Why will this Christmas be different for Nora and Helmer in A Doll's House?

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Early in the play Nora and Torvald discuss the idea that this Christmas will be different - and better - than in previous years.

Torvald has been promoted at the bank. His salary has been increased. The family had been living on a tight budget and now, soon, will be able to spend money more easily. Torvald emphasizes the fact that the family is still under some constraints and cannot spend freely, but both he and Nora are relieved to have the promise of more money in the new year.