The price of oil is displayed in downtown Midland, Texas, in February. Across the state, drilling budgets have been cut and companies have laid off workers. Spencer Platt/Getty Images hide caption

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Massive Downsizing In Oil Sector Brings Acute Pain For The Holidays
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Around Christmas, people around the world covet a Rudolph, Wis., postmark on their cards and letters. Carrie Antlfinger/AP hide caption

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Sending Your Holiday Mail By Way Of Rudolph, Wis.
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Retailers' Black Friday ads and other parts of the holiday season are designed to tap into a very ancient part of our brains. Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Holiday Shopping Ads Are Geared Toward Brain's Reward Center
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Disney's Frozen Castle & Ice Palace Playset is displayed at the TTPM Holiday Showcase in New York. In a recent survey, parents said they were more likely to buy Frozen toys for their daughters than any other present this holiday season. Richard Drew/AP hide caption

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Candice Nelson fits her daughter Arya Kubesh with a Halloween hat at a store at Galleria Mall in Edina, Minn. Retailers are hoping Halloween will give them a good bounce into the peak spending time of the year. Elizabeth Flores/MCT/Landov hide caption

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Edna Kash-kash, a Native American from Oregon, sits in front of a tepee circa 1900. In Eastern Oregon, a tribal celebration of first foods offers a connection to ancestors. Lee Moorhouse/Buyenlarge/Getty Images) hide caption

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For Some Tribes, New Year's Foods Provide A Sacred Link To The Past
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Haitians celebrate their independence from France on Jan. 1 each year with a traditional squash soup called soup joumou. Courtesy of Whole Foods hide caption

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Haitians Mark The New Year With A Belly Full Of Soup
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A gift card display at a Target store in Mayfield Hts., Ohio., last month. Amy Sancetta/AP hide caption

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Paul Brown and Mark Memmott on the NPR Newscast
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Many Americans are familiar with cornhusk-wrapped tamales. But those aren't my favorite. Chicago Tribune/MCT via Getty Images hide caption

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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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Tourtiere: A French-Canadian Twist On Christmas Pie
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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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Buy more, or buy less, this holiday season; the choice is yours. Matt Cardy/Getty Images hide caption

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