Christmas Store

The first person in the family to finish her Christmas shopping is Klara. Her school has this great tradition of a Christmas store where kids find presents for relatives and friends. The reason why it’s great is that no money is involved. Kids don’t bring money, discuss prices, or handle money in any way. All of the gifts are of equal value, and children never hear about it.

Children learn to think about others, choose gifts that will work for different people, and experience the pleasure of imagining somebody else’s joy. And no money changes hands. There’s none of the “my mommy gave me $100, and yours gave you $3” bullshit. Volunteers help wrap and sign the gifts.

Educating children about money is very important but it should be done in an age appropriate way and not by the school. It’s the parents’ job, and everybody has their own philosophy, which must be respected. The daycare Klara went was quite tone-death about money but the Christian school is very good at not forcing unnecessary experiences that kids aren’t prepared to handle.

Klara recently informed us at dinner that “some people are rich, some are poor, and we are in the middle, which is the best place to be,” so I’m glad about how this is going.


At Best Buy, I donated $5 to a children’s hospital, after which the store assistant rang a big red bell, and all employees started applauding me.

I was so embarrassed, I’m never donating anything at this store again.

People who enjoy being praised for their charity are psychopaths.

Take It Back Yourself

The saddest spectacle is good girls and boys bleating morosely “we’ve done everything we were told. When can we go back to normal?”

When you stop doing what you are told, you little fool. That’s when you can have your life back. Because you’ll have to take it back yourself.

The most stunning realization in the past 18 months was how infantilized people have become. They do what they are told and then are stunned to find out that the orders weren’t given for their benefit but to con them.

Mysterious Anniversary

It’s the end of the semester, I’m at work until all sorts of hours, lots of stuff going on. Then I come home, open the refrigerator, and see a large cake with the words “Happy 10th Anniversary!”

Immediately, I freak out. What anniversary? Did I forget an anniversary? Was I supposed to buy a gift? What happened 10 years ago? What is it an anniversary of? Wedding? No, we already celebrated that in November. First date? No, it’s been a lot longer than 10 years. Plus, that’s in June. What important date am I forgetting? What relationship milestone do I care so little about that I forgot?

So of course I send Klara to find out why N bought the cake and what is the anniversary. Then I could pretend I always knew.

She comes back all triumphant. “Mommy, I found out!”

“OK, and what is it?”

“Oh. I forgot on the way here.”

Finally, I confess to N that I have no idea what he’s driving at.

“Oh, it’s not me,” he says. “It’s from my company. They are celebrating that I’ve been with them for 10 years.”