected or even broken by others, and then repackaged by the store. Besides, it's far nicer to get unexpected gifts year round. You also are able to spread the season around the entire year rather than getting one big bill in January. We don't miss not hitting the stores at 5AM

    December 2, 2008 at 3:13 pm |
  91. David,San Bernardino,CA.

    I never shop for Christmas presents as it only shows off our greed and ignores what the season should be really about. Remember,it is better to give than to receive.

    December 2, 2008 at 3:14 pm |
  92. Karen - Nashville TN

    We have been shopping like mad. We've bought gifts for needy seniors and impoverished children, and taken supplies to our local animal shelter and homeless shelter.

    December 2, 2008 at 3:17 pm |
  93. Bob in Baltimore

    I'm paying off debt rather than make it!

    December 2, 2008 at 3:18 pm |
  94. ST

    It hasn't really affected us that much. We don't have children right now, so we are shopping, as usual, for each other, our young nieces & nephews ($20 each) and my mother-in-law (gave her money for a new oven). The family has cut the Secret Santa we do for the second year in a row because there are other who just can't afford to buy another $20 gift.

    December 2, 2008 at 3:19 pm |
  95. Kerry Diehl

    Cry China Cry, ....I'm making my own gifts for everyone this year. (I'm a retired auto designer and got back into "fine arts".)

    The best part is, I'm enjoying it more and it's easier than shopping and spending. The big plus is my presents have more meaning to those who receive them!

    Ho Ho Ho!

    December 2, 2008 at 3:20 pm |
  96. Michael watching from Canada


    Except for one gift that will go to a Santa-oriented child, I am going to buy all my gifts on Boxing Day.

    December 2, 2008 at 3:20 pm |
  97. Dan, Chantilly VA

    I guess it means a lot more parents will be trying to convince their kids that time together with the family is the "true" meaning of Christmas. I don't think that's going to go over well.

    December 2, 2008 at 3:23 pm |

    No difference. We have three children, seven grandchildren and one great, that we buy for. We don't spend much, but we have a lot of love and fun on Christmas day. I think big spending for material things is unimportant as it is Jesus' birthday, not ours.


    December 2, 2008 at 3:25 pm |
  99. C. Gadd Illinois

    Considering I have been laid off for a year now and still searching for a job. I have never had a problem like this finding another job as I am 51 yrs old and fortunately in good health. It took the government a year to tell us we have been in a recession even though the public has known since September 2007. All's I want for christmas is a job.

    December 2, 2008 at 3:25 pm |
  100. Deb

    Christmas is about giving........this year, I have $47.00 out of my state retiement to live off of......The price of everything has stripped me.....
    I can not give to even my lil grandchildren this year......They are getting my love......that is a high priced ticket item.......but no gifts for under the tree......Happy Holidays Everyone........Merry Christmas

    December 2, 2008 at 3:27 pm |
  101. Sherrol in Canada

    It hasn't, in the past 10yrs my family has bought gifts for the children only and that tradition has continued now that these children now have families of their own. We the adults believe the most important thing at X'mas is getting together, thanking God for our health & love of family, eating, drinking & being merry.

    December 2, 2008 at 3:28 pm |
  102. Charlie in Belen, New Mexico

    Paying morgage and the bills will be our Christmas gifts to each other.

    December 2, 2008 at 3:32 pm |
  103. John in Arizona

    My family will be focusing less on the material and more on the spiritual meaning of the holiday season – as was always intended.

    December 2, 2008 at 3:33 pm |
  104. Maggie Muggins From Selwyn

    It can't mean too much if crowds of shoppers are so eager to spend their money they would trample someone to get the first chance to buy.

    December 2, 2008 at 3:35 pm |
  105. Nora Corpus Christi Texas

    Economic Crisis? Our mall is packed, no one would even guess people are having a tough time. Traffic is terrible, you really don't have a crisis here where I live.

    December 2, 2008 at 3:35 pm |
  106. David in Granville, Ohio

    Not much. My company is not getting is accounts receivable paid and there is no credit for salary which means I have not been paid for 6 months.

    There is no money to buy anything!

    December 2, 2008 at 3:37 pm |
  107. David Pickett Janesville WI

    It changed us from having shopping plans to having plans of not shopping. My wife and I agreed that rather than spend money we dont have on gifts we dont really need, that we would take advantage of the currently low price on gas and we are driving to Ohio, to pay homage to the greats of the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame. Jimi Hendrix never stole any of my retirement money.

    December 2, 2008 at 3:39 pm |
  108. C from Eatonton, GA

    No more impulse, fun stuff, making sure to cover the necessities which are still fun to open wrapped in last year's bargain paper or comics. I'll bake any cookies we have this year instead of hitting the bakery. The special dinner gets picked based on whether it can be stretched to an extra dinner and lunch... Puzzles instead of driving to look at the lights...

    Thanks Wall Street.

    December 2, 2008 at 3:39 pm |
  109. Ray,Florida

    Christmas will be hard on alot of people this year Jack!

