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Too good to pass up

By Lester Holt, NBC News anchor

I haven't spoken to anyone yet who admits spending more money this Christmas than they did a year ago. We have all been forced to engage in some serious financial soul searching. As we know of course, what is good for our bottom line, is not necessarily good for the economy. As expected holiday retail sales numbers were considerably lower. The fight, however, for our holiday spending dollars isn't over. I opened my e-mail today and as usual it was filled with ads from clothing and computer companies. This season I've been really good at quickly hitting the delete button, but this time I paused. One ad caught my eye with a promise of an extra 15% off today only, on prices that were already cut in half. I took the bait, and clicked on the purchase icon. Only the fact they were out of the particular size I needed kept me from parting with my money. My impulse, however -- reaching for my credit card when offered a drastic discount, is exactly what retailers are hoping to see on a broad scale this weekend. CNBCs Margaret Brennan will report for us tonight on discounts being offered as high as 75% on this weekend after Christmas in an effort by retailers to empty their shelves, and salvage what they can in a weak economy. We will soon learn if there really is such a thing as a deal too good to pass up.

Brian is continuing to enjoy the holiday week off. I'll be anchoring Nightly News tonight, and in addition to the retail sales story, we will have the latest on the ash and sludge that is threatening a Tennessee community after a dike collapse. We will also update you on the search for bodies from that Christmas eve massacre outside Los Angeles.

I hope you will join us.