America is a tough country. We’re not gonna let an invisible virus and a global supply chain slowdown stop us from getting the requisite number of presents under the damn tree. “Holiday sales rose at the fastest pace in 17 years, even as shoppers grappled with higher prices, product shortages and a raging new COVID-19 variant in the last few weeks of the season, according to one spending measure.” Holiday sales were up 10.7% compared with the pre-pandemic 2019 holiday period. (Present purchases were up about 15% in my house. Positive reactions to presents were down by about 75%.)