In this issue
April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Dec. 1, 2006 / 10 Kislev, 5767

Calmly step away from the register

By Lenore Skenazy

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | 'We want sales! We want sales!"

That's what hundreds of shoppers were chanting outside of Macy's Herald Square store in Manhattan at 6 a.m. on last Friday. Then the doors swung open and sales are what they got. Shoppers all across the country did. Great deals! But still they managed to spend 19% more this past weekend than they did last year.

How many people do you know who got a 19% raise last year? Who aren't on the City Council, I mean?

Right: No one. So what's with the boom in holiday spending?

I believe it's the diet soda problem.

Recall that ever since Americans started drinking diet soda, they've only gotten fatter. That's because they tell themselves, "Gosh, I am saving so many calories with this Diet Pepsi, I think I'll have the bratwurst 'n' brownies special."

Same goes for shopping. Thanks to cheap Chinese imports, ever more economical technologies and Wal-Mart setting the price to beat, Americans are awash in bargains they no longer seem able to resist. Two young men I met on the corner of 14th St. and Fourth Ave. had just purchased themselves 42-inch flat-panel TVs for $1,200 each.

"Isn't that a lot of money?" I ventured. No way, they replied: That amount would normally buy them only 38-inch TVs. (How pathetic.) So spending more than a thousand bucks didn't feel like a big expense. It felt like a bargain. It was a bargain. But despite what the ads say, it is not true that "The more you buy, the more you save!" The more you buy, the more you buy. And that's exactly what we're doing.

Americans are spending so cavalierly that the average household now carries $9,200 of credit card debt. Two-thirds of American families saving for college have put away less than $10,000. Meantime, one household in 11 now rents storage space. They've got so much stuff, their closets can't close.

The solution, of course, is to show some self-restraint. But that's tough this time of year, because no one else seems ready to.

"More people are giving more things to more people than ever," says trend watcher Robert Passikoff. Gift lists are not only getting longer, the presents are getting pricier - thanks, in part, to bargains!

The usual magazines suggest the usual solutions: Agree with your circle to limit the gifts. Or make them. Or bake them. Or give to charity instead.

All ideas wise and good. But in fact, all you have to do is keep two things in perspective, even as the sales beckon:

(1) A bargain isn't a bargain if you don't really need it.

(2) You don't really need it, and neither do the folks buying you that $30 state-of-the-art sock warmer.

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JWR contributor Lenore Skenazy is a columnist for The New York Daily News. Comment by clicking here.

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