    I hear instead of coal in the stocking's of all the bad little boy's and girl's this year, Santa is giving them G.M. stock!

    December 2, 2008 at 3:45 pm |
  110. Lynn, Boise, ID

    I am no longer charging Christmas and am trying to come up with more meaningful and less expensive presents for everyone. Surprisingly, It has put me in a much better mood knowing I wont be up to my eyeballs in debt or out in the christmas shopping rat-race this year. Ho Ho Ho.

    December 2, 2008 at 3:47 pm |
  111. kenneth sibbett

    No Jack, everybody's just giving each other food for presents this year. HO HO HO

    Kenneth Chadbourn N.C.

    December 2, 2008 at 3:49 pm |
  112. David in Natchez, MS

    I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a Merry Christmas. This concludes my shopping plans.

    December 2, 2008 at 3:49 pm |
  113. Joe Sephus, Queens

    I have a well thought out plan this year Jack. I will report myself to the
    missing persons bureau and hide until December 26th. My family will
    be so happy to see me again they will have forgotten that I didn't buy

    December 2, 2008 at 3:50 pm |
  114. Annie Naples FL

    no worries have no money to spend no debts incurred no bills coming...just cheer and love for the holidays.

    December 2, 2008 at 3:51 pm |
  115. Mickie

    Christmas is only for the under teen children this year. The teens and adult are being told there is a donation being made instead to Philabudance and other organizations who feed the needy. Nobody should go hungry in this Country when we pay farmers not to grow certain foods.

    December 2, 2008 at 3:51 pm |
  116. Tripp Mechanicsbur, PA

    I have to watch the big game at my neighbor’s house. I need to wait yet another year before I can afford that big wide-screen high-def TV. This recession sucks.

    December 2, 2008 at 3:53 pm |
  117. garrick

    hi jack
    no our family is going to the white house and watch our tree and take all our bills and ask the President to earase all our debt,and maybe even ask if we can come to christmas dinner


    December 2, 2008 at 3:58 pm |
  118. don in naples, florida

    No more black fridays, no more buying for nieces and nephews, and no more extensive travel plans– just a humble day at home with family. On the bright side, this economic meltdown is a reprieve for a nation of over consumers. Maybe this will help shift us into being a greener, more conserving nation. One can only hope.

    December 2, 2008 at 3:59 pm |
  119. Frank from Peterborough

    Up here in Canada we are just now in the process of getting our Christmas present as the 3 minority political parties are forming a coalition to take control away from the reigning Conservative Party.

    Now that's a present our whole country will enjoy for months to come.

    December 2, 2008 at 3:59 pm |
  120. James in TN

    I'm spending right at 50 bucks, I got to the name I drew at my grandma's birthday party a gift and buy the two people I live with a gift. That's about all I need to buy and all I can afford. Merry Christmas Jack and Wolfe.

    December 2, 2008 at 4:00 pm |
  121. Paula (Indiana)

    My family all agrees that we'll have a gift exchange for the adults, buy presents for the children, and enjoy the holiday simply. I saved a Christmas Club and I will be limiting my spending to what I can pay for either from my Christmas Club or regular paycheck. This is going to be a no-credit Christmas. The fact that we've all decided to make Christmas simpler hasn't effected our Christmas spirit... infact, I think keeping things simple may actually enhance our Christmas spirit... We won't be worried about the credit card bills after Christmas and we won't be stressed out from overshopping. I think it just may be our best Christmas ever!

    December 2, 2008 at 4:00 pm |
  122. Tripp Mechanicsburg, PA

    Now I have to watch the big game at my neighbor’s house. I need to wait yet another year before I can afford that big wide-screen high-def TV. This economic crisis reeks of dog doo.

    December 2, 2008 at 4:02 pm |
  123. Carl In SC

    What shopping plans Jack?

    December 2, 2008 at 4:02 pm |
  124. John, Fort Collins, CO

    Other than shifting from Honeybaked to Sam's Choice ham, Christmas 2008 will be pretty much the same. But all bets are off for the Christmas of 2009 and beyond - I'm 65 and my 401k took a royal beating. Are the Bushes royalty? Or does it just seem that way.

    December 2, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  125. Jane (Minnesota)

    It hasn't affected me at all. 9 years ago my mother had her pension reduced to 25% of what it was after my father died. She doesn't have enough quarters worked to qualify for Social Security & Medicare either and she has to pay for her own health insurance which consumes nearly half of her monthly income. She can longer afford to give gifts; so our family made a decision then to not exchange gifts. It's a sad commentary on what the Holiday Season has become when a seasonal employee probably making minimum wage gave up his life for the "Door Buster" greed. What people seem to have forgotten is gift buying is not the reason for the season–that's pretty sad!

    December 2, 2008 at 4:21 pm |
  126. Darren

    Don't you mean Christmas shop-lifting plans?

    December 2, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  127. Jeff in Az

    What Christmas?

    December 2, 2008 at 4:25 pm |
  128. Gene


    Forget the gifts, what my friends and I need are jobs. Jobs that can't be outsourced and have benefits like 401k and health care.

