Sacramento, Calif., this year joined lots of other towns and cities that offer free parking between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve. Some cities say the strategy encourages people to visit downtown areas and shop with small merchants in-person; others say it’s a backfiring practice that lets people leave their cars in those areas for hours, preventing others from parking at all during one of the busiest seasons of the year.

We want to know what you think. Is free parking a holiday miracle or more like coal in one’s stocking? Sound off in the comments.