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Christmas 2010

Christmas memories may be among our most treasured and lasting memories. I remember my mother, telling me that at Christmas, she and her siblings would get one orange in their stocking and that it was a real treat because they could not have oranges all year round.

She said she could still remember how juicy and wonderful those oranges tasted. She said that she and her siblings would take great care to peel and eat the orange over a plate so that every drop of juice could be enjoyed. This is such an extraordinary story because I doubt that there are many folks around today that could get so much enjoyment from a single orange. In that time, getting an orange to the Eastern Townships of Quebec would have been an extravagance, however, a mere pittance when compared to today's Christmas costs.

Christmas gifts are no longer ten to thirty dollars, but rather they are hundreds of dollars. A Play station game costs $483, Xbox Elite sells for $580 and games range in price from $24.99 to $46.54. An IPhone costs between $200 and $300 dollars depending on which version you choose. That doesn't include the yearly cost of phone service. It is not difficult to see how the cost of Christmas could be very high for parents with children.

While Christmas is still a very special time of year, the character of this holiday has definitely changed since I was a kid. To some extent, it appears that children today get big gifts all year round and the excitement of Christmas has diminished as a result.

When I was growing up, you would begin lobbying your parents for what you wanted several months before Christmas. Maybe your parents would get you a BB gun, a new bicycle or a radio. We knew we couldn't ask our parents for gifts that would cost hundreds of dollars, they didn't have that kind of money and even if they did they would have said no. Actually, my Dad would have laughed pretty hard if I suggested that he spend four or five hundred dollars on me at Christmas.

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