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Yule Log

How much do you spend on holiday gifts? A nosy sidewalk survey—conducted outside Bloomingdale’s and Saks.

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Twenty-two percent of shoppers said they spend about $1,000. Ten percent spend twice that, and 13 percent spend half. The biggest spender clocks in at $12,000. Eleven percent spend $2,000 to $5,000. Eight percent spend $600 to $900. And 4 percent spend $100 or less. “It depends on how many friends I have that year,” said one respondent.

What’s the best gift you’ve ever given?
“A pair of Murano parrots, $350.”
“$10,000 to each of my three children.”
“Clothes I made myself.”
“A $20,000 Chevy TrailBlazer for my daughter.”
“A Bible.”
“A desk from Ikea to my ex.”

The best you’ve gotten?
“Tinkertoys, when I was 35.”
“A gargantuan amount of spray paint.”
“A Saab from my ex-wife.”

The worst gift you’ve ever given?
“A gift certificate to McDonald’s.”
“I rewrapped a bottle of Jovan Musk. And I topped it off with water because I’d used some.”
“A set of photographs for my daughter. I thought she liked Marilyn Monroe. Apparently not nude.”

Worst gift gotten?
“Bad ties. My daughter gives me one every year.”
“Fiber-optic dancing Santa.”
“A holiday sweater straight out of Bridget Jones.”
“Control-top pantyhose.”
“Cigarettes.”

What percentage of gifts do you return?
Sixty people said none, but two people said 99 percent of everything.

What are this year’s “It” gifts?
“Dog-tag necklaces.”
“Karl Lagerfeld stuff from H&M, but I was disappointed. The cuts are quality, but it’s all so basic.”
“Barbies with cell phones.”

If the gift-exchanging part of the holidays were to be called off this year, would you be relieved or disappointed?
Fourteen people weren’t sure. As for the rest:
Relieved—31
Disappointed—55
“I do the windows here,” said Richard Maynes, 40, of Saks. “I’d be furious.”


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