Okay, so it hasn’t exactly been a banner year here in the Great White North. Things were so tight in 2011 that even Mark Carney, the Bank of Canada Governor, had to take a second job.
Nervous Canadians just aren’t in the mood to splash out on holiday trinkets while we restock the fiscal bomb shelter for the next wave of economic meltdowns. As we collectively brace for 2012, here are some last-minute special requests for Santa to fill from his North Pole gift registry:
1. For little Peter MacKay, a shiny new Cormorant helicopter.
2. For the out-of-touch optimists in your social circle, Research in Motion stock.
3. For CBC’s hairy hipster, Jian Ghomeshi, a six-pack of disposable shavers.
4. For lone Green Party MP Elizabeth May, a spec condo on the recently discovered – and as yet unspoiled – Super-Earth.
5. For my crabby, late-40-something book club pals, I have some soothing reading suggestions for the coming year: Menopause Made Easy, Painless Poetry and So, You Want to Be a Shaman.
6. For those picky publishers who rejected my regional border collie memoir, copies of Marley & Me from the discount DVD pile at the Superstore.
7. For the bean-counting hoteliers who removed the “emergency mini-bars” from hotel rooms, a trip for two on American Airlines with demented host Alec Baldwin.
8. For Margaret Atwood, the complete DVD set of Little Britain. Stop shilling for Twitter and return to writing comic novels. We’re weary of your downbeat screeds on penny-pinching and the end of days.
9. For the painful introverts, the iPad 2. This portable tool will enable them to further withdraw from polite society with impunity. Now they can point, scroll and surf while bombastic extroverts battle for their lapsed attention.
10. For your melancholy spouse who suffers from seasonal affective disorder, a gift card to Glow Tanning Salon and a big bottle of vitamin D capsules.
11. For the NDP, a new leader and a copy of progressive instigator Michael Moore’s memoir Here Comes Trouble.
12. For the trendy music buyer, happily swindled by Susan Boyle’s The Gift for Christmas, 2010, there’s Justin Bieber’s Under the Mistletoe for 2011. Expect Nickelback’s Sledneck Christmas for 2012.
13. For regional bookseller McNally Robinson, please remove your self-publisher’s toolkit, the Espresso Book Machine, from your flagship Winnipeg store. It’s turned into Weekend at Gutenberg’s. Retired teachers should support the arts by gambling at casinos like everyone else. Before amateur authors hit print, ask: Does the oversaturated book market really need another Ursula K. Le Guin knock-off riddled with typos and run-on sentences?
14. For baby-faced MP Justin Trudeau, an electric shaver. Movember is over. In the macho House of Commons, see-through mustaches and wispy Three Musketeers beards just won’t do. Also, for his parliamentary potty mouth, Pierre Jr. is eligible for soap-on-a-rope.
15. For the ousted board members of the Canadian Wheat Board, Prime Minister Stephen Harper should offer up some form of job security. Perhaps a lucrative rotating position as a third-party manager at Canada’s most insolvent first nations will slow down the lawsuits.
16. For the first family of Sussex Drive, a gift certificate from Sears Portrait Studio. While the PM’s deficit-busting, Photoshopped efforts are appreciated, you’re building memories here; Canadian taxpayers don’t expect you to scrimp on the annual family Christmas card.
17. For unemployed former Blockbuster managers, lifetime memberships to Netflix.
18. For Minister of the Environment/climate-change denier Peter Kent, a Maldives diplomatic posting and a life preserver.
19. For interim Liberal Leader Bob Rae, a winning lottery ticket so he can stop sending out $5-begging e-mail requests to rebuild his ailing party.
20. For Randy Cunneyworth, the new unilingual coach of the Montreal Canadiens, a French immersion weekend with a Chicoutimi family, compliments of the Bloc Québécois.
Writer Patricia Dawn Robertson lives in Wakaw, Sask.