UPDATED: Thursday, December 20, 2012 - 9:47am
Waco, TX — There was Black Friday, then Small-Business Saturday, and then Cyber Monday.
There's no doubt Christmas has become big business in the U.S.
One Baylor professor has studied American consumerism and has some interesting suggestions if you're still deciding on what to give your loved ones.
"Happiness comes from having good relationships and feeling good about ourselves and getting involved in the community," said Dr. James Roberts.
Roberts is a Baylor marketing professor whose been studying American spending habits for 30 years now.
"We're spending more and more money so we see that. But is that delivering the goods? Is that making us more happy? The answer is 'no."
He's written a popular book called Shiny Objects: Why We Spend Money We Don't Have In Search Of Happiness We Can't Buy.
Roberts has also taken a look at the American history of Christmas.
"When you think back to the original idea of Christmas. It was a time, just like Thanksgiving, families got together. They spent time together. But it's kinda morphed into this orgy of consumerism where its 'buy, buy, buy."
Roberts says he isn't railing against capitalism but he is seeing a healthy swing in the opposite direction.
"I see a trend lately and its giving experiences instead of giving possessions. And so what I mean about that is instead of maybe buying your grandson or niece or nephew a baseball glove, why not buy them tickets to the baseball game? So we can spend time together. Have a day together. You go to the game. You have a hot dog. You spend time and you bond with each other. Those are the kind of memories that last a lifetime- long after that baseball glove has been worn out, thrown away or forgotten in the back shelf. You still have those fond memories of the day at the game with your grandfather."
A little deep, but just food for thought if you are on a tight budget or want to make Christmas special for the ones you love.