October 31, 1996 |
The approaching holiday shopping season looks promising, analysts said Wednesday, despite signs of a slowdown in consumer spending. Though consumers pinched pennies in October, they plan to boost Christmas spending by 12% over 1995, according to survey results released Wednesday. Consumers will spend an average of $764 on holiday gifts, up from $695 in 1995, according to research from Deloitte & Touche and the National Retail Federation.
October 13, 2005 |
Francie Todd's two boys may not notice it, but there will be fewer toys under the tree this Christmas. Amid higher gasoline prices and other effects of Hurricane Katrina, Todd plans to cut her toy spending in half. "You look at the economic climate overall, and this is not a good time to run up the credit cards," said Todd of East Lansing, Mich., who planned to spend about $100 on toys for each child, down from $200 last year.
December 14, 2000 |
One of the exquisite joys of the holiday season is listening to bad Christmas music, and this year there is again no shortage of stuff that will pin your ears to the wall. First of all, it's my sad duty to announce that Ally McBeal actually has a Christmas album out now called "A Very Ally Christmas." Technically, of course, Ally McBeal does not really exist, as she is merely an irritating character on an even more irritating Fox TV show.
January 3, 1999 |
Now that the holidays are over, your first instinct is probably to pack up the ornaments, wrapping paper, cookie molds and stockings, and get on with your real life. If you're like most Americans, that includes finding a workable payment plan for your maxed-out credit cards and a diet for your maxed-out body. As one reader said to me, "I can make it through the holidays. But the post-holiday letdown really gets to me."
November 19, 1987 |
For the millions of American who suffer from phobias and panic disorders, the approaching holiday season holds all the joy of an invitation to a lion's den. Afflicted with an intense irrational fear that produces debilitating physical symptoms, phobics become adept at avoiding the thing or situation that terrifies them. But the holiday season, with its round of parties, shopping and family obligations, can force them out into the open.
December 18, 1990 |
TV or not TV. . . . RETAKES: It's movie-buff heaven on TV during the holiday season. For the next few weeks, old and new classics will pour forth--for example, "From Here to Eternity," on both cable's TBS and KCOP Channel 13. TBS offers the film--with Montgomery Clift, Burt Lancaster, Deborah Kerr, Frank Sinatra and Donna Reed--on Dec. 27. It's part of a weeklong TBS package that also includes "Sergeant York" on Monday, "Casablanca" on Christmas and "On the Waterfront" on Dec. 26.
December 15, 2000 |
When Joel Poinsett discovered the plant that would bear his name, in Mexico in the 1820s, he had no way of knowing it would become America's No. 1 potted plant. But if the diplomat and plant enthusiast could come back and peruse the shelves of poinsettias displayed by mass merchandisers in the 21st century, he would be hard pressed to recognize his namesake. Like today's versions, Poinsett's original has red flowers, which are actually leaflike bracts.
September 25, 1988 |
It's not too early for mature travelers to start making travel plans for the upcoming holiday season. Poole Tours, which for many years has been packaging trips for senior adults, is offering three holiday packages, one at Thanksgiving and two for Christmas. "Thanksgiving in the Valley of the Sun," beginning Nov. 21, is a five-day escorted visit to the Phoenix area, including Sedona, Oak Creek Canyon, Rawhide, Paradise Valley and Scottsdale. Price is $489 per person double occupancy.
December 24, 1989 |
A hilltop hike along a trail overlooking the Basilica of Nativity in Bethlehem. A pilgrimage for scuba divers to a sculptured figure of Christ, 17 meters beneath the surface at the edge of Palancar Reef off Cozumel, Mexico. A six-mile climb to the Mount of the Holy Cross, rising to more than 14,000 feet in the Colorado Rockies. These are travel experiences that take on additional meaning at this time of year. There are others.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 1, 1995 |
Hang on to your eggnog. Seasonal Santa sightings, tree lightings, parades, home tours, concerts, gift bazaars and other holiday events begin hitting Ventura County this weekend faster than snowflakes at the North Pole. First up at 5 p.m. today is the lighting of Oxnard's 110-foot star pine Christmas tree at Plaza Park, at 5th and B streets. It's the first event of what's called "Hometown Holidays," intended as a monthlong, image-boosting, cash register-ringing tourism bonanza in Oxnard.