No Ho Ho.

Money worries and culture wars make shopping feel like an obstacle course

So sacred is the American holiday-shopping season that Franklin Roosevelt officially moved Thanksgiving from the last Thursday in November (for years like this, with an extra one) to the fourth, to give retailers an edge. They'll need it this time around, as darkened Broadway theaters and striking Hollywood writers dampen the holiday spirit, toys have gotten scary, gas prices trudge ever upward, the dollar slips ever lower, and the credit crisis makes people feel poorer even if they aren't in foreclosure. One marketing firm predicts a "blue Christmas," citing slumping sales of tinsel as a leading indicator; 27% of shoppers say...

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