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In this Monday, Dec. 9, 2019, photo, a North Carolina Fraser fir Christmas tree is for sale in Lenoir, N.C. A Christmas tree shortage is being blamed on the Great Recession. Poor sales a decade ago, limited the number of trees planted, which are being harvested this year. (AP Photo / Sarah Blake Morgan)

Christmas tree supplies are tight again this year across the U.S., depending upon location and seller. The industry is still bouncing back from the Great Recession and trying to win people back from a shift toward artificial trees when times were especially tough.

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In this Nov. 29, 2019, file photo people walk by a Black Friday promotional at Cookie's department store in the Brooklyn Borough of New York. (AP Photo / Bebeto Matthews, File)

Holiday marketers have your number, and they know how to entice you to spend. However, you can position yourself to recognize – and overcome – overspending triggers.

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Malort – Chicago’s most infamous liquor – makes our 2019 holiday gifts list. (star5112 / Flickr)

Holiday shopping can be stressful – but it doesn’t have to be. To help spread seasonal cheer, WTTW News staffers picked our favorite local options.

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This Sunday, Dec. 1, 2019, photo shows rewards offered through Chase bank on an iPhone in the Brooklyn borough of New York.  (AP Photo / Jenny Kane)

There’s a powerful new player watching what you buy so it can tailor product offerings for you: the bank behind your credit or debit card.

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In this Aug. 1, 2017, file photo, packages riding on a belt are scanned to be loaded onto delivery trucks at the Amazon Fulfillment center in Robbinsville Township, New Jersey. (AP Photo / Julio Cortez, File)

The coming weeks will be the first test of whether they can make that happen during the busy holiday shopping season, when onslaughts of orders and bad weather can lay waste to even the best delivery plans.

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(congerdesign / Pixabay)

This year’s list highlights 30 items that have been recalled over the past year because they pose safety hazards to children, including two infant sleepers linked to more than 30 deaths. 

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In this Friday, Nov. 15, 2019, photo, bell ringer Carolyn Harper encourages people to donate to the Salvation Army’s annual holiday red kettle campaign on Chicago's Magnificent Mile. (AP Photo / Charles Rex Arbogast)

The charity’s leaders hope adding Apple and Google payment options will boost giving to the red kettle campaign, which makes up 10% of its annual fundraising. Those donations fund programs providing housing, food and other support to people in poverty.

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Joan Siff, president of World Against Toys Causing Harm, speaks behind an array of toys, including ice cream-scented Nickelodeon slime, during a news conference in Boston, Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2019. (AP Photo / Michael Dwyer)

A Nerf dart gun, ice cream-scented Nickelodeon slime and a plastic Power Rangers claw are among the toys topping a consumer safety group’s list of worst toys for the holidays.

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(Photo credit: FashionBar Chicago)

When you think of the hotbeds of high fashion, New York, Milan and Paris probably all come to mind. That’s something Chicago Fashion Week is hoping to change.

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(webandi / Pixabay)

Sure, you could go to your local grocery store and grab a gourd – but what’s the fun in that? We share a bounty of spots for plucking a pumpkin.

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(Libreshot.com)

More than 30 countries have banned cosmetics testing on animals, and while the practice hasn’t been banned in the U.S., Illinois is now the third state to enact “humane cosmetics” legislation. The new law takes effect Jan. 1, 2020.

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How did fights over high hats and hoopskirts shape Chicago’s downtown as a shopping destination? We talk with the author of a new book about women and consumer culture at the turn of the century.

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(Courtesy Chicago Fair Trade)

Young Chicagoans have joined the fair trade movement – and they want you to get on board, too.

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The storefront of 20th Century TV & Stereo Center at 1615 W. Montrose Ave.

For almost 50 years, 20th Century TV and Stereo has repaired stereos, tape decks, VCRs and more. But the mom-and-pop shop is fighting to remain relevant as technology continues to evolve.  

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Kangaroos Original Super Cool Slime was found to have high levels of boron, a chemical commonly used in pesticides and glass manufacturing, in a new report by the Illinois Public Interest Research Group Education Fund. (Kangaroo Manufacturing / Facebook)

With the holiday season upon us, consumer advocates are warning shoppers about hazardous toys. Find out which products to leave on the shelf.

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U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush on Monday, Nov. 12, 2018 speaks against two Target stores closing on Chicago’s South Side.

‘Tis the season for shopping, but U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush is calling on constituents to avoid buying gifts, and anything else, following Target’s decision to close a pair of stores on Chicago’s predominately black South Side.

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