Debt and Dopamine: The Ghosts of Christmas Present

Americans continue to chase Christmas in packages, boxes, and bags—while the contentment of yesteryear fades from the collective memory.

  • Christmas gift giving in the United States has always been a big deal, but it seems to continue getting bigger.
  • For the past 20 years overall spending has nearly doubled since 2003, climbing every year except during the financial crisis in 2008.
  • Total holiday spending this year in America is expected to be at least $937 billion. In 1950 it was $40.2 billion, but that’s without factoring in inflation and population growth.

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