Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Grown Up Christmas Lists by Amy Vastine & Carol Ross



A few days ago I was reading the Christmas lists hanging on my sister’s refrigerator door. She has four boys so it was no surprise to find Star Wars toys and Lego sets filling one list, baseball related items on another, and Wolverine themed trinkets making up a good portion of the third. The new line of cooking supplies from the Pioneer Woman was prevalent on the list of the youngest. (My eleven-year-old nephew is an aspiring chef. Bobby Flay and Ree Drummond are his idols.)

This list-perusing got me thinking - and Amy and me chatting - about Christmas, kids, and ultimately about our own childhood Christmas wants.
When I was young, my lists were comprised almost entirely of living creatures - guinea pig, puppy, bunny, a goat. However, being the practical child that I was, I knew the chances of receiving another pet were slim. So I always added a few more reasonable back-up items like a dirt bike, an Olympic-sized balance beam, and a tin of Almond Roca. No, I never woke up Christmas morning to find any of these items under the tree, except for the Almond Roca. But that didn’t stop me from wishing and dreaming. Every. Single. Year. 

What do you wish for this year? (Be honest.)

The things we wanted as children might have been more specific and tangible than the things we want now as adults. But, at their core, are they really that much different than what we (not so) secretly long for still? Like the kids in our lives now, we are convinced these items will bring us joy and peace and contentment. In fact, we know they will. Amy and I thought it would be fun to share a few items from our grown-up Christmas lists this year. Just a few small things…

Carol’s list:

1)   Extra hours in my day. Like many of you, time is at the top of my wish list. I’m not going to blather on about how we all have the same amount of time and that I need to manage mine better by sleeping less, being more efficient, moving faster, eating less, or whatever. I know all that. It does not help me. And since this is my Christmas list, clearly that means that I believe in magic and miracles and stuff. So, I’m going all out and literally asking Santa for two or three extra hours in my day. (Psst, Santa, we could work out a weekly time allotment if that’s easier for you? Like twelve or even ten extra hours a week? I’ll use them productively.  I promise. After we establish a mutually agreed upon definition of “productive” of course.)

Dear Santa, Amy and I would both like a little extra of this. We are willing to negotiate.

2)   A perpetually clean house. See how I’m not being greedy here and asking for a housekeeper? In my case that would be way too decadent. My house is not that big and is currently only inhabited by myself, my husband, and one geriatric wiener dog. How messy can it get? The answer to this question makes me cringe even as it often leaves me in a state of awe. Thus, I want a house that doesn’t get dirty at all. (Santa, just in case you get the wrong idea regarding wish #1 above - I do not consider cleaning to be a productive use of my extra time.)

3)   A kitten. (Further evidence that things haven’t changed all that much for me.)
Dear Santa, either one of these little fuzz buckets will work.

Amy’s turn … 

Like Carol, I would kill for more hours in a day, but since she already asked for that, here’s my grown-up list!

1)   Young legs. I didn’t realize that when you get into your forties suddenly everything starts to creak and crack. My knees, for example. These things aren’t what they used to be back when I was in high school playing soccer and basketball. Sometimes I stand up and wonder why in the world it feels like I just ran a marathon! My dad always says, “Getting old sucks!” I’m starting to understand!

2)   Enough covers at night. Anyone here got a dog? Anyone here got a dog that sleeps in your bed? I do and she’s a sixty-pound cover-stealer. Not because she’s covered in them but because she plops herself between me and my husband and creates this dip that seems to suck all the covers into it. I’m left with 12 inches of blanket that doesn’t budge when I pull on it. Please, Santa, it’s cold here in Chicago. I need some covers!

No. I have absolutely no idea what happened to all the covers.

3)   A laundry fairy. This would be the very best present of all. Someone who did all the laundry, folded it, and put it away. I don’t know about anyone else, but I am drowning in laundry. I have three kids (one of whom is a teenage girl, which means I do the equivalent of approximately six children’s laundry) plus a husband who pretends that our fancy washing machine is just too complicated for him to work - I mean where in the world do you put the detergent and look at all those settings?! Never mind he’s a MECHANICAL ENGINEER, this is just too much for him! I would love love love love a laundry fairy.  
Dear Santa, I would. If only I had a laundry fairy.
 
