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  Friday, 11 Nov 2011 | 11:24 AM ET

Holiday Gifts That Give Back 2011

Posted By Valerie Reiss|Special to CNBC.com

Gifts That Keep On Giving

Are you looking for more meaningful gifts this holiday season? One way to do that is to pick a present that not only surprises your loved ones, but also give back by helping those in need. We've rounded up gift ideas that will be enjoyed by a range of recipients — from women to men to the kiddos – that also donate to a wide array of charitable causes. These charities use a portion of the profits from their products to support causes such as employing women in war-torn Uganda, teaching kids in U.
Are you looking for more meaningful gifts this holiday season? One way to do that is to pick a present that not only surprises your loved ones, but also give back by helping those in need. We've rounded up gift ideas that will be enjoyed by a range of recipients — from women to men to the kiddos – that also donate to a wide array of charitable causes. These charities use a portion of the profits from their products to support causes such as employing women in war-torn Uganda, teaching kids in U.

Are you looking for more meaningful gifts this holiday season? One way to do that is to pick a present that not only surprises your loved ones, but also gives back by helping those in need.

We've rounded up gift ideas that will be enjoyed by a range of recipients — from women to men to the kiddos — that also donate to a wide array of charitable causes. These charities use a portion of the profits from their products to support causes, such as employing women in war-torn Uganda, teaching kids in U.S. cities to write, finding medical cures, and more.

So that pretty necklace? It makes her look great and gives people hope. Now that's a trend worth following.

Click ahead to see ideas for holiday presents that keep on giving, and double your generosity with a single gift.

By Valerie Reiss, Special to CNBC.com Posted 11 November 2011

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  Thursday, 10 Nov 2011 | 3:24 PM ET

Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show 2011

Posted ByPaul Toscano

Scenes from Victoria's Secret

Victoria’s Secret delivered yet another star-studded and diamond-studded runway event on Nov. 9. Each year, the women’s lingerie chain kicks off its holiday-selling season with a show to generate excitement about its products. Singers Jay-Z, Nicki Minaj, Kanye West and Maroon 5 performed at the New York City event. The Victoria’s Secret Angels’ collections fell into six themes, according to the company’s Twitter. They were Ballet, Super Angels, Passion, Angels Aquatic, I Put a Spell on You and C
Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris | Getty Images
Victoria’s Secret delivered yet another star-studded and diamond-studded runway event on Nov. 9. Each year, the women’s lingerie chain kicks off its holiday-selling season with a show to generate excitement about its products. Singers Jay-Z, Nicki Minaj, Kanye West and Maroon 5 performed at the New York City event. The Victoria’s Secret Angels’ collections fell into six themes, according to the company’s Twitter. They were Ballet, Super Angels, Passion, Angels Aquatic, I Put a Spell on You and C

Victoria’s Secret delivered yet another star-studded and diamond-studded runway event on Nov. 9. Each year, the women’s lingerie chain kicks off its holiday-selling season with a show to generate excitement about its products.

Singers Jay-Z, Nicki Minaj, Kanye West and Maroon 5 performed at the New York City event. The Victoria’s Secret Angels’ collections fell into six themes, according to the company’s Twitter. They were Ballet, Super Angels, Passion, Angels Aquatic, I Put a Spell on You and Club Pink.

This year, Limited Brands, Victoria’s Secret’s parent company, will place more emphasis on the fashion show in stores as part of its marketing approach and feature products from the show in stores. The company also plans to integrate its beauty lines, such as the Dream Angels and Gorgeous lines, more with its lingerie.

The show will air on CBS on Nov. 29 at 10 p.m. Click ahead to see scenes from this year’s event.

By Katie Little and Paul ToscanoPosted 10 Nov 2011

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  Wednesday, 9 Nov 2011 | 3:40 PM ET

Hottest Gadgets for the Holidays

Gift Ideas for Gadget Lovers

It's a pretty fair bet that someone on your shopping list is a gadget hound. And, while the odds aren't quite as good, it's still better than average odds that you're going to indulge them. Nearly one-third of the money spent on gifts this year will go towards consumer electronics, according to the Consumer Electronics Association. But sorting out the hot items from the ones destined to end up in the clearance bin can be tough. If you're looking for a perfect tech gift for a friend or loved one,
Photo: Apple
It's a pretty fair bet that someone on your shopping list is a gadget hound. And, while the odds aren't quite as good, it's still better than average odds that you're going to indulge them. Nearly one-third of the money spent on gifts this year will go towards consumer electronics, according to the Consumer Electronics Association. But sorting out the hot items from the ones destined to end up in the clearance bin can be tough. If you're looking for a perfect tech gift for a friend or loved one,

It's a pretty fair bet that someone on your shopping list is a gadget hound. While the odds aren't quite as good, it's still better than average odds that you're going to indulge them.

