holiday shopping

WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

Less than three weeks before Christmas, a new survey finds New Yorkers are in a spending mood.

72% of all New Yorkers will put up a Christmas Tree for the holidays, but of those, 69%, up from 58% a year ago, plan to have an artificial rather than real tree. Atop that tree, 47% prefer a ‘Star’ while 32% place an ‘Angel’.
WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

With the Christmas shopping season in full swing, the Siena College Research Institute has released a "Special Holiday Spending Survey."


With many holiday gift packages still in transit, Albany police are warning citizens about "porch pirates."

Mark Lennihan / AP

If you're doing holiday shopping online, there are steps you can take to ensure you receive your merchandise.

WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

With that gift-giving time of year quickly approaching, the way people purchase presents is changing. Some prefer online shopping. But others will visit retailers close to home, including big box department stores and shopping malls.

Fair trade is an approach to business and to development based on dialogue, transparency, and respect that seeks to create greater equity in the international trading system. Fair trade supports farmers and craftspeople in developing countries who are socially and economically marginalized. These producers often face steep hurdles in finding markets and customers for their goods. Fair trade ensures fair wages, care for the environment and respect for cultural identity. 

Mayan Hands in Albany and Mango Tree Imports in Saratoga Springs are teaming up with local places of worship over this holiday season to present Fair Trade options for gift buying. Here to tell us more are Kim Andersen from Mango Tree Imports, Brenda Rosenbaum from Mayan Hands, and Carol Smith from B'nai Shalom, the venue for our first marketplace on Sunday Nov 13. 

Dates and locations for the Holiday Season Fair Trade Markets available here

Toys that pose a danger to young children exposing them to a choking risk, loud noise, or toxic materials are displayed at a MassPIRG news conference.

With the holiday shopping season set to begin, a consumer group in Massachusetts is out with its annual warning about toy safety.

Despite decades of consumer warnings and product safety crackdowns by the government, the Massachusetts Public Interest Research Group says it still found toys on store shelves this year that could cause harm to small children.

A growing national awareness of dangerous, or so-called "toxic," toys on store shelves has sparked debate over how to protect children from products containing harmful substances.  The spotlight is shining on New York State, as local governments try to deal with the issue.


With the holiday shopping season well under way, an advocacy group in Massachusetts is out with its annual warning about toy safety. The findings echo a recent report in New York: many toys on store shelves are simply unsafe.

The Public Interest Research Group released its 29th annual Trouble in Toyland report this week. Beth Ramey, a consumer advocate with the Massachusetts chapter of the national organization, discussed the report at a news conference Tuesday at the downtown Springfield YMCA, as a group of small children looked on.

Law enforcement authorities urge people to be vigilant during the holidays.  Crowded shopping malls, wrapped presents, and people in a generous spirit are attractive targets for criminals.  Police in Springfield, Massachusetts put out a public warning after someone posing as a package delivery driver stole money from a homeowner.    WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill spoke with Springfield Police Sergeant John Delaney

The holiday shopping season begins this week with Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday. Barbara Anthony who heads the Massachusetts Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation says there are some things people need to keep in mind to have a safe and enjoyable shopping experience.   She spoke with WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill

Alan Chartock hosts this rollicking post-holiday edition of our afternoon call-in talk show.  He asks the question: What's the worst holiday gift you ever got?   Some positive minded callers also chimed in with their favorite gifts.  That was ok, too!   A splendid time was had by all. 

Despite worry and economic uncertainty, industry forecasters are predicting stronger retail sales this holiday season. WAMC’s Berkshire Bureau Chief took a look what small businesses in Western Massachusetts are predicting in the coming weeks.

The holiday shopping season is upon us. Next weekend is the busiest shopping day of the year. But also, economic uncertainty and the looming fiscal cliff are on the minds of many. However, retail industry forecasters are still predicting a stronger holidays sales season this November and December.