Somehow, somewhere along the holiday road of my life, people stopped asking me what I want for Christmas. This has its pros and cons. The pros-list includes being surprised. I love surprises. I like random gift giving, just-because-style celebrations, unexpected moments shared…surprises are great. At least they usually are.
On the not-so-bright side I inevitably get things I do not need or things I would never use. I also get generic or gender-neutral gifts. I also find that I have to buy my own gifts because many times the gift is money with versions of “buy yourself something you like”. (side note: money is a terrible gift idea in my case because I seem to have issues buying myself things and will generally spend any gift money received on paying dental bills or bus fare).
I am not sure exactly when it happened, but somewhere between ages 14 and 26 I became the woman/chef/dancer/hostess that a gift must be bought for. There are only so many pink items (my least favorite color), perfumes, wines (there are only so many I can drink alone without classifying it as a problem), serving ware, sweatpants, socks and cooking molds I can take. I would have preferred for those gift givers to just wish me a Merry Christmas.
Let me just say, I adore homemade gifts and handwritten letters. I am old school. I grew up in a family that loved those sorts of things and by age 6, I was forging Hallmark cards because I did “care enough to give the very best”, even when I did not have enough tooth fairy money to buy a real one. For the record some of my favorite gifts I have ever received include pressed autumn leaves, private dinner cooked by a friend, a breakfast in bed coupon and a surprise game night. I do understand however that not everyone has the time, patience or willingness to make something homemade.
In reality, I do not NEED anything. There are a few things I want though and for the sake of actually making a Christmas list and because yes, I still believe in santa (mainly because he has employed me as one of his executive secret elves) here ya go:
- Grolla dell’Amicizia – This is a special Italian coffeepot that is designed for get-togethers and having a good time. I saw a beautifully carved wooden one that I fell in love with; unfortunately even after two visits to Italy and I still have not managed to find one available for sale.
- Shel Silverstein Books – I absolutely LOVE this author. I own The Giving Tree, which is my favorite childhood book and the first poem I ever memorized for school was a piece of his writing entitled ‘Warning’. I can read his poetry a thousand times over and never tire of it.
- An umbrella – I live in a country where it rains pretty much 6 months out of the year. Umbrellas here are used and abused. I had one that lasted me 2.5 years though. It cost me about $35 and it was bright red and SQUARE! When it broke I was devastated and since then cannot bring myself to buy a normal umbrella. When I get one it will have to be cane-style (the foldable ones break too easy here) and awesome. Currently I just borrow from friends when necessary hoping that someday I will find another unique rain shield.
- Frequent Flier Miles – I am an AAdvantage member and have a few miles though not a substantial enough amount to travel anywhere with. Almost all of my friends live in other countries and I wish I could take a week to go visit each of them. Any travel I pay for is strictly for educational purposes. Hard work and no leisure travel is just not cool.
- Snacks and Tea – I go through snacks like nobody’s business, particularly if they have some relation to cereal. I have long bus commutes and work schedules that sometimes do not permit an actual meal break. Also I would kill for a great chai tea. None of the ones on our market are any good, although I could make my own if I had time to actually hunt down the right ingredients.
- Moka – This is another type of coffee pot and before you start calling me a caffeine junkie this is for everyday use and makes stronger coffee than the local brewing method. Plus I have a can of Italian espresso ground coffee and no way to properly brew it.
- Silica Gel Packets – Strange, I know. I have recently learned that these little packets are ideal for keeping humidity away from electronics and as I mentioned, I live in rainy central and humidity is often off the charts. I have had many things ruined this way and would love to keep my camera in humidity-free condition.
- Old Movies – Any classic is good. I love them all, but yes of course there are favorites such as All About Eve, Road to Morocco and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. In Costa Rica it is almost impossible to find old movies at the rental places and when they come on TV they are all in Spanish; which is so wrong, in so many ways.
- Pen pal – This almost sounds sad. I miss snail mail. There are lots of sites where you can sign up for a pen pal, but let’s face it, a lot of the internet users on there are weirdos (the creepy kind). This would also make me meet someone new which always proves to be an interesting experience. I have had pen pals in the past. There was a Central American school student when I was 8, a Wiccan inmate when I was 14 and a case of mistaken address that lasted for a few letters when I was 20. I would be content with a handsome southern gentleman that tells interesting campfire stories…just as a thought.
So that is my list, I could probably add to it if I thought harder. Most of these items I will end up acquiring for myself at some point in the future. In all honestly I would love a coupon for poker night, an invitation to a paintball game, a random picnic, a companion for a photo excursion I have been wanting to do and a colleague willing to help me try out a professional version of My Drunk Kitchen. We will see what happens this year. I do believe it is the thought that counts (but I secretly hope that thought takes a minute to consider me as a person and not a generic gift receiving being.)
Merry Christmas to everyone. Hope you get something from your list.
‘Til Next Time…