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The Holiday Buying Spirit

What exactly is it that puts us in such a friendly shopping mode during the holidays? Even if we have wrapped our last scarf and glove set to give away in good spirit, why is our spending spirit still so antsy?
Historically, retailers have tricks and techniques to manipulate our psyche. One example is the classic Macy's cookie ruse.  Macy's placed cookie scented candles strategically in the heart of the store to lure customers deeper into the store in search of the "free cookies." Macy's never promised cookies, simply let the candles do their bidding. 
Bath & Body Works Holiday Signatures

A similar study showed that Christmas music in combination with the scent of pine cones and apple cinnamon is a commonly used lure for retailers during the holiday season.  
Adding a sense of urgency to a sale, such as 'One Day Sales', free shipping and midnight rushes, gives an instant feeling of 'Buy Now!'  
When I was younger, I eagerly anticipated holiday shopping with my mother in the department store specifically at the Clinique counter because of the free gifts with purchase they are so famously known for.
MAC Cosmetics 'Making Pretty'
In the long run, most of the gifts with purchase, sales and freebies are worth it! So don't feel alone in this slight retail victimization, we all are joyously duped year after year. In the long run, we become savvy shoppers, better gift givers and end up thoroughly engaging ourselves in the holiday spirit! 

*Fun Fact: Prices were first dropped in Chicago from even dollars to end in .99 due to a penny circulation shortage, simultaneously making prices more desirable to consumers.