Merry Budget to you.
If you thought this week was like Christmas for economic writers, you were right.
Although that doesn't mean we love it.
The hype starts earlier every year and the day itself never seems as magic as it did when I was growing up. Kids these days ...
Ah yes, the Budget was once a seismic event in the New Zealand cultural calendar.
Delivered live on prime time TV, everyone watched nervously as the finance minister announced life-changing spending decisions, including tax changes that had people racing to the dairy or bottle shop to stock up before midnight struck.
Admittedly there were only two TV channels and no internet. Sheep dog trials were also prime time events.
But back then the government loomed much larger in people's lives.
In the 1970s, the government could freeze your pay and tell you which day to drive your car.
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The government owned banks, power companies and airlines. It effectively controlled prices.
Former Prime Minister Rob Muldoon loved Budgets so much that once a year wasn't enough - he introduced regular mini-Budgets.
Through the 1980s and early 90s, Budgets remained essential viewing largely because of the drama of unwinding all that government control.
I remember exactly where I was in 1991 when Ruth Richardson delivered the "Mother of all Budgets".
I was in the dining room with mum, huddled around the heater, watching our portable telly. I suspect that was because my father was too horrified to watch and had opted for Cheers in the living room.
I remember it was cold.
I watched in horror and did the maths on what the removal of student allowances, the hiking of fees and introduction of student loans was going to cost me.
About a decade's worth of retirement saving. Thanks for asking.
It could have been worse, I suppose. Mum and Dad could have been on a benefit.
Hard times indeed.
I'd be bitter about it if coming of age in the 80s and early 90s hadn't taught me and my Generation X mates to never invest emotion in the politics on any level.
That 1991 Budget was a bit like a series finale. It was the Budget to end all Budgets.
Everyone knew it was coming but it was still shocking and certainly divided public opinion.
I think there were even petitions to try and change the ending.
It precipitated the introduction of the Fiscal Responsibility Act in 1994, which required rolling disclosure of government accounts, including three-year forecasts.
The era of the great Budget reveal was over.
This Thursday, in what the Government is pitching as another historic moment in Budget history, Robertson will deliver New Zealand's first "Wellbeing" Budget.
That sounds literally like the exact opposite of the "Mother of all Budgets".
I haven't seen it yet but I've already dubbed it the "Warm Milo and Pyjamas Folded by the Heater Budget".
Robertson is the same age as me and, to be fair, seems a bit of an exception to the Generation-X norm around political cynicism.
I don't doubt he really cares. In fact I suspect his world view about Budgets is also deeply influenced by the brutal way they were delivered in this country for many years.
He knows that the shocks and surprises of the past were good for no one, least of all financial markets.
So I don't expect any great spending promises - or cuts - on Thursday.
I do expect to see something quite different in the way things are presented. Critics will call it superficial.
Robertson will argue the shift in focus is fundamental and will change the way we do politics in this country.
It may be that the change is make or break for Budgets as a big event.
The reality is we don't really need an annual Budget anymore.
Treasury constantly revises the Crown accounts with quarterly updates.
The Government announces policy when it sees fit - and this one tends to put things through a working group or two before it makes decisions.
The Budget remains important for one reason.
It is the closest thing we have to an American-style State of the Nation address.
It's a chance for the Government to make its case for its grand economic strategy outside of an election campaign.
And its a chance for the Opposition to rubbish it.
Either way, we stick with it as the traditional time of year when all the media - not just us business boffins - turn their attention to lofty economic policy issues.
Unlike election years, the finance minister, not the prime minister, holds the stage.
Broadening the scope of the Budget to include more "wellbeing" issues - environmental and cultural challenges - could also broaden the appeal of the Budget to a wider audience.
Or it could water it down.
A lot depends on the sales job the Government does this year. Robertson's delivery, but also the follow-through from the Prime Minister and senior ministers.
What happens at 2pm this Thursday may or may not determine the way governments do economics in this country.
But it will determine the future for the grand old institution that we call Budget Day.
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