Are Christmas shopping forecasters secret Scrooges? Some retailers think so. They contend mainstream media tends to deck the malls with doom and gloom in their holiday shopping forecasts.
Holiday shopping forecasts often are moving targets. The National Retail Federation, which last month forecast a basically flat shopping season this year, now predicts 134 million of us will be lining up outside discount stores at O-Dark-30 tomorrow.
What we'll be doing there is anybody's guess. Really. Relatively few of us plan to cut back our holiday spending, but we'll be watching our money more closely, we've told pollsters for Upromise.com. Quite a few of us, though not as many as last year, plan to cut back, but will be freer with our money, we told a joint Consumer Federation of America/Credit Union National Association survey. If you do the math, some of us fibbed.
I think there's another reason it might not seem holiday festive yet. Even though the recession is over, according to the double domes, many communities are cutting back on holiday decorations this year because money is tight. Holiday event planners are feeling a pinch too.