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Fashionable giving

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The holidays are often full of fashionable forks in the road: What in the world does "holiday festive attire" mean? Does Santa's workshop have better inventory of Christian Louboutins or Jimmy Choos? How short is too short for the company Christmas party?

This year, however, presents and parties can seem excessive, as even Marc Jacobs and Vogue's parent company Condé Nast forgo holiday parties in light of the sputtering economy. The recessionista—the more fiscally responsible BFF of the fashionista—is feeling the pinch, and it isn't from five-inch heels.

Holiday shoppers aren't the only ones affected by the economy. Local nonprofits, strapped for funds throughout the year, are worried the holiday season's traditionally high volume of donations won't match up to increased need.

"Donations go through the roof during the holiday season," said Christy Simmons of the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina. "We're able to provide four meals for every dollar we receive, but that still doesn't keep up with the increase in need we've seen."

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