Texas Drought Spurs Mistletoe Shortage

Texas Drought Spurs Mistletoe Shortage

If you’ve had a hard time finding mistletoe hanging at your office — encouraging festivity-endorsed sexual harassment — credit a Texas drought for causing a shortage in the smooch-mandating parasitic plant. [More]

Don't Sacrifice Your Financial Future Underneath The Christmas Tree

Don't Sacrifice Your Financial Future Underneath The Christmas Tree

Retailers and their marketing arms are excellent at convincing parents to spend more and more each Christmas, and those who fall for the trap may be doing so at the expense of their future. Short-time financial impact aside, blowing big money on presents year after year eats away at savings potential for your kids’ college funds, as well as your own retirement. [More]

Reenacting '12 Days Of Christmas' Will Now Cost You More Than $100K

Reenacting '12 Days Of Christmas' Will Now Cost You More Than $100K

If you’ve ever thought about actually purchasing all the items (though we assume you’d need to rent the lords a-leaping, maids a-milking, and all the ladies dancing to the drumming drummers and piping pipers) listed in the holiday classic “The 12 Days of Christmas,” you had better have a pile of cash at the ready. [More]

Most Americans Giving Black Friday The Cold Shoulder

Most Americans Giving Black Friday The Cold Shoulder

Despite all the hype and hoopla and multi-page spreads, most Americans are planning on doing absolutely no shopping at all on Black Friday, according to a new survey. [More]

White House Gets Dept. Of Agriculture To Delay Christmas Tree Tax

White House Gets Dept. Of Agriculture To Delay Christmas Tree Tax

Less than 24 hours after the Dept. of Agriculture announced a program that would charge a $.15/tree “tax” to Christmas tree growers in order to fund a campaign to promote those very trees, the White House has responded to the flurry of criticism by asking the regulators to rethink the idea. [More]

Dept. Of Agriculture Announces Christmas Tree Tax To Help Promote Christmas Trees

Dept. Of Agriculture Announces Christmas Tree Tax To Help Promote Christmas Trees

UPDATE: The White House says it has asked the Dept. of Agriculture to press pause on this fee while it rethinks the program. [More]

Isn't It A Tad Early To Be Selling "Belated" Christmas Cards?

Isn't It A Tad Early To Be Selling "Belated" Christmas Cards?

Seems to be jumping the gun a bit to already be selling “Belated Christmas” cards, don’t you think? [More]

If You Want A Giftless Holiday Season, Now Is The Time To Start The Legwork

If You Want A Giftless Holiday Season, Now Is The Time To Start The Legwork

If you’ve had a rough financial year, or are simply sick of running the stress-inducing hamster wheel of gift exchanges, perhaps you’d like a present-free holiday season. [More]

Pier 1 Kicks Off Christmas Creep Season

Pier 1 Kicks Off Christmas Creep Season

It may not be a full-fledged instance because it’s not in a physical store, but a recent email promo by Pier 1 is at very least a warning shot that Christmas Creep season is upon us. They recently sent around an email featuring a large snowman. It said, “You can now scratch “get an early start on Christmas” off your to-do list. Preview holiday fun before it even gets to our stores.” [More]

Reader Crafts Effective Complaint Letter, Scores 50% Refund From CVS

Reader Crafts Effective Complaint Letter, Scores 50% Refund From CVS

Reader CMM was able to score a partial refund from CVS after they flubbed up her gift photobook order. Instead of bound and ready books, they handed her husband a pile of loose pages and covers and said “go to town.” Some of the pages had minor ink spots on them too. [More]

Amazon Patents Tech That Returns And Exchanges Bad Gifts Before You Get Them

Amazon Patents Tech That Returns And Exchanges Bad Gifts Before You Get Them

Call it “The Bad Gift Filter.” Amazon has patented a system that could intercept the yet another sweater Aunt Janice has sent you and automatically return it and exchange it for something you actually want. [More]

Assessing The Christmas Aftermath: How'd You Make Out?

Assessing The Christmas Aftermath: How'd You Make Out?

Now that the dust has settled, the overly expensive wrapping paper has been ripped to shreds and stuffed into giant garbage bags and the candy cane hangovers have started, we want to know, how’d you do this year? [More]

Retailer Makes Up For UPS's Botched Delivery Of My Laptop

Retailer Makes Up For UPS's Botched Delivery Of My Laptop

M ordered a MacBook Pro as a Christmas gift, but he says it didn’t show up when it was supposed to, despite UPS’s online report that it had been delivered to the “front door” of his apartment. [More]

Have You Finished Your Christmas Shopping Yet?

Have You Finished Your Christmas Shopping Yet?

I finished all my holiday shopping back before Hanukkah, so I’ll just be chilling out around Consumerist HQ and occasionally playing with a plastic bag. But I am aware that with only hours to go until Santa Claus squeezes his jolly girth down millions of chimneys, many of you humans are still scrambling to do some last-minute shopping. [More]

BBB Offers Tips On Returning All The Unwanted Stuff You'll Get Tomorrow

BBB Offers Tips On Returning All The Unwanted Stuff You'll Get Tomorrow

Face it — you don’t actually want anything you’ll receive tomorrow, otherwise you would have found a way to have gotten it yourself by now. So you’ll either be lazy and shove all your gifts in a closet, or get ambitious and go on a returning spree. [More]

A 28-Year Santa Dishes On Kids' Requests

A 28-Year Santa Dishes On Kids' Requests

Portly men who don the visage of Santa Claus hear the darndest things. A man who has played Santa for 28 years started blogging about the poignant, funny and sad things kids have told him over the years. [More]

Snapfish Takes On Too Many Christmas Orders, Then Avoids Customer Contact

Snapfish Takes On Too Many Christmas Orders, Then Avoids Customer Contact

Stacey is a longtime customer of HP’s Snapfish service. She tells Consumerist that she wasn’t able to get her photo calendars ordered until December 19th. No worries, though: the shipping deadlines on the site said that they’d be able to get the calendar out in plenty of time if she paid for two-day shipping. Except this turned out to not be, strictly speaking, true. Stacey found herself without her palnned gifts and suck on the phone with a customer service agent whose entire job, it seemed, is to “listen to people complain and then to explain how busy HP is.” [More]

Is An IOU An Acceptable Alternative To An Actual Gift?

Is An IOU An Acceptable Alternative To An Actual Gift?

With just four days left until Christmas, it may be time to admit you’re going to end up stiffing someone. You could just do what I do: just purr and let them give you gifts. If that’s not an option for you, there are other choices. According to a new poll from our calculating cousins at Consumer Reports, about half of the people who don’t finish their gift shopping in time give IOUs instead. [More]