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One thing that can be attributed to the pandemic was a surge in online car shopping. This was the year that buying cars, just like buying everything else, went online in a big way.

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Retailers’ rules for delivery by Dec. 25 vary. Crate & Barrel’s deadline for standard shipping is Thursday. Lands’ End shoppers must order monogrammed gifts by Friday; the deadline for other items is Dec. 15. Macy’s and L.L. Bean give shoppers until Dec. 18 and 19, respectively.

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Curbside pickup and same-day delivery orders can often be filled within a few hours. Many retailers that didn’t offer those services last year rolled them out after nonessential stores were forced to close during the pandemic.

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More people adopted puppies and kittens during the pandemic, and stores are pouncing to cash in. Petco is selling matching pajamas for dogs and their humans with snowflakes and Christmas trees. And Chewy, the online pet store, is getting more personal, inscribing pets names into bandanas, bowls or beds.

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It’s not just frenzied crowds that will be absent this holiday season. So will impulse shopping — the practice of throwing in extra items like toys or bath balms as shoppers go in and out of the aisles.

DEAR ABBY: My wife of 38 years passed away a year and a half ago. My ex-wife, to whom I was married for 14 years, and who is the mother of our…

DEAR ABBY: My boyfriend of 15 years is in prison. We have two children together. Our relationship has been rough. We had a fight, and he went …

Local students will start school Aug. 13, but first they’ll need pencils, notebooks, folders and a host of other items—all things that will be included in this weekend’s state-wide sales tax holiday.

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