holiday season holiday season

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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Spencer Platt/Getty Images

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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Carrie Antlfinger/AP

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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Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty Images

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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Richard Drew/AP

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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Elizabeth Flores/MCT/Landov

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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Lee Moorhouse/Buyenlarge/Getty Images)

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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Courtesy of Whole Foods

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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Amy Sancetta/AP

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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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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Larry Crowe/AP

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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Chris Elwell/iStockphoto.com

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

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Matt Cardy/Getty Images

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

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