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Merry Christmas

December 24, 2010
Cape Coral Daily Breeze

No, Christmas isn't about plying the plastic, shelling out dollars for gizmos and gadgets, and heaps of gifts under the tree.

Buying "things" isn't the reason for the season, we agree.

But a little consumerism is not a bad thing, especially not in a down economy in sore need of some seasonal green.

According to early analysis, merchants may have a reason to smile this year. Shoppers are spending more in all categories although big-ticket purchases lag well behind more practical buys like clothes and gift apparel. Retails sales are up, overall, an estimated 5.5 percent nationally with on-line sales up 13 percent.

Cautious consumers, drawn primarily by continuing sales and sharp discounts, are, in fact, paving the way to the best year since pre-recession 2006, according to various industry sources who add that that optimistic picture does not include Christmas eve buying, traditionally a heavy shopping day.

On the local level, Cape retailers agree: They are seeing better, more steady, holiday sales.

Yes, Santa's sleigh is shaping up to be a tad heavier this year, and that is not a bad thing, certainly not here in Lee County where the top thing on many a mom or dad's wish list is a job for the new year, a job that only will come from an economy in recovery.

Christmas consumerism - it's gotten a bad rap. But this year, we'll take it, and we'll offer no criticism of Santa's helpers hitting the stores.

Merry Christmas? Absolutely! May yours be all you wish it to be.

And to all, we send our hope for a happy - and prosperous - New Year.

- Breeze editorial



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