The Spirit of Not Giving So Much

In a little more than a week, we’ll be celebrating my son’s 3rd Christmas. He’s written a letter (sent via Canada Post) to Santa, asking for a truck and a signal for his railway tracks. He’s still at that young age where any gift is impressive and he’s happy enough with his toys. It’s relatively easy for Santa to answer his requests.

But for an economy that’s supposedly so sluggish, has anyone tried to get to Fairview on a Saturday lately? Either everyone got a holiday bonus but me or Mark Carney is correct about household debt levels. Although I do find it terribly amusing when the federal government says our debt is too high.

It’s this point before Christmas when I begin to feel that grip of anxiety: Is there enough food in the house? Did I give enough to charity? Is our tree too dry (just checked this morning. It’s seriously dry all of a sudden)? Should I have visited my family in New Brunswick instead of staying in Montreal? Is there enough booze in the house? The short answer to the last one is no. We have Sheridans which never gets drunk and Ouzo which also never gets drunk.

And I also worry that we haven’t bought enough stuff for each other. Not for James, mind you. Santa’s giving him a Leapster. He’s doing just fine. We did decide earlier this year that we’re just going to get some furniture from Ikea that we need instead going lavish with the gifts. When I return to work and hear my colleagues tell of the extravagant gifts they got for their loved ones, I always feel a little inadequate. I also felt that way when I mentioned our Ikea plans to someone at work. "Oh yeah," she said. "We ran out of money when we bought our house so we did the second floor entirely in Ikea."

Damn it, I like Ikea. And if I want to fulfill my dream of pretending I live in Stockholm then that’s my business.

If only the SAQ sold akvavit…

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