December 24, 2012
This is Christmas Day, 1983.
Like any boy growing up, I went through phases. I had an outer-space phase, a dinosaurs phase, a cars-and-trucks-and-things-that-go phase. In 1983 I was heading full on into my road map phase, but at the time my meagre stockpile included maps of only Manitoba and Ontario (and granted, it was all the world I was familiar with).
That Christmas I'd asked Santa for a road map of every province and territory of Canada. I wish I could remember whether I jotted it down in a note, or if I asked my mom to relay the message. Times were tight for us then, but I'd hoped to the stars above that a stretched-thin and busy Santa Claus would be able to accommodate my complex request.
He delivered. Santa was out of Newfoundland maps, but I was OK with it. I hadn't expected ones of Yukon and the Northwest Territories, and he'd pulled that off. And to make up for the incomplete set, he'd included a Manitoba Vacation Guide and a collection of other local brochures. I realized years later, road maps of other provinces were available free of charge at the tourist bureau in the Legislative Building.*
The next year I entered into my rocks-and-minerals stage. That Christmas I asked Santa for a box of different rocks.
* This is no longer the case.