It's downright patriotic for leaders to encourage the nation to bypass the ethos of frugality for the holidays. Already, fear of catching Ebola might be deterring consumers from going to brick and mortar and buying.
The nice economic side effect of showing up at retail in person is that additional money will be spent. Think about lunch or dinner out. The impulse to just take a peek at what is at the next door. And winding up clocking several hours at the shopping center.
Increasingly financial institutions are posting articles on their websites on how to save versus spending. There are even radical tips such as starting a vegetable garden on the roof and relocating to Ecuador or Panama where the cost of living is lower than in the U.S. The meme should be: Spend more.