Christmas can wait!

With Christmas right around the corner, the mad dash to the mall is on. In fact, according to a recent survey by PriceGrabber.com, an online shopping site, 41 percent of consumers plan to shop between Dec. 21 and Dec. 24 for holiday gifts.

Of those last minute shoppers, 43 percent believe the best discounts can be found during this time period. Some consumers are planning to wait even longer to complete their gift list in order to take advantage of after Christmas sales.

With prices expected to be reduced by as much as 75 percent after the 25th, it might be worth the wait. Waiting until after Christmas may be harder for parents with small children, but with the average household expected to spend nearly $650 on gifts alone, some parents have found ways to break the news to older children and other family members; according to a recent Associated Press article.

For many, waiting until after Christmas may not be an option, but waiting until the last few days might be a smart strategy. Retailers will continue to drop prices until well into the New Year.

A study conducted by the American Research Group, found that early shoppers will end up spending 14 percent more than those who wait. Either way, retailers are expected to do very well this holiday season — $469 billion in sales well — which is a 3.8 percent increase over last year.

Tanisha (Warner) Smith is a former communications manager at MMI.

  • The Consumer Federation of America (CFA) is an association of nonprofit consumer organizations that was established in 1968 to advance the consumer interest through research, advocacy, and education. Today, nearly 300 of these groups participate in the federation and govern it through their representatives on the organization's Board of Directors.
  • The National Council of Higher Education Resources (NCHER) is the nation’s oldest and largest higher education finance trade association. NCHER’s membership includes state, nonprofit, and for-profit higher education service organizations, including lenders, servicers, guaranty agencies, collection agencies, financial literacy providers, and schools, interested and involved in increasing college access and success. It assists its members in shaping policies governing federal and private student loan and state grant programs on behalf of students, parents, borrowers, and families.

  • Since 2007, the Homeownership Preservation Foundation (HPF) has served as a trusted, neutral source of information for more than eight million homeowners. They are partnered with, and endorsed by, numerous major government agencies, including the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Department of the Treasury.

  • The mission of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD works to strengthen the housing market in order to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes; utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; and build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination.

  • The Council on Accreditation (COA) is an international, independent, nonprofit, human service accrediting organization. Their mission is to partner with human service organizations worldwide to improve service delivery outcomes by developing, applying, and promoting accreditation standards.

  • The National Foundation for Credit Counseling® (NFCC®), founded in 1951, is the nation’s largest and longest-serving nonprofit financial counseling organization. The NFCC’s mission is to promote the national agenda for financially responsible behavior, and build capacity for its members to deliver the highest-quality financial education and counseling services.