Holidays | featured news

Nation honors MLK Jr. on day of Obama inauguration

The nation was honoring civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. on Monday - the same day it celebrated the inauguration of the first black president to his second term....


Retailers report higher December sales

Holiday Sales

A last-minute surge in spending helped many major retailers report better-than-expected sales in December, a relief for stores that make up to 40 percent of annual revenue during the holiday period.


High or dry? Staying sober for New Year's Eve

Jennifer Perry isn't much of a drinker. Never has been, yet she's ready every New Year's Eve for the inevitable attention when she's out trying to have a good time....


Book Buzz: Give the gift of books this holiday season

Take a look at today's top book and publishing news... Find a beautiful coffee-table book for anyone on your list with USA TODAY's Jocelyn McClurg's guide, from Monumental Venice to Rolling Stones 50. And for the aspiring cooks in your life, check out Carol Memmott's cookbook suggestions and read a recipe from each of the books. And cozy up with Bob Minzesheimer's holiday picture book picks for young readers.


Black Friday creeps into Thursday

Black Friday

Put down that turkey leg. It's time to shop. No, really. Stores typically open in the wee hours of the morning on the day after Thanksgiving known as Black Friday, named for the period when stores traditionally turn a profit for the year.


Gift Guide: USA TODAY's top holiday picks

USA TODAY reporters offers a few suggestions.


Cheapest Thanksgiving Turkey Dinner: Target Beats Walmart, Sam's Club Lowest Of All

Thanksgiving Dinner

Those hoping to save a couple bucks on a last-minute Thanksgiving meal may want to shop at Target, which beat Walmart for the cheaper turkey dinner. Bloomberg Industries conducted a study of 15 retailers and determined that a Thanksgiving turkey dinner from Target is cheaper than one from retail competitor Walmart. An 18-item meal, including turkey, cranberries, onions, corn, pumpkin and heavy cream, from Target costs $45.48. The same dinner goes for $52.31 at Walmart, $70.18 at Whole Foods Market and $70.82 at Acme, owned by Supervalu Inc.


Stores borrow from fast-food industry's playbook


This holiday season, Burger King won't be the only place where you can have it your way. It used to be enough for stores to promise discounts of up to 70 percent off to lure shoppers during the busy holiday shopping season. But the ease of ordering online and the sluggish economy has created more demanding U.S. consumers who aren't impressed by discounts alone. They want their shopping just like their fast food: not only cheap, but convenient too.


Family, etiquette tips for Thanksgiving


I come from a divorced family, and so does my husband. Every year on Thanksgiving, we wonder: Of the four sets of parents, which one should we take our kids to visit this year? (All live nearby, which makes the decision even more challenging.) We try to be careful with our choice, but it's tricky, and we have inadvertently caused offense in the past. How can we avoid upsetting any of our loved ones this time around?


Holiday shopping forecast: Stronger, and predictably crazy

Some day in the future, anthropologists may be able to explain the bizarre shopping rituals of the 21st Century American consumer during the holiday season: Why, for example, so many people look for bargains on one day – Black Friday – when with a little work bargains can be found on the other 364. Or why they stand in midnight lines in bleak winter weather only to risk stampedes and fight each other for cheap gifts.


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