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What Do You Think?

December 16, 2007

Editor's note: Each week, The Herald-Mail invites readers to answer poll questions on its Web site, www.herald-mail.com. Readers also may submit comments about the poll question when voting. Each Sunday, a sampling of edited reader comments will run in The Herald-Mail.

Last week's poll question was: With two weeks to go until Christmas, how does your holiday spending compare to prior years?

"I am spending about the same as I buy before the season starts and am usually finished by the time the decorations are up about Halloween time. That way, I pay cash and do not overburden my credit card."

"I don't buy presents and I don't get presents. I think it's gotten out of hand and it only benefits the stores. People have gotten too greedy."

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"I am spending more this year because the cars are now paid off, the braces are paid for and we have a little extra. Will I do this every year? Probably not, you get to a point where it's a whatever. The best Christmas present I have ever gotten was my family going with me to Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve."

"We are spending about the same as last year ourselves. We have cut back each year now, sort of weaning our family from the excess of years past. ... The holiday is all about money. We concentrate mostly now on family time and keep it mostly like Thanksgiving. However, this holiday season is like a blood transfusion to the economy, and many retail businesses make their best support money for the whole year. ... As for my personal Christmas wish, I just hope Mike Huckabee keeps getting stronger and wins. What a great thing that will be for our country!!!"

"Nope, I'm not buying this year. Everyone agreed to just get together for some good eating and talk. We're not giving our money to the stores this year."

"Christmas should be like Thanksgiving ... no money or presents necessary. Of course, there's nothing quite like a Christmas present ... it's like this tangible thing that you give someone and say in essence, 'I love you this many dollars worth.'"

"The survey is to get an idea of what may be happening in the area to the economy. For many businesses, Christmas is their busy season and they hire additional people to work in customer service. What happens salewise with these businesses affects us all. If the businesses do well, people keep their jobs, they have money to invest in the community. If businesses do not do well, the opposite happens. It appears that most people are not spending as much as last year, and if that is true with the majority of people, we may feel the crunch. The housing market ,the governor's soon-to-be new taxes, will I have a job next year, and gasoline prices have made many take a second look at spending. Let's hope the new year finds us all doing well."

"Spending about the same ... Christ is the reason for the season!! This poll site is just like your family. WE ALL go back and forth and have a fun time doing it. Merry Christmas to all!! I sincerely hope that we ALL have a wonderful New Year regardless of your political affiliation."

"If some of you don't want to participate in gift-giving, that's your choice. My family and I love giving presents, are responsible and don't run up debt, and still celebrate the REAL meaning of Christmas. If you feel like a mindless consumer, that's your problem, and you can keep it to yourself! Merry Christmas all."

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