From the Publisher
From the Publisher

FROM THE PUBLISHER

In a recent survey of adult consumers conducted by the National Retail Federation, 92% are planning to celebrate winter holidays and expect to spend an average of $875, about $22 more than in 2022. About $620 is estimated to be spent on gift-giving with the remainder spent on food and/or decorations. CapitalOne researchers report about half of holiday shoppers purchase gifts on Black Friday, spending nearly 30% of their budget at that time.

The NRF forecasts that holiday spending will reach record levels during November and December and will grow between 3% and 4% over 2022 to between $957.3 billion and $966.6 billion.

If you didn’t shop on Small Business Saturday (which was Nov. 25), it’s not too late to support local retailers.

According to a Forbes November report, this year, many companies are extending Small Business Saturday to Small Business Week or even Small Business Month.

The Forbes article stated that the 2022

Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey funded by American Express reported that an estimated $17.9 billion was spent by U.S. consumers on Small Business Saturday in 2022. Check out our advertisers and drive through Falcon, Peyton and Black Forest to check out those small retailers. Support your local businesses! Those brick and motar stores are vital to a community.

Of course, Christmas means much more than spending money on Christmas gifts and food. December is a big month for charitable giving; Dec. 30 and Dec. 31 especially (just in time for tax season)!

According to the 2023 M+R Benchmarks Report, December giving accounts for “roughly one fourth (26%) of annual nonprofit revenue.”

An online AARP report states that individual Americans contributed a record $319.04 billion to charity in 2022, according to the Giving USA Foundation’s annual report on U.S. philanthropy. But giver beware. Know your charity. Check out this AARP article for advice on charitable giving: https://na01. safelinks.protection.outlook.com.

And don’t forget the local food pantries. Their needs are increasing every year.

Most important this holiday season are friends and family. I know people this year who have lost a close friend, a spouse and a mother — all in November. Although it’s a jolly time for many, if you know someone who is grieving this year or all alone, maybe make a special effort to get in touch with them or even invite them over for dinner.

Finally, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukah, Happy Kwanza and Happy Winter Solstice to the NFH team. You are valuable to me, and I appreciate the hard work you put into keeping our newspaper in print every month, going on 22 years! And a special greeting and thank you to our advertisers and our readers. We couldn’t do it without you!

See you in January for our annual health care issue!

Michelle

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