    December 2, 2008 at 4:26 pm |
  129. Terrell Walker

    Jack....The economy has not affected my Christmas shopping one bit. I always without fail, Get a gift for my wife,daughter and grandbaby. And that's it. It is silly to go into debt behind one holiday.

    December 2, 2008 at 4:27 pm |
  130. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Christmas comes on the 25th day of every single year as expected so my shopping plans have been met. The economic crisis wasn't included in my shopping plans, it will have to wait until next Christmas.

    December 2, 2008 at 4:28 pm |
  131. Kyle- DuPont, WA

    I told the kids that's Santa's house was foreclosed on and the reindeer were sold to China.

    December 2, 2008 at 4:29 pm |
  132. Cheryl, Westfield, MA

    About the same. And for the first time, being the poor, "hand to mouth" member of my family, has paid off. You can't lose what you didn't have invested!

    December 2, 2008 at 4:29 pm |
  133. Alan, Buxton Maine

    Everyone on my list will receive a card.

    December 2, 2008 at 4:30 pm |
  134. Kim, Dodge City, Kansas

    It's going to be less like "The Christmas Story" and more like "Bad Santa". Besides, shopping has become deadly dangerous.

    December 2, 2008 at 4:32 pm |
  135. Roland

    I think the best gift this year will be a gift certificate for some gas. That seems to be the best "bargain" deal around and it's something that people can use. Truly "one size fits all" and no need to worry about them having to return it if it's the wrong color or if it doesn't match whatever else they have.

    St. George, UT

    December 2, 2008 at 4:37 pm |
  136. Ralph Nelson

    I'm spending like a wild man ! Prices are so cheap. New computer, digital camera, thin screen TV. I just left a store telling them to stop me before I spend again. Goss, if I had the doe I'd buy a new Ford. It's cheap, cheap, cheap, buy, buy, buy. Ralph, Yakima, Wa.

    December 2, 2008 at 4:38 pm |
  137. Tom Bulger

    Santa isn't going to get fat on cookies in this house, and we're holding off on some celebrating until January 20.

    December 2, 2008 at 4:40 pm |
  138. Carrie from Louisville KY

    It's a good thing my children are almost grown and gift cards will be the norm this year. Slim Pickens is the theme for Christmas this year.

    December 2, 2008 at 4:50 pm |
  139. Ken in NC

    Jack, Christmas has temporarily re-assigned to November 27th and since that date has already passed I have a one year reprieve.

    December 2, 2008 at 4:51 pm |
  140. Mari Fernandez, Salt Lake City, Utah

    We have always budgeted for Christmas, lived within our means. And we have never been in debt after the holidays!

    Our Christmas, will be like last year's. Nice.

    Americans have been living beyond their means and its starting to backfire!

    December 2, 2008 at 4:52 pm |
  141. john...... marlton, nj

    It's Christmas everyday for my children ...

    December 2, 2008 at 4:56 pm |
  142. Peter in Canada

    It doesn't Jack. I will still not spend money that I do not have! I now know and appreciate why my brother and I rarely got toys, only socks and underwear and necessary items. They too were children of the Depression.

    December 2, 2008 at 4:57 pm |
  143. Mark from New Jersey

    I spent all of my money contributing to Obama and Senate and Congressional candidates who would support him. I hope I can afford a holiday next year.

    December 2, 2008 at 4:57 pm |
  144. Lynn, Columbia, Mo..

    I'm going through all my old stuff and re-gifting. Hope I don't give one to someone who gave it to me. As for the kids, Salvation Army and Good-Will. Whatever works.

    December 2, 2008 at 4:58 pm |
  145. Jeff Crocket

    It hasn't!! This is mostly a myth!! Even the first statistics out are good!

    December 2, 2008 at 4:58 pm |
  146. Pete, Fla.

    As long as the price of coal doesn't increase, I'm okay.

    December 2, 2008 at 5:01 pm |
  147. James, Kansas

    This recession which has only now been formally announced which Americans have already known for a year. This Christmas will be a recession Christmas with fewer and cheaper presents for my 3 boys. Just because adults caused this economic situation it should affect our children who did nothing to deserve this recession Christmas. However I know for a fact that Santa Clause coming to my kids Christmas is suffering with this recession. I hope they know that ( I ) I mean Santa Clause is suffering this Christmas.

    December 2, 2008 at 5:02 pm |
  148. Hal in Tennessee

    Not at all, in fact I have spent more these season than in past years. I retired early this year so I don't have to worry about being fired. I do have concerns about the value of the dollar and its potential negative inflationary consequences on import prices but at present my biggest concerns are rising utility bills, state and local taxes.

    December 2, 2008 at 5:03 pm |
  149. Julia Gale, Los Angeles CA

    Every single year since I can remember, my mother has told my brother and I that Christmas "will be tight this year." Now I have reason to believe her

    December 2, 2008 at 5:04 pm |
  150. Mary from Houston, tx

    After president photo-op bush and cheny, the worst administration in US history, " May God Bless Us, Everyone"!

