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'Tis the season to be buying

Media outlets are watching how we consumers behave this holiday season. Generally there's agreement that '06 topped '05 in total sales. There's also agreement that electronics were the hot products this season.

Two bright notes in the tech sector. Online sales were up 26 percent compared with a 3 to 5 percent hike in overall retail sales. Hot products included HD flat-screens and Nintendo's Wii.

This last week of the year is marked by deep price cuts in many stores. Here are various takes on the 2006 holiday shopping season:

"Rush at End, but Holiday Sales Fall Short" (New York Times)

"Retailers hoping for a post-holiday surge" (MarketWatch)

"Retailers Pin Hopes on Gift Cards, Strong Post-Holiday Spending" (CNBC)

"Stores cut prices to meet holiday sales goals" (CNN)

And before too much longer, there'll be a whole new generation of electronic gadgets to buy--as soon as you recover from the holidays, CES 2007 will strike.