NEW YORK When Emily Russell's two young sons wake up on Christmas morning, they'll find that Santa left them a note instead of the videogames they requested.

"Hey, I couldn't get by your house last night," Russell, a single mother from Kernersville, N.C., plans to write to her sons and sign Santa's name. "Your mom is going to take you to the store when she can."

Some people have always postponed Christmas celebrations because their jobs don't pause for the holiday. But in the weak economy, folks are delaying Christmas for another reason: money.

Deloitte's annual holiday survey for the first time asked shoppers whether they planned to wait until January to do the bulk of their shopping for Christmas. Six percent of the more than 5,000 respondents said they did.

The strategy can pay off. After Christmas, retailers offer discounts of up to 75 percent on a wider variety of items than they do in the weeks leading up to the holiday.

It's something cost-conscious shoppers have gotten hip to. Retail sales during the seven days after Christmas rose year-over-year in three of the past five years, according to research firm ShopperTrak. And last year, year-over-year online spending grew by 22 percent on Dec. 26 and 56 percent on Dec. 27, according to computer giant IBM's retail consulting arm.

Read more in Wednesday's editions of The Post and Courier.