    December 2, 2008 at 5:12 pm |
  151. james

    Plans? What plans? Who has money to celebrate Christmas unless you are a corporate big wheel borrowing money from the poor and middle class?

    December 2, 2008 at 5:13 pm |
  152. Alabama Angel

    If the economy hadn't already dampened my plans, the murder of the poor man at Wal-Mart, trampled by hordes of greed-possessed shoppers has done so. I'm disillusioned not only by the economy, but also by the farce made of Christmas by this society in general. I think we need to step back and look at what this season represents for pretty much every faith on the planet. Whether Solstice or Hannukkah or Christmas - this has been a traditional time for good will to our fellows. Who knows? If we got back to that, maybe even the economy would feel a positive effect, with people in need being treated well, and those of us who have a bit more than we need, sharing, as we should.

    December 2, 2008 at 5:18 pm |
  153. Darla (Edmonton, Canada)

    My shopping isn't really changing at all because its always been pretty simple. Christmas gifts will be purchased only for those who I'm spending Christmas morning with ... sister, brother-in-law & nephew. The gifts won't be anything extravagant - my brother-in-law has always told me that his gift to me is that he lets me in the door! The gift of homemade seasoning mixes for dips will go in the mail to Mom tomorrow. I will continue my tradition of giving myself a gift (there's no husband or my own kids to do that) ... this year's gift ... probably an extra payment on my car loan.

    December 2, 2008 at 5:20 pm |
  154. Pennie Johnson Boyce,La.

    Hasn't affected me at all, since I've always thought it is too commercialized. I cook and reflect, I don't shop. I won't accept gifts and I don't give any. If you want a good meal, my house is the place to be for Christmas.

    December 2, 2008 at 5:21 pm |
  155. RC in SC

    W and the Republicans arranged for my retirement IRA to disappear so I am being very very frugal. After spending for groceries like powered milk, beans and stale bread, I will spend a little for some very simple and practical gifts

    December 2, 2008 at 5:22 pm |
  156. Robert Roden

    Hey Jack. I guess it has as I do plan to be a bit more selective as to who I spend on this year. But more importantly, won't we all get in trouble for using the word Chistmas in this politically "correct " age?

    December 2, 2008 at 5:28 pm |
  157. George - MS

    You know Jack, it's a common practice to ditch all but one of your girlfriends before Christmas to avoid buying them all a gift. But this year, I don't have to ditch any. Christmas is just for the kids this year, and they all understand. So, how has it affected me? Gloriously! I don't have to go through all of the messy breakups this year, meaning that I might even be able to afford to buy my mom something. Who says Bush ain't the man? I did, but Shhhh, they might be watching. -> George – MS

    December 2, 2008 at 5:29 pm |
  158. John

    Jack: The words are "stricit budget shopping" for Christmas. The worst is that charities and church will get less, because it is not there to give anymore. Children need some toys, but this year Christmas is defintely for children and not adult wants. Merry Christmas, Jack.


    December 2, 2008 at 5:34 pm |
  159. Karl from SF, CA

    I make dinner for a group of local friends for Christmas, Thanksgiving and Easter. We decided at last weeks dinner we were not exchanging gifts. None of us really need anything and most of us can't affort to do much this year, anyway. That problem solved, now for the kids and grand kids. Smaller and less expensive rings a bell.

    December 2, 2008 at 5:34 pm |
  160. chris south bend Indiana

    Jack yes it will Ive been out of work for three years and I do not see any jobs coming soon, so yes I would say it has effected my family and I so we are faced with the true Christmas spirit the family dinner and hopefully a warm roof over our heads

    December 2, 2008 at 5:39 pm |
  161. jim Toronto

    Hey Jack, Living up here in Toronto I can see the north pole from my house. Santa's workshop is dark! it seems all the elves have been laid off.

    December 2, 2008 at 5:45 pm |
  162. Andy in Oh.

    Not that I would mind you,but it makes me want to shop till I drop knowing it can not be repaid,then going up in front of my government officals and reqesting that they bail me out.My competence most have been slighty incompetent sorry ,Merry Christmas!

    December 2, 2008 at 5:47 pm |
  163. Jeff in NC

    Very Seriously Jack. I get paid twice per month. This weeks check will be for presents (very few) and the last check of the month will be for January's bills and I'll more than likely be short.

    I wonder if the price of gas didn't take an extra 60 or 70 buck's a week out of everyones pockets throughout the summer if we the people would be in this bad a shape? Merry Christmass all you oil companies...you have all the marbles!

    December 2, 2008 at 5:51 pm |
  164. Nancy, Tennessee

    The Grinch has stolen our shopping list for Christmas. With the higher prices on everything and the uncertainty, who wants to buy that Rudolph with the flashing red nose. The blow up snow globes with wintry scenes for the front yard are completely out. If we get a warm pair of gloves to replace the one lone glove from last year, we'll count our blessings. Christmas shopping will be leaner than Twiggy on Slim-Fast.

