The holiday season is officially here, and so is the mad rush to make sure you have all the gifts you need to ensure your family members will love you for another year.

Yes, there’s something truly magical about that hunt for a Hatchimal or search for a spa package that reminds us exactly what matters this time of year: Our paycheck.

The months of November and December are huge when it comes to consumer spending, and 2016 will be no different. The major difference this year is that Connecticut shoppers might actually have the money to back those purchases.

According to The Hour, residents and businesses in our state enter the holiday shopping season with “an additional $4.8 billion in spending power,” based on information from the FDIC.

That’s a lot of money, and more importantly, a lot of presents under the tree this year. Of course, the American consumer is a fickle creature. While we might have a little extra cash in our coffers, there’s no guarantee we’ll feel free enough to spend it.

I don’t know about you, but when the holidays roll around, I’m not suddenly in such a jolly mood that I forget about my mortgage, my utility bills, and that always sneaky credit card statement. No, there are still financial responsibilities I have to fulfill before I go on a spending spree in my local Target.

So only time will tell if all this extra cash actually matters this holiday season. We know businesses are hoping it does. The rest is up to us – the shoppers – to decide how flexible the budget can be when it comes to buying the loved in loved ones.

What do you think? Comment below