We’d love to hear about an item on your grown-up Christmas list this year!

For more information about Amy and Carol and a list of their books:



28 comments:

  1. Carol and Amy, thank you for putting a huge smile on my face this early in the morning! I can always count on your posts being fun.

    I know I frustrate my husband whenever Christmas or my birthday approaches as I can never give him a list of things I want (and most often not even a single item). Your post reminded me of our visit to PetSmart this past weekend to stock up on food, treats and, of course, Christmas gifts for our pups. As we're making our way to the checkout line a couple walks in with a big, gorgeous Malamute (we used to have one), and I just melt seeing him. I glance over to another checkout line and there's a young woman holding an eight-week-old Husky. For context, one of our last dogs was a Malamute and I had two Huskies during and after university. Neither breed is very common.) My husband had been asking me--again--about what I wanted for Christmas when we'd been driving to PetSmart. I'm sure I had a silly grin on my face when I looked from one dog to the other and told my husband I wanted a puppy!

    As you said, some things never change.

    Since a third dog for us is not likely right now, with Harley and Logan having enough energy for six dogs, I'll have to check your lists again and steal a couple of ideas!

    Happy holidays!

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    1. The pet store is always a dangerous place, Kate! One look at a puppy and I am ready to give into every single whim. But luckily reality sets in and I remind myself that one is enough for now!! Good luck coming up with some ideas for your husband. I hear Tiffany's has some nice things ...

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    2. I'll pass your list on to Ken! :-)

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  2. Since we're sort of asking for the impossible here, I'll add my Santa wish for the disappearance of this perpetual "pooch" around my middle section - like a stubborn spare tire and no matter what I do... Yes, age sucks. And I'd like to be a better cook, but these two wishes seem like opposing goals. So I'll leave it up to Santa which one I get.
    Cynthia

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    1. Oh that pooch. I know exactly what you're talking about! The cooking wish is nice, too. Although, I think I wish my husband wanted to learn to cook. THAT would be awesome!

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  3. I loved reading your lists, Carol and Amy!
    Like Carol, I'd love the gift of more time, but I'd also like time to slow a bit. It seems each year passes faster than the last. Watching my parents, who are my rocks, grow older has been difficult.
    I would also like to see a cure for Alzheimer's Disease.
    As for the creaky legs, Amy...wait until you get into your 50's, by then your hearing won't be as good, so you won't hear those creaks. :) Happy Holidays to all!

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    1. LOL! Thanks, Jill! I guess I'll just wait for my hearing to go bad ;) I would give anything for some more time, but I want time to stop while I take that time. Does that make sense? I'd just like to hit pause and steal a few hours away but not miss out on anything else in the meantime! As for Alzheimer's - I wish for that too!! xoxo

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  4. Amy and Carol this was a great post and I loved your lists. I've always said that time hits warp zone once December hits. I've also said that the Christmas holidays were invented by men to kill women who must do the baking, the shopping,the wrapping, the cards, the party giving, the friend going to and all the while the house has to be kept clean because folks just stop by! Actually, my mother said this. I took up the baton from her. So, more time is at the top of my list and I WISH there was a way to be more organized, but I think that any woman with kids, dogs, friends, husbands, parents, and people in general in our lives are the real miracle workers to pull all this off. In the meantime, (there it is...time but as used in a pause/thought/breath) I wish for sanity to get through it all. And the ability to work again till midnight tonight on my edits. I'll also wish for a cure for Alzheimer's along with Jill. And sigh, I know better than to look into a puppy's face at any time of year. I melt waaaay too fast. Merry, Merry Everyone!

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    1. Catherine, this is all so true! Clearly your mother was a very wise woman. I asked for time, but I see other women in action (both of my sisters, and Amy are a few examples) who have even more on their plates than I do. (They seem to accomplish more than I do, too LOL!) I admire them so much. As for your wish for sanity - brilliant. I might have to add a p.s. to my list.

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  5. Okay you guys---I don't want much. My Dear Santa would ask for "world peace". You can all laugh now.

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    1. Roz, under the circumstances these days, I don't think anyone would laugh at that wish! I would love that, too. As well as all the love and acceptance that would go along with achieving it. What a lovely dream. Remember the song "Imagine" by John Lennon? Maybe if we all did that...

