Judging from initial readings, the Christmas holidays may turn out to be a jolly good season — and a respectable finish to a tumultuous year. This is not to sugar-coat a U.S. economic landscape with a 10 percent unemployment rate, a ballooning national debt, and a chaotic political scene. Or to be insensitive to those of us falling upon hard times. Let’s count our blessings either way. Remember, just one year ago, things looked a lot worse than they do now in the financial and economic senses.