Politicians, government officials and those who monitor public affairs are in an apprehensive mood this holiday season.
There's the threat of war in the Persian Gulf region. The economy is in a tailspin and there is an anti-incumbent mood that appears to be building in intensity.
It's no wonder, then, that they have more than a casual interest in what the future holds. Here's a preview of what some of them can expect to find under their Christmas tree:
President Bush: A scholarship to a weekend seminar at Yale on the dangers of reading lips and drawing lines in the sand.
Vice President Quayle: A more mature look to help dispel rumors that he will be dropped from the GOP national ticket in 1992.
Jack F. Kemp, housing secretary and former area congressman: First aid for the toe he stubbed in the 1990 New York gubernatorial campaign.
Sen. Al D'Amato, R-N.Y.: A cure for his knee-jerk ailment, last displayed by his call for a preemptive military strike against Iraq.
Sen. Pat Moynihan, D-N.Y.: Votes for his plan to reduce payroll deductions for Social Security.
Gov. Cuomo: An early and clear statement of intentions for the 1992 presidential campaign.
Lt. Gov. Stan Lundine: A chance to go from No. 2 to No. 1.
Pierre Rinfret, the 1990 GOP candidate for governor: A month of therapy to recover from a disaster.
Herb London, 1990 Conservative Party candidate for governor: Two months of therapy to answer the nagging question of what would have happened had he been the nominee of the Republican and Conservative parties and adequately funded.
Pat Barrett, the multimillionaire GOP state chairman: Three months of therapy to determine why he took the thankless job in the first place.
John Marino, Democratic state chairman: A national campaign to run.
Ned Regan, state comptroller: Some counseling on how to better time a request for a pay raise.
Bob Abrams, state attorney general: Bragging rights for the 1990 statewide election.
Dennis Gorski, Erie County executive: A name plate so people won't mistake him for actor Robert Duvall.
Mayor Griffin: A bill for the costly litigation he is waging at taxpayer expense to keep secret the records of the publicly funded Buffalo development corporations.
Tom Reynolds, Erie County GOP chairman: A viable candidate for county executive.
Jim Sorrentino, Erie County Democratic chairman: A supply of fire extinguishers to put out the political fires he expects many of his candidates to face in the 1991 primary.
Pat NeMoyer, county attorney, and Larry Adamczyk, county director of information and support services: A gerrymander that will give Democrats two more seats in the County Legislature.
Eugene Fahey, Council majority leader: The wisdom to make the right decision in 1991 -- run for re-election or for Council president.
Jim Keane, county commissioner of emergency services: Campaign plans for Council member at-large in '91 and mayor in '93.
Tony Masiello, state senator: A pat on the back for his efforts as chairman of the 1990 Senate Democratic Campaign Committee.
George Arthur, Council president: A supply of ammunition to fight off opponents he will face in the '91 Democratic primary.
Joel Giambra, city comptroller: The chance to post some impressive numbers in the '91 election to position himself as a possible candidate for mayor in '93.
Sheriff Tom Higgins: The pros and cons of running for higher office.
Alfreda Slominski, Erie County comptroller: Peace pact with the county Republican organization.
Rep. John LaFalce, D-Town of Tonawanda: A battle plan to cope with reapportionment and a possible major challenger in two years.
Rep. Bill Paxon, R-Amherst: New way to convince GOP he's not a candidate for county executive.
Rep. Henry Nowak, D-Buffalo: Time to reflect on his plans for '92.
Vic Farley, vice chairman for legal affairs, GOP State Committee, and former Erie County GOP leader: More visibility in statewide politics.
Joe Crangle, chairman, Erie County Water Authority, and former state and county Democratic leader: Another chance to use his skills in a presidential campaign.
Partnership Ltd.: Kudos for the work of the Amherst advertising and public relations firm in the 1990 Republican State Senate campaign. Al Klenk, president; Bob Davis, executive vice president, and Vic Martucci, research and public relations director, did the radio and TV spots and direct mail for Republican candidates in 13 competitive districts. Their clients won 12 of the races to assure the retention of a GOP majority in the Senate.