Santa’s load may be lighter this Christmas, as stalled wages will force many families to cut holiday spending. The unemployment rate is at a 17-year low, the stock market continues to climb, and gas is relatively cheap. That optimism is expected to help boost holiday sales by as much as 4 percent. But there are signs that the optimism may be limited to high-income Americans. Data shows that lower-income households are likely to pull back on holiday spending this year.

Wages have remained largely stalled, especially in lower paying jobs. Proposed government cuts to food stamps and other supplemental programs are expected to burden lower-income families. Families with household incomes of less that $60,000 are likely to cut spending by at least 8 percent this year. That’s a big contrast to wealthier households, whether shoppers plan to boost gift spending by at least 3 percent, according to retail analysts.

Hopefully, the great deals and holiday sales that are being offered by retailers will entice all shoppers to spend, spend, spend. Our economy receives a huge boost from Thanksgiving to New Year’s, each year. People often wait all year to shop for their loved ones and enjoy the process of finding the perfect gift.

At Encinos, we pride ourselves in providing the best neon and LED signs in the Tulsa Metro area. But we also take pride in being a small business in America. We want to encourage you to spend what you can this season, but remember the true meaning of the holiday season.