(Washington Informer) — Cool temperatures and fiery-colored leaves; carved pumpkins and trussed-up turkeys; harried gift shopping and hurried cross-country trips; mounds of food and stacks of gaily-wrapped presents—that’s what the end-of-year holiday season in the United States is usually made of. But not so much this year, many across the Baltimore-Washington metro area and beyond are reporting. With families still ailing or recovering from the ravages of the two-year recession, holiday celebrations will be mere shadows of what they used to be. For Wanda Taylor, 56, of Washington, D.C., the holidays were usually a much-anticipated time when she’d put her best cooking skills to work, preparing a lavish feast for family and friends. This year, however, Thanksgiving will comprise of much smaller fare of “maybe chicken” for her and her husband, Demetrius. Wanda’s 89-year-old mother might join them.