During the weeks leading up to Halloween many Americans continued their annual preparations in buying candy, pumpkins and children's costumes (see Americans Too Spooked to Spend?) to forget about the economy. In just a few short months, spending habits are changing for the December holiday season. A Business Week article, Missing This Season: A Must-Have Toy, identifies the top 5 items mom and dad are buying for boys and girls this year and number one isn't a Barbie Dream House or new video game console. Some stores are pushing their $10 toys to help ease the wallet this season along with Barbie dolls and video games (though the Nintendo Wii is still in the top 5 I haven't seen or heard about any mad dashes to the stores and waiting in line for new shipments). With saving in mind there just isn't a definitive "it" toy this year.

Not only are shoppers watching their wallets this holiday season, so are companies by canceling employee holiday parties and dinners to help ride out the bumpy economy. Just remember that the holidays aren't all about company perks and presents. If you're looking to cut costs besides presents too, there are plenty of free e-cards out there that are just as nice as store-bought ($2+) and mailed ($.42) cards. And if your a company looking to identify other ways to cut costs, a procurement service provider might be the best holiday present to themselves!

Don't let the economy this season get you down and give thanks to what you have.
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Tina Lamanna

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