Scaling Down for the Holidays

Vote: Will you put more thought but less money into gifts?

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This morning's Commerce Department announcement that September retail sales were down 1.2 percent disappointed economists, who had expected a milder decline. It was bad news for retailers, too, who count on the upcoming holiday sales to boost their revenues.

The news got me thinking: For those of you already mulling over your present lists, are you scaling back? I'm wondering if the new "it" toy this year won't be a toy at all but something more frugal, and perhaps more thoughtful. A father might give his young son a day of eating whatever he wants instead of the latest Elmo incarnation. Or a daughter might remember the name of that author her dad loves and get his latest book instead of a new cashmere sweater.

What do you think: Will you be putting less money—but perhaps more thought—into your presents this year?

Yes—it may not be from a high-end store, but it's the thought that counts, right?
I'll make small substitutions. Perhaps my wife won't know the difference between Tiffany and Zales.
No—nothing says "I love my children more than you love yours" like buying them the 2008 equivalent of Tickle Me Elmo.
The holidays are not about gifts--something this financial crisis will make us realize, once and for all.
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