Fool Poll: How Much Will You Spend This Holiday Season?

Well, it's official: These are tough times. It's not really a stretch to think that the coming holiday season may be reminiscent of the Grinch coming down the chimney in the dead of night to steal Christmas.

The consumer confidence figure for September may have been a wee bit more confident than it has been lately, clocking in at 59.8, but here's the bad news. The index didn't reflect the realization of just how bad the credit crisis is. Meanwhile, it's a major deterioration in confidence from last year, when the index was an extremely confident 99.5.

This doesn't bode too well for retail sales. Although discounters like Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT  ) and Costco (Nasdaq: COST  ) will probably be bright spots, you could also surmise that high-end companies like Tiffany (NYSE: TIF  ) , Nordstrom (NYSE: JWN  ) , and Coach (NYSE: COH  ) might not fare well at all.

And of course, the potential for an awakening consumer aversion to debt -- not to mention shrinking credit lines -- certainly might have an impact on Visa (NYSE: V  ) and MasterCard (NYSE: MA  ) businesses, as well as those companies that issue the cards.

Of course, it seems un-American to skimp during the holidays, so we want to hear what your plans are. A significant amount of feedback can give us all at least an anecdotal idea of how retail sales might fare this holiday season, as well as which types of retailers might benefit.

Are you adjusting your holiday spending plans in light of the current economic concerns? If you have additional comments -- like how you're cutting up your credit cards or cooking up ideas for money-saving gifts -- please feel free to use our comment box below to chime in.

Wal-Mart and MasterCard are Motley Fool Inside Value picks. Costco and Coach are Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendations.

Alyce Lomax does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned. The Fool has a disclosure policy.


Read/Post Comments (4) | Recommend This Article (6)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

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  • Report this Comment On October 06, 2008, at 2:20 PM, TrailerParkJawa wrote:

    I voted for family and friend togetherness. Actually for many years now I've stopped buying things for most adults. Most of us are in a situation where if I want something I just buy it.

    Of course you might exchange small gifts with others or do a white elephant thing.

    But this year is different. I've watch every single stock i own tank. All are in the red now after today.

    I will get gifts for two children in my life but nothing for the adults. I'd rather have a run night out eating and playing cards than a gift anyway. Most of them feel the same way.

  • Report this Comment On October 06, 2008, at 4:05 PM, barleyguy wrote:

    Like Jawa, I rarely buy gifts for adults anymore, with the exception of my older brother. But I voted "I'm spending more this year", because my daughter could really use a laptop computer, and that is going to be her present this year.

    Yes, my 401K is down 30%, and I'm on my 3rd job this year because of tech layoffs (I get a raise every time I switch however). But overall I'm not in fear of my living situation. Retirement is still a long way off, so here's hoping things eventually bounce back.

  • Report this Comment On October 06, 2008, at 4:23 PM, VeritaLux wrote:

    Did anybody else go to the mall this weekend? From the empty spots I saw in the parking lot, I'm thinking the answer for most people is, "no."

    We went to one of our area's high-end malls this past Sunday, and I parked closer to the entrance than I've ever been before.

    The only places that had any lines in the mall were the (very few) restaurants for lunch. So, nobody's shopping. And it's going to be a very rough retail season ahead.

  • Report this Comment On October 11, 2008, at 9:49 PM, tearosia wrote:

    Our family has enough junk, and I have told DGranpa (who always overspends and can't afford it) to not buy anything.....it is all dust collectors albeit with good intentions. But teenage daughter will get a gift --- probably just a little spending money so she can buy something she likes, or save it up (and she does save, it is so great!)

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