As President Donald Trump’s trade advisers were searching last week for a strategy to forestall his threatened tariffs on China, they struck upon a novel approach: appeal to his Christmas cheer.

Under pressure from retailers to prevent a move that would likely have caused prices of popular consumer goods to spike, the President’s team came to him during a meeting last week with a warning. Applying new tariffs on all Chinese imports, they cautioned, could effectively “ruin Christmas,” according to people familiar with the matter.

It was a tactic that worked: Trump announced the tariffs would be delayed until December 15.