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Holiday Central 2011

  • For Black Friday Novices, Not a Night of Conversion Saturday, 26 Nov 2011 | 12:03 AM ET
    People make purchases inside Macy's department store November 25, 2011 in New York after the midnight opening to begin the "Black Friday" shopping weekend. AFP PHOTO/Stan HONDA (Photo credit should read STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)

    Shoppers on their initial Black Friday excursions found good deals, but many did not seem to think it was worth braving the crowds. The NYT reports.

  • Retailers are counting on shoppers to return to an old holiday tradition: buying gifts for themselves.

  • For bargain hunters on the prowl for the best deal, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are no longer an either-or proposition — and that’s a huge plus for consumers.

  • Nordstrom bag

    Wealthy Americans may appear to the masses as a unified group, but there is divergence in the attitudes of the rich toward holiday spending this year – which means that the key to how the holiday season unfolds may rest in the hands of the wealthiest.

  • Merry Mobile Christmas: MCommerce Takes Off Wednesday, 23 Nov 2011 | 8:27 AM ET

    As shoppers hunt down bargains and gift ideas for the holidays, it will be hard for some to remember a time when they couldn’t pull out their smartphone and hunt down a store location, compare a product’s price, or scan customer reviews.

  • Guide to Holiday Tipping in a Weak Economy Friday, 18 Nov 2011 | 3:33 PM ET

    Here are some guidelines to help you get through the holiday-tipping season with your wallet and manners intact.

  • Plentiful Electronic Deals Are a Win for Consumers Friday, 18 Nov 2011 | 3:29 PM ET
    A customer purchases the Amazon.com Inc. Kindle Fire tablet computer at a Best Buy Co. store in New York, U.S., on Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2011. Amazon.com Inc.

    With declining categories such as GPS devices and computers, no new must-have videogame console, and little buzz beyond tablets as the next big must-have gadget, consumer electronics is poised to have a blue holiday.

  • Hot Holiday Toys Tuesday, 1 Nov 2011 | 9:38 AM ET
    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

    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.

  • For Her: Trendiest Holiday Gifts, 2011 Tuesday, 8 Nov 2011 | 1:41 PM ET
    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

    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.

  • Holiday Gifts That Last All Year 2011 Thursday, 17 Nov 2011 | 11:52 AM ET
    The holidays are a great time to show your loved ones how much you care, but why limit these sentiments to once a year? Instead, you can send them love all year round by purchasing gift-of-the-month specials from retailers such as J. Crew and Jacques Torres. To join these clubs, there is no secret password or embarrassing initiation process, but be warned: You may have to splurge a little. Click ahead to see some unique gifts you can give all year long.

    The holidays are a great time to show your loved ones how much you care, but why limit these sentiments to once a year?

  • Hottest Gadgets for the Holidays Wednesday, 9 Nov 2011 | 3:40 PM ET
    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,

    If you're looking for the perfect tech gift for a friend or loved one, here are a few can't miss suggestions!

  • 10 Holiday Shopping Apps That Will Save You Money Thursday, 3 Nov 2011 | 9:40 AM ET

    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.

  • Holiday Tipping Guide: 2011 Friday, 18 Nov 2011 | 3:33 PM ET
    Holiday tipping time is here. If you’re looking for advice on how much to give and who should be on your list, we’ve got you covered. We asked expert Diane Gottsman of The Protocol School of Texas for some guidelines. Plus, what to do when you can’t give as much as you’d like. Click ahead to see who gets what.

    Holiday tipping time is here. If you’re looking for advice on how much to give and who should be on your list, we’ve got you covered.

  • Holiday Gifts That Give Back 2011 Friday, 11 Nov 2011 | 11:24 AM ET
    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.

    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.

  • For the Clients: Corporate Gift Giving 2011 Tuesday, 6 Dec 2011 | 1:22 PM ET
    This holiday season companies are shying away from traditional pricey holiday gift giving, and sticking to an economical approach. With company budgets still tight for some, company gift givers are looking for the most cost-effective, charitable or personal gifts to send this year. Though skipping client gift giving altogether is not recommended, experts say sending gifts can positively impact client and company relations and leave a lasting impression on recipients. Saying thanks and taking a m

    This holiday season companies are shying away from traditional pricey holiday gift giving, and sticking to an economical approach.

  • Last-Minute Holiday Gifts for the Procrastinator 2011 Thursday, 15 Dec 2011 | 12:43 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 disappointed. This year, there is a wide selection 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. Retailers have been keeping lean inventories, and some of the mo

    If you’ve left your holiday buying until the last minute, see these gift ideas that may save the day.

  • The Cost of a Thanksgiving Dinner 2011 Wednesday, 23 Nov 2011 | 9:27 AM ET
    Please pass the peas — and the wallet — Thanksgiving dinner will cost quite a bit more this year. According to the American Farm Bureau Federation’s survey, turkey dinner and all the fixings will cost about $49.20, or about 13 percent more than it did last year. That’s the biggest increase in years. Blame the recent boom in crop and livestock prices, which pushed up the cost of nearly every item on the Thanksgiving shopping list. Prices for commodities have risen due to poor weather, which shran

    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 from 2010.

  • Luxury Gifts for the Holidays 2011 Friday, 4 Nov 2011 | 11:59 AM ET
    '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

    For those who want to spare no expense, there are plenty of fashionable items that are on trend. Click for some luxurious gift ideas.

  • 10 Must-Have Videogames This Holiday Season Monday, 7 Nov 2011 | 11:03 AM ET
    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. Here are ten videogames that won't miss their mark.

  • Holiday Gifts Under $25 for 2011 Monday, 14 Nov 2011 | 1:36 PM ET
    Let’s face it, everyone’s more careful with money these days. After several years of dealing with thrifty consumers, retailers have gotten the message and even high-end department stores such as Nordstrom and specialty stores like Pottery Barn and Crate and Barrel are offering a wide range of gifs that cost less than $25. This is good news if you are hunting for small gifts for stocking stuffers, hostess gifts, or items to say thank you to a teacher or co-worker. Click ahead to see some great gi

    After several years of dealing with thrifty consumers, retailers have gotten the message Check out some great gift ideas that cost less than $25.

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