    December 2, 2008 at 5:52 pm |
  165. Barbara from Hollywood, CA

    We are retired, and over the past 8 years have watched our retirement funds dwindle rapidly while the cost of everything else skyrockets. This year, for the very first time, instead of spending nearly $3500 for Christmas gifts for friends and relatives, we are spending less than $300. We didn't want Christmas to be like this, but until the Market gets better and insurance/medical costs become reasonable, Christmas is the only place we can make adjustments in our budget.

    December 2, 2008 at 5:54 pm |
  166. EW, Chicago

    Jack, maybe people should get back to the real, uncommercial spirit of Christmas. If people getting trampled to death during the sales is the spirit of Christmas, then you can count me out. Why do people feel they need to buy things to validate themselves and their families?

    December 2, 2008 at 5:58 pm |
  167. Tim Orlando FL

    No change for me. Everyone I shop for gets a lump of coal, and coal is still cheap!

    December 2, 2008 at 6:00 pm |
  168. Carolyn in Houston

    We are giving only to our child and my mother this year. My father and husband's parents have passed away otherwise they would be included. My husband and I will not exchange gifts.

    Christmas will be very low keyed this year not only because of the economy but also because we are sick and tired of accumulating more junk that we quite frankly do not need or even want. Most of my friends and relatives agree. Whatever we have left after the children and parents are taken care of will go to charity.

    December 2, 2008 at 6:01 pm |
  169. G.P. Indio Ca

    I can't afford to buy any Christmas gifts this year!! Christmas is cancelled this year.

    December 2, 2008 at 6:10 pm |
  170. Sherri

    We will still have a great Christmas and will be cash only just like last year.

    December 2, 2008 at 6:10 pm |
  171. Bill

    We have decided no presents for adults this year. And a minimum spending on the children.

    December 2, 2008 at 6:10 pm |
  172. Bianca

    Jack – This year everyone is getting baked goods. I think that says it all.


    December 2, 2008 at 6:11 pm |
  173. Lester

    If I can't bake it, cook it, or find it in the house, it won't be a Christmas present. I'm not spending any money. Not even on wrapping paper. Lost my job, looking for a new one and times are thin...

    December 2, 2008 at 6:11 pm |
  174. Michael Smith

    After being hit by a car trying to save money riding my bike to work, I will spend very little this year...

    December 2, 2008 at 6:11 pm |
  175. Purnell K3 IL.

    Wake up America stop spending money on things you can not afford and will not use two weeks after Christmas day! And stop falling for the fake sale you know the ones were they raise the prices and then put things 50% off back to the original price you normally buy thing at!

    December 2, 2008 at 6:11 pm |
  176. Susi

    I am buying 2 gifts-1 for my daughter and her friend who now lives with us- my parents and I have agreed no christmas....just to keep things low key, in the family, and centered.

    My feet will not step foot inside a mall this year.

    Just does not seem right and frankly after the stampede at Wal-Mart I am absolutely disgusted by the shop at all costs mentality that is pervasive in this country.

    We have become fools to the dollar and have forgotten what truly counts.

    December 2, 2008 at 6:11 pm |
  177. Kevin

    Jack, what Christmas shopping plans?

    December 2, 2008 at 6:11 pm |
  178. Don - Lake Wenatchee, Wa

    Only my Divorce Attorney will have enough to buy gifts this year.

    December 2, 2008 at 6:12 pm |
  179. Christine S, Seattle WA

    Keeping my presents down to just my immediate family. Everyone else will get a "Merry Christmas".

    December 2, 2008 at 6:12 pm |
  180. Ingrid

    I didn't go shopping this Black Friday. Even if the deals were great. This season keeping the lights on and having food to eat is the real deal.

    Champaign, IL

    December 2, 2008 at 6:12 pm |
  181. Larry Moniz

    Jack, WHAT Christmas shopping plans. This year I'm doing holiday shopping at the supermarket and, if I can afford it, my wife will be getting a pot roast. At least it'll be something useful that she can truly enjoy.

    December 2, 2008 at 6:12 pm |
  182. D. Farmer

    Jack – I AM NOT spending a dime on anything other than gas and groceries between Thanksgiving Day and Jan. 2nd. Even SunTrust will have to wait forthe December mortgage (I'll pay the late fee – but if they never get it I'm sure the gov't will bail them out)!!!!!!! Not a DIME.....

    December 2, 2008 at 6:12 pm |
  183. Jeffrey from LA, California

    Actually Im Jewish, so its really affecting my shopping plans. Theres no way I can buy one present for each night!!!

    December 2, 2008 at 6:12 pm |
  184. chuck in bishop ca.

    Jack, I plan to shop for a new bank as mine will probably go under. Merry Christmas

    December 2, 2008 at 6:12 pm |
  185. melissa

    my family usually draw names and exchange gifts,but this year,we are either going to make them or just forgo the whole thing. Spending time together is more important than gving gifts. We lost both parents during the holidays last year,which makes Christmas hard to celebrate.

    December 2, 2008 at 6:12 pm |
  186. jeff cichanofsky

    what plans i'm laid-off and aig and everyone else has the money!
    maybe george or dick will buy me somethingt?
    not holding my breathe.

    December 2, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
  187. Zelalem t.

