Merry Meltdown! Xmas cards mock crisis

As the economic downturn starts to hurt Americans, one card maker from New York is cashing in on the misery. He’s creating some less than cheery Christmas cards, and they're flying off the shelves.

The season of giving has arrived. Unfortunately, so has the recession, soaring unemployment, and struggling retail sales.

A financial meltdown was not on anybody’s gift list. People are buying their loved ones the bare necessities, for example gift certificates for medical services.

However, New York Christmas card creator Andrew Shaffer is capitalising on the widespread panic the crisis has caused.

“As long as things are terrible, I foresee future business there,” he explained.

Schaffer has turned the economic doom and gloom into a successful enterprise. His cards combine vintage photos of the Great Depression with sarcastic captions that poke fun at trumped-up worries over breadlines and food shortages.

Some of the cards’ captions say:

“I made you a Christmas present but had to burn it in a trash can to stay warm”

“I can’t wait for Christmas dinner – Momma says we’re gonna have squirrel instead of rat”

“The more I drink, the less I care that we lost our home in the sub prime mortgage crisis”

“I only wish I still had that kidney I sold to pay my heating bill”

“Have a Great Depression and a Happy New Year!”

Shaffer says his inspiration comes from what he calls exaggerated comparisons of the current financial crisis to the Great Depression.

“It's not as bad as it's being made out to be. It's being a bit sensationalised cause it's a big story,” the card creator says.

Shaffer's depression cards have become international best sellers.

He recently hired a publicist and is planning to expand the greeting cards selection to cater for other occasions such as birthdays and Easter.

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