Everyone is making up their Wish Lists at this time of year and making sure they fall into the right hands, be those the be-mittened hands of Santa or the broken-nailed, busy fingers of moms. My family does this every year although I stubbornly refuse to use the lists until I get down to the last few days and the last few difficult people. Not that they're difficult people
, I mean finding a gift idea for them is difficult, usually because I'm not geographically close enough to pick up on the small every day cues of what they might need or enjoy at this point in their life. I muddle through without lists every year because I firmly believe that an important part of gift giving is the effort involved in thinking about the person and coming up with something that fits both the person and your relationship to them.
Handmade always makes a gift extra special but that's not always the right thing to do or practical in these harried days. There's a wonderful Pledge going around to Buy Handmade
. I'm totally on board with all the reasons listed on their website. But realistically, if a teen wants new snowboard boots or the latest CD by My Chemical Romance, it's unlikely I can whip him up a homemade version of either of those things. So, I do as much homemade as I can but concentrate more importantly on making sure the gift reflects some forethought and attention and that it serves it's main purpose, making the receiver feel loved and special to me.
I'm one of those people that have a much easier time giving than receiving. Well, maybe that's not exactly what I mean to say. It's just that I enjoy the process of giving and I don't really feel like receiving is the other half of the equation. For me the pleasure of giving is in the excitement of knowing I scored a direct hit on the person's happyometer, not in anticipating a gift in return.
Don't get me wrong. Receiving is nice. I like gifts. Especially when they're given in the spirit of "I was thinking of YOU" that makes them special instead of of just an obligatory "I don't know. I guess we could just buy her a shirt." I'm often told I'm a difficult person to buy for (to gift) and I find that very odd. I think I should be one of the easiest people to give a gift to as I have so many things in this world that delight me. And not necessarily just material things, although certainly there are plenty of examples of those, but also experiences. I told my son last night that the best gift he could give me was his smiling face at my door for the holidays and I totally meant it.
I consider many ordinary, daily things gifts. When my kids call just to say hi. When William tosses out yet another witty comeback. When my husband brings me coffee. When my daughter and daughter-in-law take the time to send me photos of my grandkids so I don't miss them quite so much (or maybe miss them just a little bit more.) When a blog visitor leaves a comment for me. When Rosie jumps with joy at my return home (even if I only went out to the car to retrieve a pair of gloves). When a waitress remembers my regular order and puts up with my Meg Ryan (When Harry meet Sally) style of ordering. When people drive the speed limit on our busy little street. When my friend Shelly listens to me ramble on about worries or maybe nothing special at all and shares the same with me. When the sun shines for me or the wind whispers for me or the snow falls for me. These are all wondrous gifts.
But since most folks want something they can wrap up and hand to someone, I thought I'd make my very own wish list this year, something I can't remember doing since.... oh, probably early adolescence. My kids don't read my blog (except Lisa - waving - hi Lisa! and she already bought me a gift for the holidays) so this is just for my own pleasure.
Wish List 2007
First of all, let's get all the obviously most important things out of the way:
A clean environment
health for all my loved ones (including myself)
peace of mind
my cats to stop peeing on the kitchen floor
my own personal chef, secretary, accountant, gardener....
anything else in the top tier of importance that I forgot
Okay, now that those are out of the way, moving on:
If not Paris, some other trip. I've already got my passport ready if it's international. Some good alternatives to the City of Lights - Ireland, Indonesia, Toronto, New Orleans, Barcelona, Greece. That's probably enough ideas.
Ocean - preferably I'd like it moved about an hour's drive from my house.
House cleaning elves
Good theatre - preferably in Susanville but why can't they at least have something regularly playing in Reno! Hmmmm?
A walk in closet of my very own
A fountain. Not some tabletop thing that breaks in a month. I want a REAL fountain. Nothing cutesy. I really like the ones with the lion's head like the one at the Chalice Well. Wall fountain or free standing. Anything that looks old.
A new camera with an even stronger zoom lens so I can take sharp photos from a thousand miles away. (or at least from a hundred yards)
KitchenAid Mixer. In a really neat color. Or maybe black would be cool. I'm getting old. Mixing by hand has lost it's appeal. Hey, I might even do more baking from scratch!
Some new jeans that actually fit. Probably only Santa could pull this one off.
macarons - And I don't mean macaroons, those American cookies with coconut. I mean French macarons - one "o". I've been salivating onto my keyboard ever since I've seen the first photos of them on assorted blogs. And to think I was there, in Paris, and didn't know to find and eat some.
This box of stamps
Or this one
chocolate which includes, in any combination - nuts, caramel, fruit. Dark chocolate is best.
For my local community college to offer a Beginning French class. Also, an ASL class would be nice too. And would it hurt to offer a Introduction to Photo Shop class. (and no Deirdre
, an online class isn't the same - I need a real teacher in a real room with real classmates to force me to take it seriously)
Monk's Blend tea - I haven't been able to find it for awhile.
Any tea really. Love tea.
William to go to the movies with me because it's a nice thing for him to do for his mother and it hurts my feelings that he never wants to go to the movies with me any more. Sniff.
handmade soaps (although honestly, I have a lot of them now. But I still love them.)
A scarf. Crazy about scarves. Particularly if they're made of natural fibers and are beautiful and flowing. Warm and funky is good too.
A Halloween toothbrush
books, new or used
In particular - an antique and collectibles guide with lots of glossy pictures
or the table top book My French Life (in paperback version, no sense paying extra for hardcover)
a pinking shears
New personalized banner headings for my blogs
plain necklace chains to slip my charms onto. I've managed to break almost all of mine.
a zest maker
a pastry cutter
some cooking spoons that aren't rusty and bent
pez candies - not the container, I've got several of those - just lots of the candies
Well, I guess that's enough for now. I'm sure I'll think of more just as soon as I upload this post. If you post your Wish List, let me know so I can come read it.