Christmas spending disappoints retailers

Filed under: Just For Moms, Just For Dads, Places To Go

Christmas is over and it is time to add up the receipts. As we do every year, we decided on a budget for our Christmas spending and vowed to stick to it. For the first time ever, we actually succeeded.

It seems that while we were watching our pennies, so was everyone else. According to MasterCard SpendingPulse, retail sales rose just 3.6 percent over last year between the day after Thanksgiving and Christmas eve. If you adjust for the increased spending on gasoline, that number drops to a tiny 2.4 percent increase. That's a fairly significant drop from years past, which saw a 6.6 percent increase in 2006 and an 8 percent increase in 2005.

Is it possible that we've all come to our senses and realized that going into debt buying Christmas presents is a bad idea? Or are well all just a bit poorer than we were last year? I am proud of myself for keeping it reasonable this year. How did you do? Did you make a budget and stick to it? Or did you get caught up in the spirit of giving and end up giving too much?

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