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Many Shoppers Were Cautious With Their Cash This Holiday

By Chelsea Hutt, Contributing Writer
OSWEGO, NY – What are you spending on gifts this holiday season? Did you get most of your shopping done on Black Friday?

The economy has caused many people to save their money for the past couple of holiday seasons.

The question is, will it affect spending this year as well?

A recent Gallup survey predicted consumers would spend more this December compared to last December.
(http://www.gallup.com/poll/144506/november-christmas-spending-estimate-outpaces-2009.aspx)

However, the difference between years is not a significant amount.

According to the poll, a little more than half of Americans participating in the survey said they would spend the same this year. A “relatively high” percentage of people will spend less: approximately 34%.

New Yorkers may be the most cautious in spending for the holidays.

When shoppers were asked whether they would spend more, less, or the same amount on gifts this season, most that were surveyed agreed that they would be cautious when spending, but not more so than last year.

The Jones couple from North Syracuse told Oswego County Today.com that they would be careful as to what gifts they spent their money on. But, they would most likely spend as much as they did the last Christmas, they added.

The Brandin sisters from Manlius felt that they would “probably end up spending more than last year on their daughters,” but this would cause them to spend less for others on their lists.

Lisa Danes said, “We feel as though our kids are only young once. And, Christmas is still magical to them. We want them to continue to be excited for Christmas, and see their favorites under the tree.”

She did go shopping on Black Friday, she added, laughing.

Jenna Burd, said her 9-year-old really wants to expand upon her collection of Webkinz, and “gets very excited when she sees anything Hannah Montana.”

“All young girls her age seem to be obsessed with the Hannah Montana show,” she said.

Most said that they were not worried about spending as much as they were last year.

However, some divulged that they would spend less, blaming either the economy or just saying they wanted to save money.

Another shopper, Janelle Mahar, admitted she would most likely spend less.

“With the economy the way it is and all this fear about taxes being raised, I’m going to be saving more of my money rather than spending,” Mahar said.

She’d be buying fewer gifts for loved ones, “minus her kids,” she explained.

Marina Worth, mother of three, said now that her boys have grown more, she “doesn’t need to buy them all those trendy toys for them like past Christmases. They are all above 12, and a new videogame or two with make them all happy.”

Amy went shopping with her mom, Ashley Hines, and picked out some silly bands.

“These are spreading like wildfire in popularity,” her mom said.

While she admits she does not know what makes them so well-liked, she is “happy Amy has found one thing that is low-priced and also makes her happy.”

Newlyweds Trisha and Dan Baker said that they “had more to spend this year compared to last year.”

“We expect to spend more, not only on immediate family but also other relatives and friends,” he said. “Nothing expensive. Just a little something to say that we thought of them.”

The couple bought most of their gifts on Black Friday, she added.

Trisha mentioned “giving baked goods as gifts to relatives living close by is a good substitute for a store-bought gift and practically everyone likes sweets.”