    I can't afford a christmas present for my girlfriend. She's probably going to break up with me. thanks a lot Bush!

    December 2, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
  188. Rex in Redmond

    You can't go Christmas shopping when you're unemployed.

    December 2, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
  189. Cheryl D

    Honestly Jack, could people just get real and stop making the holiday's all about what your going to get. The holiday is a celebration of the birth of Jesus. If we just focus on that then we wouldn't have to worry about being in a recession and just BE with out families!

    December 2, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
  190. Kyle from Vernon Hills, IL

    I am in my second year of college, with plenty of money from my two jobs this summer still in the bank. The economy is not affecting my shopping this year simply because I am a smart consumer and know which deals are good and which ones are scams. If more people had saved over the past year instead of spending the recession would not affect there shopping expenses.

    December 2, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
  191. Elizabeth

    There will be NO Christmas at my house as far as presents and special dinners or homemade cookies are concerned. There is just enough to pay bills and hopefully put the essentials on the table. Thermostats are lowered and the only shopping place we go is the grocery store. But we are going to sing songs and thank our blessings while we struggle to hold on for better times. After all, loving one another doesn't cost money!

    December 2, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
  192. Sarge

    It looked bleak until today. I had a girl sideswipe my ten year old car and the adjuster gave me a check for over a thousand. You know that I am going to have the "minor" damage fixed. However, I will be frugal this year with gift giving.........


    December 2, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
  193. Cesar

    Jack– Did you say Christmas? This year? I thought Christmas is canceled this year.

    New Orleans, LA

    December 2, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
  194. Jeff C - Cleveland OH

    Jack: I won't be spending a dime on Christmas. I am hoping to have enough money to make a nice dinner for my family. I am out of work, have no credit, can't fix my car and doubt if I'll even have heat this winter. The retail industry's commercialization of Christmas is taking a serious hit this year, and it feels pretty good. Jeff C.

    December 2, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
  195. Carlos

    The economy is Asheville, NC is better for our business and profits this year. I will be spending at least twice as much as last year. Also going overseas to celebrate a great year! Obama will just make it better, so plan to celebrate harder next year.

    December 2, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
  196. M-A

    I'm buyin' a bag of charcoal for stocking stuffers. The rest of the coal I'll use to fire up the grill for tube steaks. In seriousness, this will perhaps get people back on track with what is really important for the holiday season...."peace on earth and goodwill towards men," not how many gifts we did or didn't get for Christmas..... 2008 has been one helluva year.


    December 2, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
  197. Tim

    What shopping plans?

    December 2, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
  198. Randy

    Actually I'm expecting a great Christmas this year... I've submitted my requests to Congress for both a bailout and an economic stimulus package... wife and kids are anxiously waiting for the check to arrive.

    December 2, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
  199. Donald McMunn

    It hasn't affected my shopping plans at all ! Bah, humbug !
    98 percent of what they have to sell is made overseas anyway, and 80 percent of the merchandise has no value anyway !

    December 2, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
  200. Kisha NC

    Let's just say i'm glad my kids are to young to understand

    December 2, 2008 at 6:14 pm |
  201. Marcia Liotard

    I've told my family and the few friends that I nomally gift to, that this year
    we'll be making donations in their names to local charitable organizations. (The only ones who will get gifts are my 2 nephews ages 14 and 11, and the 2 elementary school kids that my husband and I are mentoring.)

    Marcia L.
    Starksboro, VT

    December 2, 2008 at 6:14 pm |
  202. kathy-oregon

    Well lets see. My husband is an engineer, and is facing layoffs, I'm a realtor with reduced income from home sales. we are selling our new home to reduce costs, but no ones biting, both my 1/2 adult kids have moved home, cause they are having trouble making ends meet. Our christmas will be the smallest that I can remember, I'm glad I dont have little kids.

    December 2, 2008 at 6:14 pm |
  203. Fern

    My son and I have lost a lot of money in the stock market. We decided today we were not going to buy Christmas presents this year. We are both depressed so that was kind of a no brainer. I am happy Barack Obama was elected he will get us out of this mess...my son hasn't found anything much to be happy about. I guess you would have to call us a couple of Grintch's this year.

    December 2, 2008 at 6:14 pm |
  204. Skyler

    Hey Jack: The economy has most definitely affected my shopping plans for this Christmas. It has been impossible for me to find a well-paying job and less money means less funds for me to waste on gifts. I hate calling the spirit of giving a "waste," but I'm more concerned with covering rent and feeding myself and my cats. I'm afraid my closest loved ones will have to be satisfied with some garage sale gifts this year.

    December 2, 2008 at 6:14 pm |
  205. Anne

    No Christmas shopping this year, Jack!
    Not only is the national economic situation a factor, but I and all of my co-workers, have had a cut back in hours. Funds will keep roof over head and food on table, as we give thanks for still having a job.

    December 2, 2008 at 6:14 pm |
  206. David from Augusta, WI

    Jack, having just been laid off from my job of 22 years, I think my family will really cut back on the gifts this Christmas. Heck, I can't even afford to buy one for Wolf.

