Has the holiday spirit of cooperation and gratitude taken hold when it comes to the tax cut debate in Washington?

Certainly not. But the White House is talking about Christmas shopping as a way to prod lawmakers to come together on this contentious issue.

“As we get into the Christmas shopping season especially, there’s a real urgency to letting Americans know that they can depend on the fact that this tax cut is going to be extended,” White House spokesman Bill Burton told reporters today. “Because when you’re at the mall and you’re deciding if this is going to be a really fun Christmas or kind of a more austere Christmas, you want to know if that tax cut is going to be in place.”

Pressed on whether Democrats have come up with any unified message or strategy within their own ranks on this issue, Burton said there was agreement that “millionaires and billionaires” didn’t need a tax cut, but declined to be drawn into a detailed debate.

So reporters moved on to more pressing questions: What are the president’s plans for Thanksgiving?

“He’s going to stick around the White House, eat some turkey,” Burton said.

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