Happiness due to spending shortfall?

Once upon a time, I was the sort of girl who believed in "retail therapy." When I was particularly sad, I would get in my cushy SUV and drive to the mall (I was living in Northern Virginia at the time so my mall of choice was the lux Tysons Corner), and charge $300 or $400 worth of fabulously beautiful clothes.

Times have changed, and not just because I don't drive any more (I rock the bus and bike) and cut up all my credit cards years ago. We're all making our way toward a less-spendy future, one where we need to look elsewhere for our therapy.

Last week, much of the country was snowed in, and Portland, Oregon, where I live, was an unusual participant in the snow follies. While many shops remained open, we just couldn't get to them, and so I was faced with a Christmas where I was largely unable to go shopping.