(From the Gospel of St. Charlie Brown, King Linus Version)
And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from President Bushus Minimus, that all Americans should shop.
And all went to shop, every one into his own city.
In Portland, young and old alike went up from the provinces into the districts--Pearl, Belmont and Hawthorne--as well as into downtown
And so it was, that while they were there, the days were accomplished by procuring gifts of 50 dollars or more to be delivered at festive holiday gatherings and placed under trees swaddled in lights and shiny gewgaws.
And there were in the same locality shopkeepers abiding in their businesses, keeping watch over their bountiful inventory.
And they were afraid.
And lo, the angel of the economy, Alan Greenspan, came upon them saying: Fear not, for I bring you good tidings of great joy...and a low interest rate.
Glory to the Almighty in the highest. And, at the cash registers, good credit toward all.
And the shoppers returned home, glorifying and praising the Supreme Being for all the items that they had purchased as it was told unto them.
And there was peace in the economy--until, at least, the end of the holiday season.