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Holiday Central 2010

  • Six Tips When Buying Consumer Electronics  Monday, 22 Nov 2010 | 9:49 AM ET
    China Retail

    Odds are you’re going to buy or receive a gadget this holiday season. Consumer electronics are always one of the top gift items in December, but the rush to get the latest gadget sometimes prevents people from thinking things through completely. Here are a few easy tricks that make electronics shopping—and the early days of owning these devices—a bit more bearable.

  • Stress-Free Guide to Holiday Tipping Friday, 19 Nov 2010 | 11:58 AM ET

    It’s tipping time again, and figuring out who and how to give a tip can bring on a holiday headache. So we’ve put together five tips from etiquette experts to help ease the dreaded end-of-year ritual.

  • Scrooge Hasn’t Left the Building Friday, 19 Nov 2010 | 12:00 PM ET

    This holiday season is setting up to be a real nail biter. Most holiday forecasts call for flat or just slightly higher sales than last year. But several factors may tip the scale. On the plus-side: there is a more upbeat mood among affluent consumers as well as a strong appetite for gadgets and electronics. On the downside: there is an uncertain economy, with unemployment stubbornly high, and a consumer who looks at spending quite differently than in the past. What will shift the balance?

  • Cyber Monday Gains Clout Among Bargain Hunters Sunday, 28 Nov 2010 | 3:16 PM ET
    Cyber Monday

    Attention online shoppers: you really can save money on Cyber Monday. Although some have criticized the key shopping-day concept as being completely contrived—after all, the term was coined by the industry’s trade group—Cyber Monday has evolved into quite the sales event. A look at the how the deals will shake out throughout the holiday season.

  • The End of the Black Friday Litmus Test Friday, 19 Nov 2010 | 11:59 AM ET
    Customers wait in line to pay for their items on Black Friday at KB Toys in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania.

    Black Friday weekend used to be the bellwether of the holiday shopping season. Merchants held their breath when Thanksgiving weekend sales results trickled in, holding up the period as a major indicator of how their stores would perform. But the weekend has lost much of its crystal-ball appeal.

  • Retailers Think Out of The Box This Holiday Friday, 19 Nov 2010 | 12:00 PM ET
    Macys at Jersey City decorated for holidays

    Times are tough, and retailers are getting creative, wrapping their marketing campaigns in some unlikely packaging this year, from new “grab-and-go” gift shops at Macy’s to new flexible payment options at Sears.

  • Black Friday Traps You Should Avoid Friday, 19 Nov 2010 | 11:59 AM ET
    Women with Sale bags

    Black Friday weekend, the Super Bowl of the holiday shopping season, is upon us. But in the frenzy of the weekend, it's easy to fall into some common traps. Here’s a primer on which pitfalls to avoid and tips on how to snag the best deals.

  • Movie Studios Are Dreaming of a Blu Christmas Friday, 3 Dec 2010 | 10:27 AM ET

    After years of being the format for early adopters, movie fanatics and gadget gurus, Blu-ray is finally poised to go mainstream this holiday season. The technology, which won out in the format war with HD-DVD in early 2008, has seen a major surge in sales this year.

  • For The Clients: Corporate Gift Giving 2010 Tuesday, 9 Nov 2010 | 10:51 AM ET
    This holiday season, companies are tapping both traditional and innovative routes in their approach to buying clients gifts. But whether they're sticking to chocolates or splurging on pre-paid experiences, it's about squeezing the most out of every dollar spent. Thanking a client is no longer the simple task of sending the same bottle of wine down the entire mailing list. Presentation, customization, and lasting impressions are key details that had businesses already thinking about what and how

    Thanking a client is no longer the simple task of sending the same bottle of wine down the entire mailing list. Here's a look at some of the most popular corporate gifts this season.

  • For the Geek: Hot Holiday Gadgets 2010 Monday, 8 Nov 2010 | 10:10 AM ET
    Someone, somewhere on your holiday shopping list is going to want a gadget this year – and odds are they won’t be alone. Consumer electronics are the most dependable category in the retail space during the holidays, but the sheer volume of gadgets on the market can be confounding. Here are a few sure-fire choices for your favorite gadget hounds.

    Someone, somewhere on your holiday shopping list is going to want a gadget this year—and odds are they won’t be alone. Here are a few sure-fire choices for your favorite gadget hounds.

  • For the Laughs: Holiday Gifts 2010 Wednesday, 17 Nov 2010 | 10:52 AM ET
    Need a heartwarming gift for the holidays? Searching for something cute and cuddly? You’ve come to the wrong place. As we move past an ugly election, through a foreclosure meltdown, and into an uncertain new year, we’re all a little bit more cynical. So for this year’s Funny Business Gift Guide, we found some gift ideas that fit the times—silly, snarky, and a little sick. Click ahead to get started!

    So for this year’s Funny Business Gift Guide, we found some gift ideas that fit the times—silly, snarky, and a little sick.

  • The Cost of Thanksgiving Dinner 2010 Friday, 12 Nov 2010 | 11:33 AM ET

    Although you may have plenty to be thankful for this year, the cost of Thanksgiving dinner may not be one of them, as the cost has increased, albeit marginally, from 2009.

