What Grandma is really after is a wish list from Hubby and I.
This is going to be very, very long and you may want to skim or skip (unless you're Grandma).
Grandma (aka my mom) gives great gifts. Gift giving is, in fact, her main love language. She rocks at it. Christmas in our house growing up was always pretty dang miraculous. Even when times were tight, there was always at least one special thing that was exactly what you wanted. My Mom? Santa Claus. Seriously. But even Santa enjoys having a nice list to use as her starting point for ideas.
Here are the problems with that:
a.) Gift reception is NOT Hubby's love language. It continues to be a completely foreign language to him. I'm not sure he'll ever learn to speak it, and he thinks those who do speak it are a wild and wacky alien culture. (You guys know about love languages, right? Or am I a wild and wacky alien?) When Grandma calls wanting a Christmas list from the grown-ups, she mostly means she needs one for Hubby. And then Hubby gets all baffled about this wish list thing (Hubby also does not really collect "stuff") and puts me off (why am I always the middle man?). And then Grandma gets frustrated because she has no idea what to give Hubby, and she NEEDS to give him something, or how will he know he's loved? Cycle of crazy. Dog chasing tail. Exercise in futility.
b.) We are broke. Reality check, folks. This recession, combined with a two-year wage freeze, combined with a complete re-organization of Hubby's company (it's technically a new company now) that leads to no performance reviews, which leads to no wage adjustments, has got us feeling the pinch. Add to that a crazy wife who goes a little nutty in the spending department this summer as a way of coping with grief. (Turns out when I'm sad I eat. And food? EXPENSIVE.) Then crazy wife goes and starts a new business. Which is the long way of saying....Christmas? Very, very, VERY low-key this year. I'm still trying to figure out how Santa is going to make it. We're scrambling to give our kids a few small things*. Everyone else is off the Christmas list. We just can't afford to give you anything more than a big hug or words of love and appreciation (both sincerely given).
That was before our computer died and we had to dip into our emergency fund to replace it.
Also, our fridge is acting very strangely and may need life support.
2010 is not going on my life list of favourite years.
(*Yes, I know Christmas isn't about gifts. But I enjoy having them be a part of our celebrations. Some things rub off on you. And I have at least one child whose love language is gifts. I wish to give them.)
So, wish list.
1) I was so very completely serious when I said we'd like it if you got yourself something great and considered it from us. It hurts me that I can't give you much of anything this year (or last) and I know it hurts you. I feel guilty and sad. So really, take the money you would have spent on us and get yourself something awesome that you wouldn't have treated yourself to otherwise. Tickets to a show, a pretty new outfit, couples massage, dinner out...we're not picky. These are all things we wish we could gift to you. Or here, this is something I think you'd enjoy! From us to you! Merry Christmas!
Give yourself (and your Terry-Bear) something absolutely perfect and then tell us all about how much you enjoyed it. The gift of not feeling guilty is what I want for Christmas this year (and the gift of not listening to me complain about how I feel guilty is what Hubby really, REALLY wants). A little holiday peace can last for years.
2) Spoil the grandkids! They love it. We don't mind. In fact, once again, less guilt for us! (But remember that peace part. I'm still not sure I can forgive you for those singing Dora Dolls.)
3) Pay it forward. Christmas is about giving and we might be feeling pulled but all of our complaints are definitely 1st-world ones. We have a home and heat and food. How about sponsoring a child, buying a goat (or BUNNIES), adopting a tiger, making a business loan, or something else equally good?
4) Cold hard cash. See (b) above. Also, fridge and dishwasher dying. Gift cards are also lovely. Atlantic Superstore, the eeee-vil Wal-marts, Chapters, Micheal's, Canadian Tire....we're not picky!
5) A winning lottery ticket. We'd totally share.
6) I know. Number 4 goes against everything you are. I have the "gift cards show a lack of thoughtfulness" speech memorized. I was just messing with you (but they totally save on shipping costs). I also know you're going to ignore #1 and #2 and phone me back looking for the real list. Here are some "you're going to bug me until I come up with something" suggestions.
- Food. Hubby has a weakness for real maple syrup. I have a weakness for chocolate-anything. We both love cashews. Mostly anything in the Insider's Report has us perked up with interest. Nibbles and treasures that are totally not good for us are very popular around here with every age demographic. Home-baked goodies are VERY popular.
- Tongs. My kitchen is without them. I use a fork or my fingers (ouch). They would be a welcome addition. The kids might enjoy a cheese slicer. They use a knife now but they cut the cheese VERY thick and it makes me crazy.
- Very soft blankets. We like to snuggle up around here. There is also fort building occurring with surprising regularity. Also? Really nice blankets get put away for me to use as back-drops for business.
- Socks. Dressy, silly, soft, seasonal. We don't all love socks, but we all feel that if we have to wear them, they should be fun. (Last year you gave the Boy Christmas socks and he delighted in wearing them still in June. He thought it was hilarious and always walked around with a smile on his face when wearing Christmas socks. He has worn them out. They are now holy socks.)
- Books. Feed my JD Robb addiction! I also missed these two (I have the second two in the quartet). I'd also love to get the current issue of CK (it comes with a cd) or a subscription to Scrapbooks Etc. I could go on and on and on with my wish list in that area. I'm not sure what Hubby is reading right now, but both Chapters and amazon.ca may as well be on a direct deposit for us. That's where the mad money goes! (You asked which fairy books the girls have: they have (or will receive for Christmas) most rainbow, party, pet, dance and Christmas fairies. Princess also has Mia the Bridesmaid fairy.)
- Snow brush for my car. Actually, I may have to buy this for myself very soon and call it my own Christmas present.
- Rechargable batteries (AA).
- Charging dock for the Wii Remotes
- Charger for Wii Fit board (we had one but the Boy broke it).
- Wii games (sensing a theme?) The kids are obsessed with anything with the Mario characters.
- Picture frames or photo center gift card (I like Blacks). How sad is it that a scrapbooker/photographer hasn't printed any photos of her own in over a year? SAD.
- Holiday decorations. I rarely buy them for myself. I always think of better things to spend money on. But I like seeing my house all done up. And not just for Christmas! (I bet Hallowe'en stuff is super cheap on clearance right now.)
- Photography silliness: just about anything from this completely awesome website would make me a very happy girl. You might even find some of these things elsewhere. I would ADORE having this (Canon please), we'd all have fun with this, I could actually use this or this or this...this is trippy good fun, this makes me smile....oh, poke around. It's all good!
Ok, that's it. I'm out of reasonable ideas (a deck! a mini van! 5D Mark II! Or 1D Mark III! Or IV! 35mm f/1.4L! 24-70 f/2.8L! 85 1.2LII!) and this may win a record as the world's longest blog post.
Love you Santa Mom, and kudos to anyone else who actually read all this.