Hol­i­day giv­ing may de­pend on your vote

Baltimore Sun - - NATION & WORLD - By Anne D’Innocenzio

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.

ELAINE THOMP­SON/AP

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