The giving season is on the horizon, so here’s some ideas from Forbes.

Are Americans ready to shop? Some early signals indicate as much. The retail industry experienced its second monthly gain in October, with sales at stores open at least a year rising 2.1%. September sales were up .6%, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers-Goldman Sachs ( GS – news – people ) index. Last month’s results were the retail industry’s best since July 2008. – From Forbes