According to the National Retail Federation, the average American will spend $702.03 on holiday purchases this year, up 4.5 percent from 2003 (up 5.6 percent, says another source). Of course, that covers only one and a half iPods and a not-very-luxe digital camera (the latter allegedly this year’s top holiday gift), so the average American needs a few budget-stretching gift ideas.

Well, music is 4.5 percent less crappy this year than in 2003. How about buying everyone a CD?

Wait, you say. What kind of necrophiliac Christmas are you talking about, Santa? The CD is dead. I sex up my megabytes on the DL (download) and play everything through a sleek MP3 player, nice and naughty.

To which we say: You’re killing Tiny Tim. All those laid-off label staffers are the Cratchits, and you are Ebenezer Scrooge. But it’s not too late to save the beleaguered, luddite music industry. You, boy! Go fetch that U2 album in the window! No, not the one in the iPod!

As you map out your Christmas mall binges, consider these alternatives to your favorite stores.

If you shop here: Buy this artist:

The Apple Store Radiohead

Ikea White Stripes

Restoration Hardware The Strokes

Starbucks Coldplay

Nordstrom Tony Bennett

Wal-Mart Clay Aiken

QuikTrip William Hung

Eddie Bauer Dave Matthews Band

Old Navy Ashlee Simpson

American Eagle Outfitters John Mayer

Abercrombie & Fitch Maroon 5

Foot Locker Hoobastank

Lady Foot Locker Evanescence

Payless Shoes Lenny Kravitz

The Gap Hillary Duff

Gap Kids JoJo

Baby Gap Bjork

Express No Doubt

Wet Seal Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Victoria’s Secret Jessica Simpson

Hot Topic Good Charlotte

Coach The Rolling Stones

Ann Taylor Rod Stewart

Aveda R.E.M.

Yankee Candle Josh Groban

Radio Shack Moby

Game Stop Linkin Park

Sunglass Hut Metallica

Piercing Pagoda Velvet Revolver

Hallmark U2

Toys R Us Jay Z and R. Kelly

Hickory Farms Gretchen Wilson

Thomas Kinkade Gallery Dido

Select Comfort Norah Jones

Jiffy Lube Usher

The U.S. Postal Service Postal Service

White Flower Farm Rufus Wainwright

Costco Guided By Voices

Categories: Music