Take, for example, the rising practice of "self-gifting." That's when you wander into Brookstone to find something for your brother--and instead walk out with a battery-operated back massager for yourself.
And this year, self-gifting is higher than ever: People who plan to splurge on themselves expect to spend an average of $140--that's the highest amount since the National Retail Federation began tracking the trend 10 years ago. And keep in mind that these are folks who've actually admitted to including a me-gift in their holiday budgets!
Get financially independent with free Take Control Bootcamp
"We all have [materialism] to some degree," says Ithaca College professor Michael McCall, who's an expert on consumer psychology. "When it drives what you’re doing--and overtakes your life--that’s when it's a problem."
But even if you're not a big self-gifter, you still might want to examine your attitudes toward spending--and the holidays are an especially good time to do this.
Take our quiz to see if shopping--and materialism--could be getting the best of you.