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Ebony's Lynnette Khalfani-Cox makes the case that readers should consider alternatives to breaking the bank this season.

The winter holidays just aren't the same for many people in the U.S. unless they're giving presents to others. In fact, in 2012 the average American is expected to spend about $750 on holiday gifts, décor, greeting cards and more, according to the National Retail Federation. And up to 147 million Americans are expected to shop on Black Friday weekend (the Friday, Saturday and Sunday after Thanksgiving).

I don't want to spoil anyone's fun, but maybe you should opt out of this year's holiday shopping frenzy.

After all, it's perfectly fine and feasible to not give gifts to family and friends and still enjoy the holiday season. In fact, if the tough economy or a job layoff has taken a toll on your household budget, this could be the year to not spend any money at all on gifts. Even if you have do have money in a bank account to spend, there are plenty of other ways to celebrate the season without making the festivities centered on gift-giving.

Read Lynnette Khalfani-Cox's entire piece at Ebony.

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