Congress reads monster spending bills, but Americans say they can’t afford as many presents this Christmas

WASHINGTON DC – Fox News spoke to Americans who say they were forced to save cash and buy fewer holiday gifts this year as congressional leaders push a $1.7 trillion spending package, which critics warn could fuel ongoing inflation. Christmas with the kids,” Irene, from Arizona, told Fox News. “Things are a lot more expensive.” WATCH: WATCH MORE FOX NEWS DIGITAL ORIGINALS HEREBut Reagan, from Missouri, said inflation didn’t impact her holiday shopping. “I actually did all my shopping on Amazon, so it was actually pretty easy,” Reagan said. HOLIDAY GUIDE TO ‘TIPPING THE PEOPLE WHO HELP YOU ALL YEAR’: AN EXPERT’S ADVICE FOR SEASONAL SPENDING Inflation reached a 40-year high in 9.1% in June. It’s dropped since then, but still hit 7.1% in November. A December AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll, meanwhile, found that 57% of adults said it was harder to afford holiday gifts this year. “,” William, from Arizona, said. “We bought a few less gifts but more important things that they might need.” Many shoppers still felt the impact of inflation this holiday season. (Stephen Chernin/Getty Images) The Senate, meanwhile, moved forward with a $1.7 trillion omnibus spending package Tuesday. It includes $3.6 million for the “Michelle Obama Trail – PATH Trail Project” and funding to name a federal building after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Critics, such as Republican Sens. Mike Lee and Rick Scott, argued that increased government spending would worsen inflation. “It’s just terrible,” Art, from Pennsylvania, said on inflation. “How long can we endure?” INFLATION IS ‘TAKING A TOLL’ ON SENIORS, FORCING THEM TO RETURN TO WORK: ‘THE HOLIDAYS ARE GOING TO BE TOUGH’He told Fox News his family wasn’t giving gifts this year due to price hikes. Art, from Pennsylvania, says his family isn’t exchanging holiday gifts this year due to high inflation. (Megan Myers/Fox News)”It’s just hard times,” Art said. “This is gonna be the beginning of the collapse. It’s probably gonna be maybe as bad or worse than the depression.” CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APPBut some chose priceless gifts for loved ones to avoid high costs and to spread holiday cheer. “I give gifts of time, effort,” Yvette, from Tampa, said. “That’s what matters.” To hear more responses on the impact inflation had on holiday gift-giving, click here. Megan Myers is an associate producer/writer with Fox News Digital Originals.

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