Friday, December 9, 2011

Dear Santa

Most years at this time, I am composing a Christmas wish list. This is as a result of me putting ideas to paper many years ago, when working full-time and chasing three children, all three years apart, blew every coherent thought out of my mind. When my mother would call and say "what do you want for Christmas?", at least I had some concrete ideas to give her.

I never meant for this to become a yearly ritual. I keep trying to get out of it - and every year, DH keeps asking for the list. And now my children do as well.

What I have tried to say, every year, is - you guys should know me well enough that finding something that would thrill me to no end should not be that hard. Because, frankly? You can look around and see that the house is filled with my touches - and if you are observant enough, my needs become very simple.

Two years ago, our now 16 year old did that. He observed me watching Glee in its inaugural season and bought me the Season one soundtrack. I was thrilled and touched. It wasn't on the aforementioned list - but he used his heart and head and got me something that he thought I would love. And it was simple.

(Before you ask - I have tried saying "Surprise me." It doesn't work.)

But I hate getting specific - because when I do, it becomes apparent that if the specific item in question is not found, people go into a panic. And then there was the year my husband bought everything on the list. Which made me feel very materialistic. I really am not. OK - maybe when it comes to yarn and books. But I am wearing the same boots I bought in 2001 - I have re-heeled them twice and given them new soles once. I am carrying the same purse I bought 5 years ago. I believe if you buy quality, it lasts. So I don't want a lot of stuff. But if you want to buy me something, then it should be something that speaks to who I am and what I believe in.

So Santa- here is a list. Nothing too specific, everything related to my passions.

1. Anything woolly. Yarn, pattern books, a gift card, stitch markers. Something that acknowledges that I am rather passionate about knitting. Check out the Yarn Harlot - she is doing a "Gifts for Knitters" every day. It has great ideas.

2. Anything related to running. Take the picture of me coming over the finish line in Niagara Falls and frame it with my number. Buy me some running gear. Enter me in a race at a destination unknown (but a little exotic - and by a little exotic, I mean, not in Calgary. Or Alberta either.) Running is important to me.

3. Tickets to a Flames game. And dinner before hand. Yes, I know they are in a slump. But I am a fan. And I love live games. And it could be a date.

4. Deep inside, I am a bit of a geek. I would love some new technology. Like an iPad. Or an iPhone.

5. Make a donation to a charity or not for profit I care about. The YWCA: DDRC: the Calgary Public Library. These are all things I support.

6. Books. And more books. For title suggestions? See my account in Goodreads. Password is as usual.

7. Music - Emmy-Lou Harris. John Hiatt. Or check out my iPod for bands I like.

8. I would love for my family to develop the ability to see. Everyone walks by the laundry on the line. But I am usually the one to bring it in. The baskets of laundry in the hall? Surely I am not the only one to see them. I know you take your own stuff and put it away. How about taking the towels upstairs and putting them away? The cookie sheet that has been in the sink for three days? It just needs a wipe to be put away. Piles of stuff around the house? You can put it away too, you know. Just saying. Don't leave it out - or worse, stack it in the front mail basket because you don't know where else to put it. Sort through it, put the junk in recycling and store the other stuff where it belongs. Hint - it's not always in MY basket in the office.

9. How about everyone giving me a firm answer when I ask "What do you want for dinner?" instead of "I don't know". Or "I don't care". (Because you do - if I serve something that I like - but you don't, you care enough not to eat it. So don't lie.) I am happy to prepare it. I just get tired of thinking up ideas.

9A. Ancillary gift to number 9? Try a taste or two of the new recipe before you say "Eww" Or "I don't like this". (When you have never had it - unless you are cooking things when I am not around, in which case, (BIG HINT) a key to my heart and eternal devotion would be preparing dinner for me occasionally.)

10. Notice that the bathroom (or the living room. Or the dining room. Or the family room. Or the bathroom. Or the bedroom) needs a little tidying and do it. Without a critical air and saying "Gee, there was a lot of dust in the living room." Like I don't know that. Or it's surprising.

Santa - I know that the last four might be beyond your reach. Especially if you are busy solving world peace or staving off famine in Africa. Which is why I have provided you with items one through six as an alternate.

Merry Christmas


Friday, December 2, 2011

November Wrap-up

1. November has been a rather blah month, heralding the coming of winter.

2. It has been accompanied by wild weather in Calgary. (Wildest to date? The wind storm on Sunday, with winds at the tops of buildings as high as 149 km/hour – see here for cool pictures).

3. Only damage at our house? The clothes line and pole fell down.

4. Luckily, no laundry on it.

5. Not the case yesterday, when there were winds again – and the sheets blew off, because even though they were dry, no-one (I’m talking to you, boys) thought to bring them in.

6. Until this morning, when I went out and saw one of the sheets wrapped around the lilac tree.

7. This means....more laundry.

8. We are on the edge of yet another wind warning today.

9. No laundry on the line - yet.

10. Wind warning is complicated by the fact that there is now ice and snow on the roads.

11. Sometimes winter is a b****.

12. Summer here is often not much better.

13. Spring can be iffy too.

14. The only season we can count is fall.

15. It heralds…the onset of winter.

16. Sometimes? I wonder why we live here.