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.