Holiday giving may depend on your vote
NEW YORK — This holiday season, elves and “joy” may be on the way out and “peace” and “hope” on the way in.
A divisive presidential election that left half the country deflated and the other half rejuvenated could reverberate through the holiday shopping season in the gifts people give or how they spend.
Some retailers say they have seen a surge in feelgood items such as spa treatments, candles and comfort food, while executives at some major retailers have said there’s no discernible shift in consumer behavior since the presidential election won by Republican Donald Trump.
The divide in the outlook may reflect the rift in the election, as Americans split along geographic lines as well as by income.
“I don’t need a comfort dog. I don’t need anybody to feel sorry for me,” said Rhondi Bleeker, 50, of Toto- Lee Rhodes, owner of Glassybaby, holds a candle holder and accompanying cards — kindness, comfort and hope. wa, N.J. “I’m actually happy because I was for Trump.”
Bleeker, who owns an eyelash extension business, believes the economy will be better now.
She says she’ll still be spending the same $3,000 as she does every holiday season.
Some shoppers say they plan to divert money from traditional gifts like sweaters to donations to charity groups in their friends’ or relatives’ names.
Ryan Holmes, of Chicago, who voted for Democrat Hillary Clinton, said he plans to devote at least 25 percent of the $750 he typically spends on holiday gifts to doing that.
“I am frightened to what’s to come, and sad and less hopeful,” said Holmes, 34. But he added, “I’m feeling more engaged.”
Products that bear words like “hope” and “kindness” are seeing sales as much as double since the election, says Lee Rhodes, founder and CEO of the nine-store Glassybaby chain that sells handblown glass items.