When I was a kid in Brooklyn, Christmas started with Santa coming to town in the Macy's parade on Thanksgivings Day. Now it apparently begins with something called Black Friday. I don't know anything about that, I've lived in Israel for forty years. The Christmas season seems, from a distance, at least, to have turned into the shopping season. And this year, with the economic crisis, Dickens' three ghosts ("The Spirit of Christmas Past", "The Spirit of Christmas Present", and "The Spirit of Christmas Future") have morphed into the three shopping spirits; "Buy", "Save", and "Charge it". In any case, my best wishes go to our readers who are, or who will soon be, out there Christmas-shopping.