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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

Arlington, Mass.


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.