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Marketplace Money for Friday, December 14, 2012

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Episode Description 
It's the season for giving, and this year that apparently includes company bonuses. Workers are also giving back to their companies, by skipping vacations. How has charity changed over time and why 'tis better to give than to receive? Plus, we give you a first hand lesson in Christmas tree buying and share why some people think you shouldn't volunteer for the holidays.

Why you shouldn't volunteer for the holidays

This time of year, the spirit of volunteerism begins to creep out of the deepest reaches of the cerebral cortex and sends well-meaning people in search of a deserving outlet for a helping hand. Commentator Zachary Slobig says for the greater good, please resist that impulse.
Posted In: volunteering, holidays

Calling for 'The Great Tithe'

With the in-fighting in Washington over the fiscal cliff, the future of tax deductions for charitable giving is uncertain. But author and philanthropist Kevin Salwen argues, if anything, we need to encourage more giving.
Posted In: Charity, non-profit

Giving through the ages

Marketplace Wealth and Poverty reporter Shereen Marisol Meraji takes a look at how the charitable tax deduction has changed over time and why some think lowering it could benefit the middle class.
Posted In: fiscal cliff, Charity, tax deduction, Taxes

The Christmas tree: A consumer conundrum

Every December, millions of Americans spend their hard-earned money on Christmas trees. To find out why this tradition persists and how consumers decide which tree is right for their budget, Tony Cox visited a busy Christmas tree lot in L.A.
Posted In: Christmas, Christmas tree

When it comes to charity, the poor give more

Those who earn $50,000 to $75,000 donate about eight percent of their discretionary income. That's twice as much -- percentage-wise -- as those making above $200,000.
Posted In: Charity, Wealth and Poverty, psychology

'Santa' and 'budget' can coexist

Families and experts share how they express their generosity without pulling out the plastic.
Posted In: holiday shopping

The holiday bonus: From turkeys to incentive plans

It used to be that you might get a turkey from your boss as a holiday bonus, but today a bonus check is more like it.
Posted In: holiday, salary

Has the U.S. become a no-vacation nation?

More Americans are using less vacation time. Are people too stressed and too cash-strapped to coordinate a getaway or are employers making it more difficult to take time off?
Posted In: vacation, vacation days

Letters: Relocating for love and taxes

Can moving expenses be written off of your taxes if you relocated to be closer to your mate? How should you report a large gift to a non-dependent? Financial expert Louis Barajas answers listeners' questions related to end-of-year filing.
Posted In: letters, Taxes

Music from this show

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Give It Away
Red Hot Chili Peppers
The Way I Are (Album Version) [feat. D.O.E.]
Timbaland
Last Christmas (Single Version)
Wham!