  • For The Book Lover: Books on Holiday Wish Lists Tuesday, 16 Nov 2010 | 10:12 AM ET
    2010 was a great year for books, true confessions, ultimate betrayals, corporate intrigue, a thrilling journey to the bottom of the earth and an even more thrilling ride into the near abyss as the global economy teetered on the verge of collapse. And those were the hot themes in non-fiction. Fiction lovers were rewarded with the latest adventure of Lisbeth Salander (that tattooed, bisexual computer hacker with intimate piercings) who took us for another ride into her dark, but oh-so intoxicating

    Books enjoyed their spot on center stage in 2010. Whether you read an e-book or you prefer your reading old school-style, here are some holiday page-turners for every booklover.

  • For Him: Most-Wanted Holiday Gifts 2010 Monday, 15 Nov 2010 | 10:23 AM ET
    The retail industry’s trade group, the National Retail Federation, projects consumers will  this year. While gift cards remain a popular option for some gift givers, others still steer clear of the option, saying gift cards are either too impersonal, or come with all sorts of other worries—fees, expiration dates, and the like. If you’re stumped about what to buy the men on your list, we’ve compiled a list of some of the gifts that are most-wanted this year. By Christina Cheddar Berk

    If you’re stumped about what to buy the men on your list, we’ve compiled a list of some of the gifts that are most-wanted this year. Check it out!

  • For Her: Trendiest Holiday Gifts 2010 Monday, 15 Nov 2010 | 10:25 AM ET
    When it comes to this holiday season, it's the thought that counts, so you want to make sure you're thinking of the right gifts to buy her. We asked Catherine Moellering, executive vice president of Tobe -- a fashion trend consultancy -- to provide insight into some of the hottest trends retailers are selling this sesason. Here is our list of the ten hottest holiday gift ideas that will give her something to cheer about Christmas Day.By Julia LaRoche

    Here is our list of the ten hottest holiday gift ideas that will give her something to cheer about Christmas Day.

  • Holiday Tipping Guide: 2010 Friday, 19 Nov 2010 | 12:01 PM ET
    Holiday tipping time is upon us again, and if you’re looking for advice on how much to give, and to whom to give it to, we’ve got it covered — no tip required. We asked several etiquette experts how much to give, averaging them out to get our numbers. But experts stress that if you can’t afford to give cash, then don’t. In most cases a note explaining your situation and thanking them for their work along with homemade cookies can be enough. Click ahead to see who gets what.

    Holiday tipping time is upon us again, and if you’re looking for advice on how much to give, and to whom to give it to, we’ve got it covered — no tip required.

  • For the Hostess: Gift Ideas from Colin Cowie Thursday, 18 Nov 2010 | 11:47 AM ET
    Colin Cowie knows how to throw a party. Television personality, interior designer and international event planner, Cowie has helped plan parties for celebrity heavyweights such as Oprah Winfrey, Tom Cruise and Hugh Hefner and has written numerous best-selling books on entertaining. So who better to ask, What should we bring to a holiday party this season? Click ahead and see what this arbiter of all things chic recommends.

    Cowie has helped plan parties for celebrity heavyweights such as Oprah Winfrey, Tom Cruise and Hugh Hefner. Click ahead and see what this arbiter of all things chic recommends.

  • Holiday Gifts Under $25 Friday, 19 Nov 2010 | 2:15 PM ET
    Sure shoppers may be willing to spend a little more this holiday, but retailers are well-aware that most are still seeking budget-friendly items to cover more people on their list. To cater to a widening range of personal budgets, affordable gifts will play a role in business game plans and remain a big part of present exchanges among consumers. But this year, it's not simply limiting the dollar spend, but rather finding that extra value in product functionality and usability, even within these

    To cater to a widening range of personal budgets, affordable gifts will play a role in business game plans and remain a big part of present exchanges among consumers.

  • Fantasy Christmas Gifts 2010 Tuesday, 5 Oct 2010 | 2:41 PM ET
    Retailer Neiman Marcus searches the globe each year to deliver a list of jaw-dropping fantasy gifts and experiences for its annual Christmas Book. This year is no exception. You’re sure to find something worth dreaming of, no matter whether your taste runs more toward a limited-edition Camaro, a romantic houseboat for two, a handmade ukulele, or an edible gingerbread playhouse. So click ahead and be inspired!

    Find something worth dreaming of, no matter whether your taste runs more toward a limited-edition Camaro, a romantic houseboat for two, a handmade ukulele, or an edible gingerbread playhouse.

  • Last-Minute Holiday Gifts For The Procrastinator Thursday, 9 Dec 2010 | 4:59 PM ET
    With the end of the holiday season approaching, the shopping procrastinators among us may be scrambling for gift ideas for risk of leaving a loved one with something they may not want. This year, there is a plethora of popular tech products and perennial gifts to give, but for the shopper looking for something different, these products may not be the first thing that comes to mind. This is especially handy if you’ve waited until the last minute. These gifts are sure to be readily available no ma

    There is a plethora of popular tech products and perennial gifts to give, but for the shopper looking for something different, these products may not be the first thing that comes to mind.

Consumer Nation

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