NEW YORK—Citing the limited household budgets of many young married couples, a new report published Friday estimates that more Americans than ever this Christmas will be forced to sell a gold watch inherited from their father in order to buy a set of fine combs for their wife’s beautiful hair. “Wages have remained flat while the cost of living has increased, a combination that could leave holiday shoppers in a bind as they attempt to find a gift that befits a woman whose cascade of shining brown hair is the envy of queens,” said economist and report co-author Jay Dillingham, adding that retailers have given no indication they plan to offer any discounts this season on lavishly bejeweled combs of pure tortoiseshell. “Especially in major cities, where workers are spending even more of their income on rent than in the past, we can expect to see a growing number of steadfast and honorable husbands pawning an heirloom pocket watch, one that has been in their family for generations, in order to purchase a rare and elegant gift worthy of their true love’s exquisite locks.” The report went on to say that, in some cases, Americans may even have to hock their antique whalebone-and-silver walking sticks for the woman they cherish above all others.