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Survey: Economy Forcing Consumers to Change Holiday Traditions

Yonkers, N.Y. With money concerns looming, more than two-thirds (69%) of Americans are changing their family's holiday gift-giving traditions this year, according to Consumer Reports’ latest Holiday Shopping Poll.

Among the changes, 37% of families are setting a spending limit for gifts, 14% are making homemade gifts, and 6% are not exchanging gifts at all.

Until now, the pace of holiday shopping was similar to years past, but Consumer Reports’ latest poll found a significant slowdown in shopping. As of Dec. 7, only 56% of consumers have started their holiday shopping. That is down from 62% at this time last year and down more than 10 percentage points from 2006.

The last three weeks of the year could be frantic for many shoppers. Over one-quarter (29%) of consumers do not anticipate finishing their holiday shopping until Dec. 23 or later. One in 10 shoppers don't anticipate finishing their shopping until the evening of Dec. 24.

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