While not everyone has started their Christmas shopping just yet, the peak of the holiday retail season is almost upon us.

Black Friday is now only about a week and a half away. Most retail outlets have Christmas displays up, and holiday music is being played in most businesses.

So have you figured out a budget for this year's Christmas shopping? Are you planning on spending more or less compared to last season?

On the side of "more" unemployment is low, and most people have regular paychecks coming in. National economic figures show that inflation is moderating, and some of the national economic numbers are pointing in the right direction. The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic are mostly behind us at this point. Does that mean it's time to break open the pocketbook this holiday season? Christmas only comes once a year, after all.

On the "less'' side of the ledger, a lot of people just aren't feeling the supposed improvement in the economy, regardless of what the ''experts'' try to tell us. Grocery prices are high, and here in Wyoming, high utility bills have a lot of people worried about heating their homes this winter. Gasoline prices keep going up and down as if on a yoyo, and who knows what they will do next? Buying Christmas presents is a luxury. Buying groceries and heating our homes is not.

And for a lot of people, things are not all that different from this time in 2022. It's no time to spend deep into debt, but there is nothing so dire as to keep us from showering the people we love with gifts at about the same level as last year.

And finally, despite all of the holiday commercials and hype, not everyone indulges in the annual shopping frenzy. From people who don't have families to those who don't celebrate Christmas to folks who push back against the commercialization of the holiday, not everyone is hitting the stores this time of year.

So what do you have planned for holiday shopping this year? Take our poll and let us know!

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