If you, like me, are being bombarded this year with emails advertising sales on top of sales with extra discounts on top, you may want to take a moment to read this short article by Anne Quindlen on Newsweek.com.  It is right on target.  With these offers, I can’t help but get sucked in and seeing those discounts makes me almost think I have money to shop, almost. But it also makes it harder to not indulge, sort of like working at a chocolate factory.  This little tidbit from the article helps me put it into perspective:

Hard times offer the opportunity to ask hard questions, and one of them is the one my friend asked, staring at sweaters and shoes: why did we buy all this stuff? Did anyone really need a flat-screen in the bedroom, or a designer handbag, or three cars? If the mall is our temple, then Marc Jacobs is God. There’s a scary thought.

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The Christmas Spirit reaches some Transient Flats children after Christmas via the city dump. (Text courtesy of the California State Library)

“Prints and Negatives,” c. 1935 – c. 1960
Department of Social Welfare
F3480:2–71N
California State Archives
Sacramento, California