Tim Harford has an interesting post on the financing of Christmas. In the past, families saved up for Christmas, but today Christmas is largely financed by credit cards. In Harford's words - "Christmas is now financed in arrears, not in advance". Credit is readily available, and, as a result, people can end up spending more than they can really afford. Does this mean that credit card companies are exploiting people's weaknesses? How much have credit cards contributed to the growth in consumer spending? Christmas, however, is not about money or finance! I will be taking a break from blogging for a couple of weeks unless the EuroZone collapses in the interim. On that pessimistic note, may I wish you a Merry Christmas and a prosperous 2012.