    December 2, 2008 at 6:14 pm |
  207. Jeff in Wisconsin

    Its going to affect it so bad that Santa is going to lay off the reindeer, and drive a hybrid to the capitol and ask for bailout.

    December 2, 2008 at 6:15 pm |
  208. Maxine Minton

    Are you kidding? After hearing in the news this week that an avid crowd of Xmas shoppers trampled a 250 lb. man to death to get a bargain at WalMart, I will stay at home, Thank you

    December 2, 2008 at 6:15 pm |
  209. Camila Quevedo

    This year we're buy presents for ourselves instead of hoping that the parents will get it right and not waste money on things we're not going to use. Me and my little brother are dividing the money and spending most of it on something big then dividing the leftovers between us. It takes the wonder out of opening the present on Christmas morning but at least we're going to be effective. I've already got the list planned out, down to the taxes and shipping cost.

    December 2, 2008 at 6:15 pm |
  210. Scott brunet

    100 bucks per teenager, down from 250 last year...4 teens that have all they need anyway... So it's most likely cell phone upgrades.. All cash.. My least stressful Christmas ever

    December 2, 2008 at 6:15 pm |
  211. rachel from los angeles

    Well i guess i can blame the economy for not giving any gifts this year. i can barely pay my rent let alone by people presents. sorry family and friends ; (

    December 2, 2008 at 6:16 pm |
  212. Tim Blaker

    Dear Jack, I was laid off three weeks ago. There is no money for holiday gifts, its all about rent and heat. Where do I go for one of those short bail out apps. with no strings attached?.

    December 2, 2008 at 6:16 pm |
  213. Bryan

    Hey Jack,
    I plan on keeping this an extremely cheap Christmas by making gifts for everyone. Nothing says Merry Christmas like a batch of homemade cookies and fudge!

    December 2, 2008 at 6:16 pm |
  214. Raul M

    This season I can only afford to spend on my 4 nephews. I'm self employed and the entire year has been slow for construction. The nephews are under the age of 11. So I will buy them gifts. Northern Virginia.

    December 2, 2008 at 6:16 pm |
  215. Tanya in atlanta

    Being self employed and depending on a thriving economy X-mas will be a small one. seeing how all my clients are or were working people!.... My husband and I are only doing for the children and nothing extravagent will be done. A good X-mas for me will be Santa knockin the door to get me out of all this debt I'm in,or a bailout, I won't be picky!

    December 2, 2008 at 6:17 pm |
  216. Patrick

    My family and friends have already decided to make this Christmas less about commercialism and more about religion, which is something we've all been wishing to do for a long time. This holiday season will be about spending time (not just money) with our loved ones. Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah.

    December 2, 2008 at 6:17 pm |
  217. Jennifer Cox

    Our family has talked about eliminating buying Christmas gifts for a very long time and this crisis has been a great motivator to finally do just that.
    We are going to spend time together, cook and bake together and look at family photos from holidays past. When it is all said and done, I don't think we will be missing presents one darn bit.

    December 2, 2008 at 6:17 pm |
  218. Erin, Maui,HI

    Aloha Jack! I had to be the bearer of bad news to my family on Thanksgiving that I can't send Christmas presents this year which kills me because I love the season of giving. I usually start listening to Christmas music and shopfor the holidays the day after Thanksgiving. I had to cancel my trip back home (to Massachusetts) for the holidays. This year I feel so bad that I can't send gifts home or be with my loved ones thatI become sad when I hear Christmas music.

    December 2, 2008 at 6:18 pm |
  219. Linda in Charleston

    What Christmas? Jack it's been a tough year.

    December 2, 2008 at 6:18 pm |
  220. Jennifer Cox Tampa, FL

    Our family has talked about eliminating buying Christmas gifts for a very long time and this crisis has been a great motivator to finally do just that.
    We are going to spend time together, cook and bake together and look at family photos from holidays past. When it is all said and done, I don’t think we will be missing presents one darn bit.

    December 2, 2008 at 6:19 pm |
  221. Randi Brickman

    Today I Shopped for all my Holiday Gifts. I went with a list and when I completed the last name on my list I went home. I chose to purchase practical gifts with no "extras." In the past ,Holiday shopping for me was impromptu and Extras where not uncommon. This year I chose to budget my shopping and "stick" to a plan.

    December 2, 2008 at 6:19 pm |
  222. Michelle Wingate

    With the economy in dire straits, we are all called to sacrifice. However, for some, it should not be denying themselves material goods, but a little financial security. This Christmas we're having some work done to the house. Saving sounds smart but spending and paying local carpenters who could use the work seems wiser.
    Michelle, Maine

    December 2, 2008 at 6:20 pm |
  223. Ed from Duxbury, MA

    Holiday Spending??
    Chapter 7 Pending!!

    December 2, 2008 at 6:20 pm |
  224. Hope

    It's just another day holidays don't exist for me..... but one would think in hard times as now the true meaning of christmas would come through, but it is still as commercialized as ever.

