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A Brief History of the Unlikely Rise of the Credit Card

A Brief History of the Unlikely Rise of the Credit Card

We don’t know if you’re in the habit of reading the venerable Christian Science Monitor, but they’re a reliable source of what remains real news, and many of their features and backgrounders are fascinating, as well. Just this week, they ran an interview with Matty Simmons, the former publicist-turned-Hollywood-producer, who is pushing 90. Without dating […]

East vs. West: Where Did Christmas in the U.S. Start? (And Where Is It Headed?)

East vs. West: Where Did Christmas in the U.S. Start? (And Where Is It Headed?)

As with sports and hip-hop rivalries, we enter the holiday week with a good-natured “throwdown” on which coast, and its culture, gets more of the credit for creating Christmas in the U.S. as we have come to know it. The New York Times starts out by allowing that while “New York can’t quite take credit […]

How “Black Friday” Almost Came Early -- and other Thanksgiving/"Franksgiving" Tales

How “Black Friday” Almost Came Early — and other Thanksgiving/”Franksgiving” Tales

Happy short week! It’s become something of a tradition here on the AVPS end of things to get our blog post and newsletter out early during Thanksgiving, which of course is a week rich in traditions (including traditionally rich foods!) The thing with “traditions” is, they feel like they’ve always been around — that’s why […]

“May Day!,” Pt. I:  Malware Security Alert for POS Devices

“May Day!,” Pt. I: Malware Security Alert for POS Devices

Happy May Day! In the U.S., it conjures up images of May Poles and spring love. In Europe, it’s marked with parades and marches, and is still something of a “worker’s holiday,” as it was here in the 19th Century. It was the original “Labor Day,” until the one we have now was created, so […]

Christmas with Lucille Ball and Bob Hope

Some News and History About Presents. Plus: Merry Christmas!

The holidays are here, and we know you’ll have plenty of happy/merry distractions that will keep you from perusing all your blog news here at AVPS, as well as taking you from all your other “regular” rounds. But before we lose you to holiday merriment, a quick spot of news after all: It turns out […]

Before the Holiday Spending Reports: A Brief History of Christmas

Before the Holiday Spending Reports: A Brief History of Christmas

First of all, let us wish you happy holidays, and a Merry Christmas. We assume this will pertain throughout the 12 Days of Christmas, whenever you catch up with this post. And as we all slip into more congenial, hopefully somewhat more relaxed “holiday time,” we also leave behind our reports of spending and card […]

It Was Originally Going to Be the Second of July!

It Was Originally Going to Be the Second of July!

As we head toward our big midsummer celebration, remember that if John Adams had been right, you’d be celebrating two days earlier! On July 2nd, 1776, the Continental Congress legally separated itself from Great Britain. President-to-be John Adams wrote to his wife that the “second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch […]