The latest CNBC Holiday Central survey shows most expect holiday spending to grow 1% to 3% this year, the the smallest annual increase since 2002.
With that in mind, CNBC asked the experts for their outlooks. Here is a sampling:
Blue Christmas... or Green?
Howard Davidowitz, chairman of Davidowitz & Associates, warns that "the consumer is sinking," and the consumer's "balance sheet...and psyche is gone." But Bill Martin, co-founder of ShopperTrak, is a "little more optimistic": he says consumers remain "resilient" and determined to buy. With CNBC's Dylan Ratigan.
Holiday Central Survey
CNBC's Steve Liesman breaks down the survey results -- and what it might reflect in real spending terms.
Microsoft's newly released Halo 3 videogame may zap Nintendo and Sony this holiday season, says Brian Cooley, editor-at-large at CNET.com. With CNBC's Carl Quintanilla and Tech Check blogger Jim Goldman.