    December 2, 2008 at 6:20 pm |
  225. Jim


    Spending is down in my extended family, no question. Cash gifts are, in some cases, replacing purchased items to help family members in need. We're also finding more time to spend with each other, just to enjoy the company of everyone from new infants to great-grandparents. Actually, it's still being a pretty merry Christmas season.

    Reno, Nevada

    December 2, 2008 at 6:21 pm |
  226. Missy M

    Honestly, no. The economic crisis has not affected my holiday spending. I'm frugal, save religiously, stock up when things are on sale, and actually set a budget and begin doing holiday shopping long before the frenzy even begins. And I don't use credit cards. Perhaps, if more people followed those simple rules, we wouldn't be in the midst of an economic crisis.

    December 2, 2008 at 6:22 pm |
  227. Margaret

    Indeed, Christmas has been scaled back drastically... our family decided not to buy gifts and give whatever money we have to our favorite local charity. I would rather provide food, beds and other household items for a family in need. I like to support local merchants and businesses too, but it seems critical to help the folks in real needs this year.

    December 2, 2008 at 6:22 pm |
  228. Randy in St. Petersburg, FL

    We're spending about half what we normally would for gifts this year. I'd be spending a heck of a lot more if I could get back my $20,000+ share of the bailout package. That might even be enough to get me to buy an car from the Big 3 again.

    December 2, 2008 at 6:23 pm |
  229. Barry Stanley

    Christmas will be different this year. Our daughters and families cannot afford to come home. We will go to them (in the Northeast, we live in Wichita, Ks).
    We have agreed to give inexpensive gifts among the family and give more to those in need. Wichita, KS

    December 2, 2008 at 6:23 pm |
  230. Jerry

    Where has everybody been? Come on join the club, Its been tight for us ever since 2002, Only now do we see anything promising happening for us. Jerry Iowa

    December 2, 2008 at 6:23 pm |
  231. christine featherngill

    bah hum bug what christmas? Need money to shop.

    December 2, 2008 at 6:24 pm |
  232. Deb

    There is no Christmas. Social Security is trying to take away my Disability as Bush promised in January, 2008.

    December 2, 2008 at 6:24 pm |
  233. Karen Walton

    Bah Humbug!! Maybe this holiday season, people will figure out the true meaning of Christmas. Christmas is not supposed to be about running out to get that big screen TV or that Wii system. It's about being with those you love and the celebration of Jesus Christ's birth. Giving does not have to be with material items. Giving can mean to give your heart, love and joy this holiday season.

    December 2, 2008 at 6:24 pm |
  234. Tori

    Our family never bought into the buying hype; we always lived within our means. Even our 2 college kids who were raised within this approach to budget discipline do not adhere to the buying fever which seems so pervasive nowadays. We live by the old fashion rule: the only debt allowed is a home mortgage with 20% down. So, Christmas this year will be no different than other years. There is no belt to tighten: it's always been tight..

    December 2, 2008 at 6:25 pm |
  235. Justin Taylor Polk, Ohio

    Before we know it Santa is going to need a bailout! There is no doubt that Santa's belt will be a little tighter this Christmas, but it is the season of giving. My family will do all we can to help those who are less fortunate, and we intend to spend our money wisely.

    December 2, 2008 at 6:25 pm |
  236. Tim Ali

    I do not shop for christmas, but if I did I will stick with the cheap items, and try to save as much as can, becaue i think things are going to get alot worse. So paying for food and shelter is more important right now.

    Louisville, KY

    December 2, 2008 at 6:26 pm |
  237. Zelish from california

    Mr. Cafferty,
    I am an immigrant from Ethiopia, i came here for a better life to help my family back home, but now i cant even help myself. No Christmas shopping this year! Thanks to the dedeb (idiot) Bush.

    December 2, 2008 at 6:27 pm |
  238. Cathy Cheshire, CT

    This Christmas is going to be an old fashion Christmas. Just buying a toy for the kids under 13 in the family. The adults will get some home made cookies and a note telling them why I am grateful for them. This year is all about getting back to basics for Christmas – without all the commercialism and big gifts. It will be about Christ – family and friends.

    December 2, 2008 at 6:27 pm |
  239. tinajuarez

    Changed my shopping plans? NOT at all! I haven't had Christmas Shopping money for the last six years!

    December 2, 2008 at 6:29 pm |
  240. Claire in Texas

    My husband just got laid off on Halloween with a third of the engineers in his small company. Our COBRA health insurance is $16,000 per year for two of us.........which is hard to pay with no J O B. Fortunately, my consulting engineering work has gotten better from the horrid conditions this summer, but our income will still be half for the forseeable future. NO Christmas around here; but, thinking about declaring ourselves a bank so that we can apply for a bail out.

    December 2, 2008 at 6:31 pm |
  241. Jim Daniel

    Oh ya Jack, BIG time. We've limited it to one gift each, kids included, and keep it under $20.00. Many of the gifts are home made or found in thrift shops (used). Also, using all of the left over Christmas cards instead of buying new ones. So yes, it is affecting me and mine.

    December 2, 2008 at 6:31 pm |