Nearly one-third of the money spent on gifts this year will go towards consumer electronics, according to the Consumer Electronics Association. But sorting out the hot items from the ones destined to end up in the clearance bin can be tough. If you're looking for a perfect tech gift for a friend or loved one, here are a few can't miss suggestions.

By Chris Morris, Special to CNBC.com
Posted 9 November 2011

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  Tuesday, 8 Nov 2011 | 1:41 PM ET

For Her: Trendiest Holiday Gifts, 2011

Posted BySally Shin

Hot Gifts for Her

The Halloween costumes are packed away and stores are piping in the carols, it is a signal: Get ready for the busiest shopping season of the year. Consumers plan to spend an average of $704.18 on gifts this year, down 2.1 percent from a year ago, according to the National Retail Federation’s 2011 Holiday Consumer survey. To make those dollars count, shoppers want to know they’re buying the right gift. “In 2009, it was all about personal, practical gifts, and last year consumers wanted to treat t
Photo: Rebekah Lane | Vetta | Getty Images
The Halloween costumes are packed away and stores are piping in the carols, it is a signal: Get ready for the busiest shopping season of the year. Consumers plan to spend an average of $704.18 on gifts this year, down 2.1 percent from a year ago, according to the National Retail Federation’s 2011 Holiday Consumer survey. To make those dollars count, shoppers want to know they’re buying the right gift. “In 2009, it was all about personal, practical gifts, and last year consumers wanted to treat t

The Halloween costumes are packed away and stores are piping in the carols, it is a signal: Get ready for the busiest shopping season of the year.

Consumers plan to spend an average of $704.18 on gifts this year, down 2.1 percent from a year ago, according to the National Retail Federation’s 2011 Holiday Consumer survey.

To make those dollars count, shoppers want to know they’re buying the right gift.

“In 2009, it was all about personal, practical gifts, and last year consumers wanted to treat their loved ones to something special,” said Pam Goodfellow, consumer insights director at BIGresearch. “This year, it’s a little bit of both.”

According to the research, exactly half of the respondents picked accessories and apparel as their choice of gift for the holiday. Others chose electronics, jewelry, or personal-care items.

To make your shopping easier, here’s a guide that offers up ideas that should suit you if you want to give something trendy or something practical, or a little of both.

By Sally Shin
Posted 08 November 2011

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  Monday, 7 Nov 2011 | 11:03 AM ET

10 Must-Have Videogames This Holiday Season

Posted By By Chris Morris, Special to CNBC.com

10 Must-Have Games for 2011

The holiday season is typically loaded with must-have videogames, but the number hitting shelves this year is unprecedented. Several top franchises have new installments out and some new games are looking very promising. That's good news for players, but it's even better for gift buyers, since few gamers will be able to keep up with the deluge. Here are some sure-fire suggestions.
Photo: Jupiterimages | Getty Images
The holiday season is typically loaded with must-have videogames, but the number hitting shelves this year is unprecedented. Several top franchises have new installments out and some new games are looking very promising. That's good news for players, but it's even better for gift buyers, since few gamers will be able to keep up with the deluge. Here are some sure-fire suggestions.

The holiday season is typically loaded with must-have videogames, but the number hitting shelves this year is unprecedented.

Several top franchises have new installments out and some new games are looking very promising. That's good news for players, but it's even better for gift buyers, since few gamers will be able to keep up with the deluge. Here are some sure-fire suggestions.

By Chris Morris, Special to CNBC.com
Posted 07 November 2011

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  Friday, 4 Nov 2011 | 11:59 AM ET

Luxury Gifts for the Holidays 2011

Hot Luxury Gifts

'Tis the time for giving. This holiday season, affluent consumers are becoming more comfortable with their spending. On average, affluent households spend more than four times the average family on holiday gifts, according to the National Retail Federation industry trade group. “After four plus years of reprioritizing and realigning their spending to match their values, affluent consumers are feeling quite good about themselves and their ability to maintain — and even increase — their family’s h
Photo: Tooga | Stone | Getty Images
'Tis the time for giving. This holiday season, affluent consumers are becoming more comfortable with their spending. On average, affluent households spend more than four times the average family on holiday gifts, according to the National Retail Federation industry trade group. “After four plus years of reprioritizing and realigning their spending to match their values, affluent consumers are feeling quite good about themselves and their ability to maintain — and even increase — their family’s h

'Tis the time for giving. This holiday season, affluent consumers are more comfortable with their spending. On average, affluent households spend more than four times more than the average family on holiday gifts, according to the National Retail Federation industry trade group.