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  6. Not laughing Roz, but standing beside you, adding my voice. Love your lists, Carol and Amy. Had similiar lists when I was younger. Now that I'm . . . not, I like the poor hearing thing so you miss the creaks. I'd like hair that looks good. To quote Georgette Heyer, mine often looks like "a hearthbroom in a snit!" Isn't that a word picture. Advice for Amy - Go to bed with a robe over your jammies and bed socks. You won't be too warm for too long. When the dog takes over, you're still cozy. I am the voice of experience in that area. Hope your stockings are filled with good stuff this year, you two.

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    1. Thank you, Muriel. "A hearthbroom in a snit" does pain a pretty funny picture! That is excellent dog-sleeping advice. I used to have a border collie and a cat on my bed in addition to the wiener dog. The border collie slept on top of the covers just like Amy's dog. I finally gave up and got myself a nice fuzzy blanket for my side of the bed. It was cover chaos! Thankfully, my wiener sleeps under the covers glued to my side.

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  7. Lol. I love this your lists--all of them. Sooo...I'll take one of everything you asked for and in addition ask for Common Courtesy to reign over social media (since we're into the impossible) and, more importantly and shouldn't BE impossible, that no child ever go to bed hungry again.

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    1. Liz, Yes! That's the spirit! We are definitely dreaming here. Just like we used to do when we were kids. Back when anything seemed possible - even a goat or a guinea pig under the tree on Christmas morning.

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  8. I love the lists and the comments that follow. As for those knees...just wait until you hit...who put their hand over my mouth? My wish is for new knees without the surgery. World peace...more time, a house that stays neat for longer than a day after I clean it...the list could go on forever!

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    1. Thanks, Patricia! I'm loving these comments, too. It's nice to hear that others have some "grown up" wishes as well, right? There is no way you are hand-over-mouth years old! You don't look a day over young and beautiful.

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    1. I think the laundry fairy wish is pretty clever, too. Just like how fast my house gets messy, I'm constantly surprised by how fast laundry piles up. I'm convinced someone is sneaking into our home, wearing our clothes, and leaving them in the hamper.

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  10. All those things sound wonderful, and yes, the sudden disappearance of those extra pounds would be nice, too. You made me smile this morning, which is a wonderful thing. Yesterday was one of those days where every task seemed to have a complication. I forgot to get Parmesan for last night's spaghetti, the printer ran out of ink in the middle of printing Christmas labels, and the Christmas tree I brought home and dragged up the stairs has a trunk too big to fit into my stand. Today I'll be trimming off the knots, making another trip to the store, and baking. Dear Santa, please send a little Christmas magic. Stop by early and I'll give you a cookie.

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    1. LOL! Oh Beth, I'm so glad we made you smile. I feel your pain! It seems like there are just days (sometimes they string together) where you just want to hit that reset button. Or climb back into bed and pull the covers over your head.

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  11. I'm still laughing, and I have a cat who is a cover stealer. Oh, and since the puppy is being crated in my ten year old's room, lately we've had both a cat and ten year old cover stealer.

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    1. My cat was a a bit of a cover stealer ,too. But mostly she would sleep ON my head. I would wake up so hot and sweaty. My husband used to say I looked like I was wearing one of those big fur trapper hats at night. Hope things are going well with your puppy!!

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  12. I'd like to get a Rhomba. One of those the little vacuums that go around and clean every so often. A horse because I used to own one. And books! I'm pretty simple and I hope every year!

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    1. I'd love a Rhomba, too, but I'm afraid my cat would kill it.

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    2. I'm hoping that my kitties would not but our Doxy might. here's hoping!

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    3. Jennifer, I'm very curious about those Rhombas. I don't know anyone who has one. Like Muriel, I'm afraid my wiener dog would see it as competition and try to take it out. I think I need something a little more technologically advanced to keep up with the mess that is my house. Something that would vacuum up clutter right along with the dirt. A Star Wars-style R2D2 or C3PO might work or maybe some contraption from the Jestsons lol!

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    4. I'm willing to give the Rhombas a shot if I ever get one. I have 4 boys myself and the Legos are always on the list, Star Wars and Xbox games. Hot Wheels is another item that hangs around.

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