From NPR: More than half of shoppers are using holiday sales to self-gift, waiting until the Christmas season to buy extravagant items at reasonable prices. The National Retail Federation has found that shoppers who self-gift spend an average of $140 on themselves while many people are out shopping solely for friends and family.
From NPR: Some employees spend their days walking at treadmill desks and playing games at work. The good news is they're being just as productive if not more so. And their waists are shrinking thanks to the less sedentary lifestyle.
From NPR: As members of the House and Senate head to Capitol Hill for the final weeks of this Congress, perhaps they will bring the "Spirit of 2010" with them. Despite partisan bickering, the lame-duck session two years ago got big things done. Then again, those lawmakers weren't being asked to avert a fiscal cliff.
From NPR: When President Obama sets off to Asia this weekend to highlight his so-called pivot to the region, he will make a bit of history: Obama will become the first sitting U.S. president to visit Myanmar. The country, also known as Burma, was a pariah state for decades, ruled by a ruthless military dictatorship. That is changing, and the Obama administration has encouraged a dramatic reform process in the country. But it may be too early for a victory lap.
From NPR: Compromise is suddenly the watchword in Washington, as negotiations over taxes, spending and entitlements begin in advance of another self-imposed deadline, popularly known as the "fiscal cliff." Automatic tax increases and deep spending cuts are slated for the first of the year, unless the president and Congress take action. Leaders on both sides say they are willing to meet in the middle, but that makes their constituents worry about what any compromise will cost them.