Sixty-two percent of U.S. households have pets, according to a 2011 survey by the American Pet Products Association (APPA). For many of those furry friends, life is good. As the "Dog Whisperer" Cesar Millan likes to say, pets in the United States get to see Santa -- along with dermatologists, physical therapists and even pet sitters.
I hate the holidays. Professionally speaking that is. This is the dangerous season when more family finances go off the rails than at any time of the year. From the opening gun on Black Friday through the last-minute grabs on Christmas Eve there seems to be a national moratorium on sound spending practices.
Kathryn's story: "Hey!" My 11-year-old daughter bounded out of the kitchen, swinging a miniature pocket watch from a chain. "What's this? Whose is it?" It was hers, and I told her so, but not that it was intended for her Christmas stocking. I had bought it between errands, then dropped it into the groceries, which I had asked her to unload and put away, having forgotten the tiny purchase that had settled to the bottom of the bag. One hundred and three days remained until December 25.
Are you looking forward to the season ahead? With Shivers of anticipation? Or just shivers? Robin Monheit gathered O's best gift buying advice and got even more tips from style experts Jesse Garza and Joe Lupo, authors of Life in Color (Chronicle).
To help families who are struggling to buy gifts this upcoming holiday season, Toys "R" Us announced Tuesday it is extending its layaway program beyond big-ticket items to include most toys in its stores.
The sweater you wouldn't be caught dead in. The knicknack that doesn't match your decor. The Walkman (they still make those?) you'll never use. And it's always that same great-aunt/wacky uncle/out-of-touch grandparent that gives it to you.
When I was a little girl, my parents would take me every year to see "The Nutcracker." I remember practically drooling in awe as the massive Christmas tree grew out of the stage until it towered over the audience, and hiding under my seat whenever that hideous, sword-wielding, gazillion-headed rat wobbled out onto the stage.
Let the countdown begin. Not to stress you out (ok, maybe a little!) but you officially have eight days to finish your holiday shopping -- less time if you have to ship your gifts, and even less if you're reading this the day after it was published.
Prop stylist Elizabeth Press traces her gift-wrapping prowess to her mother, whose creative, budget-conscious ideas -- like wrapping boxes with painted newspaper comics, pasting gift certificates inside hollowed-out books, and making decorative stamps out of eraser carvings -- proved that a little thoughtfulness goes a long way.
Chances are you probably know quite a few people who are smack in the middle of a job search, and if any of them are on your holiday gift list this year, you may want to pay a little extra attention to what you stuff their stockings with.
It's great to be in a relationship around the holidays, except when it comes time for the dreaded gift exchange. Whether you've been dating a month or 25 years, holiday shopping for a significant other is hard. So we asked our holiday experts for their tips on selecting the perfect present.
For serious shoppers, the Friday after Thanksgiving is game day: Kickoff is early (sometimes at midnight), and those on the front line can score the best deals. For retailers, it signals the start of the holiday shopping season.
The deals are aggressive -- and early -- this year. Retailers want your money and are working hard to get you to reach into your pocket and fork over your hard-earned cash. They know the recession is over and consumers are tired of being frugal. They've adjusted to this New Normal.
Although Thanksgiving is not a traditional gift giving holiday like Christmas, Hannukah or even Valentine's Day, if you are invited to someone's house for the holiday dinner, you won't want to show up empty handed.
Holiday gatherings can be rough. You have a sneaking suspicion Uncle Joe is going to have a drink or five too many, and you're still wincing about that great gift your brother's girlfriend gave you last year, when you didn't get her a thing.
Thanks to the Web, buying holiday gifts has become much less of a drag than it used to be. In fact, online shopping has made it possible to avoid setting foot in a shopping mall ever again, for which I'll be forever grateful.
If you ask someone if they want something green for Christmas, they're likely to ask for tens and twenties. But some of us wouldn't mind getting gifts that are good for the planet as well as our lifestyles.