Consumer spending gets retailers in the black. Our economy is built around money moving and on people buying more than the bare essentials. Most holiday spending is discretionary, that is, not for essential items. Happily, most of us have enough to spend some small or large amount on things other than food, clothes and shelter. But far too many families max out their credit cards on expensive gifts. The working poor are especially hard-pressed this time of year. More than one in seven families live below the poverty line; for the 50 million Americans living in poverty, 10 million of whom are children, the holiday season is a very difficult time of year.