Every year from about this time through the new year one of the stories seems to be about retail. How much are we going to spend? How much did we spend? Will how much spent this past year put big box stores, department stores, and the like into the black for the year? This year, the leaves aren't very rosy for consumers.

According to a story from KTVO quoting a report from Deloitte, the average household will spend just under $1500 on Christmas presents this year. However, we're going to buy less stuff. Apparently, we're going to buy nine gifts instead of the 16 gifts we bought last year.

The Deloitte article says travel demand will slow down this holiday season with less than one-third of Americans planning to travel between Thanksgiving and mid-January. Not to mention gifts won't be the only holiday spending reigned in. They're predicting consumers will spend left on non-gift purchases and shift some spending to experiences, as opposed to buying stuff.

Why the pullback? The National Retail Federation says 43 percent of consumers won't have enough to cover the costs of gifts and other holiday items and will be using a variety of ways to pay for their holiday bills. This includes dipping into savings, using their credit cards, and using services like buy now, and pay later.

The culprit according to Deloitte, inflation.

Let's talk turkey, I don't need an article from Deloitte or the National Retail Federation to tell me stuff is more expensive this year. I see it at the gas pumps, I see it at the grocery store, and I see it in what I have left over in my paycheck after paying my bills. Furthermore, when I looked into traveling the cost of a hotel room gives me sticker shock and the thought of gassing up my vehicle for a road trip makes me think twice.

That said, as both the above articles predict, the holidays will come and I will still spend so my family has a nice Christmas. I'm traveling too, a couple of weeks before Christmas to visit family and see a modestly priced concert in Chicago with friends.

Why? Making those memories with older family members I treasure, and spending time with friends, is simply priceless. I suspect many of us know that so we'll suck it up even if it does at times, turn us into the grinch. Retailers know it too, perhaps that's why Deloitte says retail executives are optimistic and expect holiday sales to increase year over year, even if we're all buying a little less.

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Gallery Credit: Rob Creighton

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