As this may be the last happy Christmas for some time, you're advised to enjoy it.
An Taoiseach Brian Cowen has told the nation that the standard of living is going to slide down from the stratospheric heights of Celtic Tiger days. Do you know how to cut peat? You might consider asking Santa for a proper spade. At least you can keep yourself warm when you can't afford the utilities.
The tax take is down and is expected to go further into decline, which means there won't be as much cash on hand for social welfare. What's left will most likely be budgeted for infrastructure and public works projects that will provide jobs, the things that will matter to tourism.
In Limerick, it's expected that Dell will shut down their manufacturing facility and move production to cheaper places like Eastern Europe or Asia. Nothing is appearing on the horizon to replace those two thousand paying jobs.
The economic crisis is global, and it started with too many people being given mortgages that they couldn't afford, while the risk was sold down the line where it burned even more financial institutions.
So make it a happy Christmas this year. Next year, you might be at home alone while your children are in the States, living out a more traditional Irish custom of emigration. Go ask your parents about those days...those same people who watched prosperity take root and told you it wouldn't last because it never did.