A gift card display at a Target store in Mayfield Hts., Ohio., last month. Amy Sancetta/AP hide caption

toggle caption Amy Sancetta/AP

Many Americans are familiar with cornhusk-wrapped tamales. But those aren't my favorite. Chicago Tribune/MCT via Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Chicago Tribune/MCT via Getty Images

Tourtiere is "one of Canada's better contributions to the culinary world," says Thomas Naylor, executive chef to the Canadian ambassador to the U.S. Larry Crowe/AP hide caption

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The pudding's dark glossy dome is flamed with brandy and carried to the table before the shimmering blue aura dies away. Chris Elwell/iStockphoto.com hide caption

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If the Post Office is part of the "war on Christmas," someone should tell him: Doug Fischer, a letter carrier in Aurora, Colo., during the 2008 holiday season. David Zalubowski/AP hide caption

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Buy more, or buy less, this holiday season; the choice is yours. Matt Cardy/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Matt Cardy/Getty Images

13.7: Cosmos And Culture

Pepper-Spraying The Holidays: Time And The Ethic Of Consumption

As we head into the holiday season this might be a good moment to reflect on the roots of our collective consumer delusion.

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