Somebody tell Santa Claus the recession is officially over, for crying out loud." data-categories = "" data-popup = "" data-ads = "Yes" data-company = "[]" data-outstream = "yes" >

# LOW YULETIDE: Just What You Wanted Somebody tell Santa Claus the recession is officially over, for crying out loud.

The annual MasterCard Holiday Poll finds consumers planning to cut their spending on Christmas gifts again this year. On average, the poll found shoppers’ budgets down 4% versus last year, for an average of \$423 per respondent. (That works out to a decline of \$19 per head from the prior year.) In line with that finding, a majority of those polled said ‘Special Discounts/In-Store Promotions’ top the list of factors they’ll heed in making their holiday-shopping plans. Asked to characterize themselves as holiday shoppers this year, 57% opted for ‘Smart/Practical,’ 16% chose ‘Penny-Pinching’ and 12% said ‘Impulsive.’ Trailing badly were ‘Shop ‘Til You Drop’ at 6% and ‘Spend Like You Just Won the Lottery’ at 4%.
What sorts of gifts do people hope to receive this year? Clothing was the top choice of men and women alike. And, by a happy coincidence, clothing tops the list of items people intend to give. Which gifts are people hoping not to receive? For women, the most unwelcome gift would be ‘Anti-Cellulite Cream/Treatments’; for men, ‘Membership to Hair Replacement Program.’ You’ve been warned.
Table shows how much people are planning to spend on holiday gifts.
HOW MUCH WILL YOU SPEND FOR HOLIDAY GIFTS?
Under \$100 13.0%
\$100-150 18.1%
\$250-400 19.3%
\$400-550 16.1%
\$550-750 9.5%
\$750-1,000 6.1%
\$1,000+ 8.8%
don’t know/no response 6.1%