OK, so by now you've almost certainly bought most of the Christmas presents you will be buying for the people that are on your Christmas list because, well, let's face it, because they have to be.
You know who I mean: your mother and father, the kids, aunts and uncles and cousins-all the people who are going to give you stuff, so you have to give something to them so they won't think you're some kind of a slob.
By now, surely, you have got those easy ones taken care of-or at least, if you're the man of the house, your wife has done that for you.
(And if she hasn't, then you'd better get cracking! It's time to remind her that time is getting short.)
So now is the time to start thinking about the people to whom you really would like to give something.
The politicians. After all, they do so much for us all year round, and they always ask so little in return.
And it's not like they're never always thinking of us. Indeed, as testament to their caring, I have a collection of decades' worth of Christmas cards I receive practically every year from many of my representatives in Victoria and Ottawa and the municipal hall, all thoughtfully paid for with my own tax money.
We all owe them. Dearly. And they remind us of that every time they raise our taxes-or raise their own pay.
And I especially appreciate their apologetic attitude when they cast their vote to give themselves more of my money.
Indeed, we owe them. And what better time than Christmas to show them that we care as much about them as they care about us.
Maybe more, in fact. So here are a few gift suggestions for some of the politicians who I feel have touched me personally over the past year.
Federally, I would honour my local Conservative representative with the gift of understanding: understanding, that is, that he represents the Conservatives, and not me.
And in that recognition, I feel it is appropriate to offer his gift, by proxy (naturally), to Stephen Harper. Admittedly, when I think of Stevie, I automatically think of the Grinch-who needed only a few sizes added to his heart in order to make him a truly lovable character. But recognizing the vast difference between Harper and the Grinch, perhaps we should just start with a heart, whatever size is available.
Oh! and a Mandarin-English translation program for his personal text messaging device.
A little closer to home, I would like to give Premier Christy Clark hope for a new tomorrow with better poll numbers, or failing that, lots of opportunities for good jobs after May-and not just the minimum-wage service industry jobs that help bolster the employment figures of which she and her cohorts are so proud.
For Adrian Dix, I have a box of patience-as they say, all comes to he who waits (provided your political opponents don't find something more substantial than patience to give to the press).
To municipal politicians everywhere, I offer the joy of giving . . . themselves pay increases cleverly disguised as expense allowances.
But I can't afford to actually buy any of them anything because they already have all of my money.
So I'll just send them my best wishes for a warm bed and a relaxing sleep on Christmas Eve without having to think about the homeless, the working poor, the over-taxed middle class. you know: just like any other night.
? Bob Groeneveld is the editor of the Langley Advance.