The image of the Christmas shopping season of 2009 that will forever stick in my brain: a woman being interviewed on a local TV news show on December 26. Shown at a mall with a shopping bag or two, she is asked why she is out there on the day after Christmas: “You have to go shopping. You have to go to the sales.” Say whatever you want about all of us cutting back on our shopping, buying less for ourselves and others. Tell us that people have changed, that we’re not consumed with consuming the way we used to be. State emphatically that things have changed and they will never be the way they used to be. Then listen to this woman: “You have to go shopping. You have to go to the sales.” As we enter a new year and a new decade, I’m here to tell you that what everyone is calling the new normal is in fact the temporary abnormal and that as soon as the coast is clear, we’re going to pretty much go back to the way things were. You know how I know? A woman told me. She said, “You have to go shopping. You have to go to the sales.” We have just gone through about the most promotional 30-day period in the history of consumption. There were more sales and bargains and coupons and doorbusters out there that than anyone thought was even conceivable. Yet this woman couldn’t wait to see what else was going to go on sale on December 26. We’ve been through – and for many of us, continue to go through – the toughest economic times any of us have ever experienced. It’s scary. It’s ugly. It’s depressing. But is it life-changing? You have to say not if you listen to this woman. She still wanted to go shopping. She still wanted to see what was on sale. It’s in her DNA. It’s in our DNA. When the final holiday numbers are all counted up, it’s not going to be the most wonderful time of the year for most businesses. We’re not back yet. But we’re getting there. I know. A woman on television told me so.