Here in the U.S.A., there seems to be (or am I just imagining it) an elevated desperation in the advertising for Christmas gifts. Today is called "Black Friday," the day after Thanksgiving when people begin to shop in earnest for Christmas items. And the advertising blitz has begun -- everything marked down, everything on sale, everything so much cheaper than it might have been in other years. The ads on TV and in the newspapers purely beg for business.
Originally, I gather, "Black Friday" referred to the economic plunge of 1869. These days, any day of the week might be called "black:" What is demurely referred to as the latest "recession" gnaws on the bones of the economy. Of course not everyone is poor or scrambling or wracked with uncertainty -- it takes rich people to create poor people. But this year's acquisitive mind is filled with giving and getting that is no longer so jolly. Retailers are scrambling for whatever disposable income people still have.
The U.S. is far better off than other countries, but you can only be in one place at a time and comparisons don't hold much water when the Christmas gimme's arrive. Republicans have vowed not to be so spendthrift, which means those who are worse off will become worser off ... but Tiffany's and Exxon Mobile will be in the pink.
Shop till you drop -- as if having one new thing or another could ease the mind, create joy, ease what is uncertain.
It's enough to drive a sober man to drink.