FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
A Merry Christmas may be harder to come by this holiday season for millions of Americans in light of the slumping economy.
A new CBS News poll shows one in two Americans are concerned they won't be able to afford the holiday gifts they would like to buy.
One-third say they're feeling more stress about holiday spending this year than they have in years past.
And overall, 4 in 10 people say they plan to spend less money on gifts this year than last.
For sure, the holidays are about much more than gift-giving, but how's this for a sign of the times:
Santa Clauses are learning how to lower children's expectations when it comes to their wish lists.
The New York Times has a terrific piece on a well-known Michigan school for Santa Clauses.
The Santas talk about how they size up a family's finances and then try to scale back the child's gift requests.
They talk of parents standing off to the side and shaking their heads no - while the kids sit on their laps asking for expensive toys.
One Santa says the bottom line is to "never promise anything," while others tell the children about slower toy production at the North Pole - or that Santa rarely brings everything on a list.
These Santas are also learning how to answer a question they're hearing more often this days: Can you bring my Mom or Dad a job?
Other children's expectations are running smack into today's economic reality. One boy recently asked a Santa for only one thing - a pair of sneakers that fit.
Here’s my question to you: In light of the economy, how will your holiday season be different this year?
Tune in to the Situation Room at 5pm to see if Jack reads your answer on air.
And, we love to know where you’re writing from, so please include your city and state with your comment.