“After four plus years of reprioritizing and realigning their spending to match their values, affluent consumers are feeling quite good about themselves and their ability to maintain — and even increase — their family’s happiness and well-being,” says Jim Taylor, vice-president of Harrison Group, a marketing consulting and research services firm.

For those who want to spare no expense, there are plenty of fashionable items that are on trend — leopard gloves, checkered pajamas, and metallic heels, to name a few. But personalized gifts focusing on relationships and experiences, and products that help raise money for charitable causes, are just as fashionable, as affluent consumers look to give gifts that are more meaningful.

Click ahead for some luxurious gift ideas.

By Jessica Naziri
Posted 04 November 2011

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  Thursday, 3 Nov 2011 | 9:40 AM ET

10 Holiday Shopping Apps That Will Save You Money

Yes, Virginia There’s an App for That

In this tough economy, consumers are laser-focused on finding ways to stretch their budget, and their best tool may be in their pocket. There are a number of smartphone applications that can help you to organize your shopping, track your spending, and let you know that you’re walking away with the best deal available. “Shoppers are looking for deals before they are looking at brands,” said Robert Passikoff, president of Brand Keys, a New York City-based brand and customer loyalty research consul
Photo: Tanya Constantine | Getty Images
In this tough economy, consumers are laser-focused on finding ways to stretch their budget, and their best tool may be in their pocket. There are a number of smartphone applications that can help you to organize your shopping, track your spending, and let you know that you’re walking away with the best deal available. “Shoppers are looking for deals before they are looking at brands,” said Robert Passikoff, president of Brand Keys, a New York City-based brand and customer loyalty research consul

In this tough economy, consumers are laser-focused on finding ways to stretch their budgets, and their best tool may be in their pocket.

There are a number of smartphone applications that can help you to organize your shopping, track your spending, and let you know that you’re walking away with the best deal available.

“Shoppers are looking for deals before they are looking at brands,” said Robert Passikoff, president of Brand Keys, a New York City-based brand and customer loyalty research consultancy.

About 60 percent of shoppers will use online shopping and price comparison applications to hunt down the best deals, Passikoff said.

We’ve gathered up 10 of the best apps to help you save money this holiday season. All the apps listed here are free and widely available across multiple smartphone platforms, such as iOS and Android.

No doubt, shoppers will also want to look for apps from their favorite retailers and even daily deal sites such as Groupon, Gilt Group, and Living Social. There also are apps such as CheckPoints and ShopKick, which allow consumers to earn points while they shop.

Click ahead to see some of the best shopping apps out there to save you money.

By Christina Cheddar-Berk
Posted 02 November 2011

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  Tuesday, 1 Nov 2011 | 9:38 AM ET

Hot Holiday Toys

For the Kids: Hot Holiday Toys 2011

Santa delivered for the toy industry last year. After several years of decline, U.S. sales turned around in 2010 and grew about 2 percent from the prior year to about $21.87 billion, according to market researcher NPD Group. The holiday season is a critical time for the industry because that is when it rings up the bulk of its annual sales. This year, many toymakers are sticking to tried-and-true formulas to win customers. But these classic themes often have a new twist that makes them fresh. We
Source: Stacey Green | Getty Images
Santa delivered for the toy industry last year. After several years of decline, U.S. sales turned around in 2010 and grew about 2 percent from the prior year to about $21.87 billion, according to market researcher NPD Group. The holiday season is a critical time for the industry because that is when it rings up the bulk of its annual sales. This year, many toymakers are sticking to tried-and-true formulas to win customers. But these classic themes often have a new twist that makes them fresh. We

Santa delivered for the toy industry last year. After several years of decline, U.S. sales turned around in 2010 and grew about 2 percent from the prior year to about $21.87 billion, according to market researcher NPD Group.

The holiday season is a critical time for the industry, because that is when it rings up the bulk of its annual sales.

This year, many toymakers are sticking to tried-and-true formulas to win customers, but these classic themes often have a new twist that makes them fresh.

We’ve scanned the hot holiday toy lists from retailers, trade publications and blogs, and did a little digging ourselves to bring you a collection of toys that is sure to please.

Click ahead to see the hottest toys of the holiday season.

By Christina Cheddar-Berk
Posted 1 November 2011

»Read more
  Wednesday, 19 Oct 2011 | 12:16 PM ET

Gross Halloween Candy

Here are some of the “grossest” (or “coolest,” depending on your point of view) Halloween candy this year. »Read more

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  • From the products to the pitches to the people who buy them, we are a Consumer Nation. This blog focuses on all things consumer, taking the pulse of the attitudes that shape purchasing decisions, and providing insights that will help keep marketers, entrepreneurs and investors up-to-date on where trends are heading.

 

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