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Q. Dear Umbra,

My husband and I make monthly trips to Target for family staples — vacuum bags, dental floss, laundry detergent, etc. I loathe Target. Is there a good excuse, such as “it’s better for the environment,” to get such things sent to us from Amazon.com?

Heather
Arlington, Mass.

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A. Dearest Heather,

Here we are, teetering on the brink of the annual holiday shopping frenzy. This year, Americans are expected to spend more than $586 billion, and retailers will make 20 to 40 percent of their annual sales. So your question is timely, though I assume you did not intend it as such. Unless of course you’re planning to give dental floss to your nearest and dearest.