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The history of Christmas shopping.

Welcome to Wednesday, money nerds. There’s one week left until Christmas. You know what that means: If you celebrate the holiday (and exchange gifts), then you only have seven days left to shop! As for me, I haven’t even started yet. I’m not joking. I know, I know. I need to sort out my priorities…

Right now, my top priority is to share with you some top stories about money. Happy holidays!

How to spend money without worry. [Of Dollars and Data] — “Ultimately, your money should be used as a tool to create the life that you want. That’s the point. The suggestions in this article were merely meant to reduce your anxiety around money, not to tell you where to use it. The hard part, therefore, isn’t spending your money, but figuring out what you truly want out of life.”

Stop believing in the myth of free shipping. [The Atlantic] — “What got us to the present is Amazon Prime, the $119 annual program with more than 100 million American members, which promises unlimited two-day shipping to almost anywhere in the United States. The trick Amazon pulled off was to divorce shipping costs almost entirely from individual buying behavior by charging an annual shipping fee, then further camouflaging matters by making video-streaming services and the like part of the package. And now that we think nothing we order online should take more than two days to arrive, the company is in the process of shaving a day off that expectation. Buyers will receive their purchases the next day, as if delivered by the package fairy.”

How to avoid a transactional Christmas. [Handful of Thoughts] — “If you are feeling like the holiday has transformed into a transactional Christmas, gratitude may be an easy way you can change your outlook. By focusing on being grateful, it takes the focus away from the ‘transaction’…At the end of the day, for me, the holidays are about family, making memories and quality time.”

Finally, on a related note, here’s a ten-minute video looking at the history of Christmas shopping from public broadcasting’s Two Cents.

That’s it for today. We’ll be back tomorrow with more, of course. In the meantime, if you know of a story we should share with the money nerds who read this site, please drop us a line. Thanks!