Vacation well spent

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Jeanne Strejlau, 58, paralegal

“We are a big Italian family, that's why we have three Christmas celebrations. If we host the whole family, there are 40 people who come. We spend a lot on food, wine and spirits. I'd say it's up there, like $600 or $700. At Christmas we splurge.”

Nicole Strejlau, 27 years old, pastry chef

“There are Christmas parties and gift-giving and things you want to do, but when January comes, what then? Can I really afford it? Should I enjoy it now and deal with it later? “This is something our generation has to deal with, not just this time of year.”

Martín Block, 64 years old, lawyer

“I'm spending like a demon this year. I am optimistic about the economy and about my situation. I haven't spent much in recent years. I'm buying more gifts. “I’m going to buy a bunch of expensive jewelry and we’re going on a cruise.”

Jennifer María, 37 years old, executive assistant

“I will spend a lot of money: on candles, decorations, mugs, scarves, anything I can get my hands on. I think a lot of people are leaning toward retail therapy because of everything that's going on in the world. “I think that’s why everyone is here: just trying to get those images out of their heads.”

Melanie Romero, 31, financial aid counselor

“My dog, Sammy, gets a bed, boots, a jacket and treats. I will also be shopping for my mom and sister. It's probably between $300 and $400. Saving for this. I love vacations. We are Puerto Ricans, that is why our traditions are important. On Christmas Eve we have a party at my mom's house. We play music, we dance, we watch movies and we eat a lot: pernil, rice, plantains.”



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