It’s been 30-some years since my last confession, and as you well know, I’ve done some hard time on the naughty list. But I’ve been thinking a lot about you this week. After spending a month shopping, hauling, wrapping, schlepping, baking, trimming, toasting, and cleaning endless candy sprinkles off the floor from a gingerbread-decorating fiasco, I’m depleted. My kids’ holiday season has been as magical and memorable as the Target ads insist it should be, but damn if I’m not out of money, out of energy, and — can this even be right? — out of eggnog.
What about me, Nick? Aren’t I entitled to a little magic? Don’t I deserve more than a morning of wielding the camera and serving up sweet rolls followed by a week of cleaning up gift wrap, boxing up ornaments, and coiling up yards and yards and still more tangled yards of twinkle lights? Who’s gonna jingle my bells, man?
Blame the scotch I’ve been splashing into my cider all evening, or the heady Spruce It Up!™ PlugIn® I bought to rectify the dispiriting odorless-ness of my fake tree. But I took the liberty of scratching out a last-minute wish list, on the off chance that you care.
Here’s what I’d really like this year. Or any year, really:
• Another scotch and cider, if it’s not too much trouble. Just a small one. It’s cold out.
• A personal trainer that kicks my butt halfway to hottie and back without causing me any pain whatsoever. And no sweat, please.
• A self-cleaning refrigerator. And shower.
• A phenomenal disguise I can wear to pick up my kids at school right after they’ve done something (last week: stole a moonstone from art class, got detention for turning out the lights in a classroom) that reflects poorly on my parenting skills.
• A simple, definitive answer as to whether microwaving plastic will kill me. How hard can this be?
• Lip gloss that makes my kisser gleamy-glassy but doesn’t leave my hair plastered to my mouth when a breeze flutters by.
• Food poisoning, the stomach flu, or another temporary appetite suppressant that will magically make peppermint bark, salted caramels, and Christmas cookies less appealing.
• Someone to inform my uterus that I am now watching R-rated movies with my firstborn and no longer need to be pummeled with gut-shuddering, womb-readying cramps every month, thank you very much.
• A really great book. Not a made-for-Hollywood romance, or a sappy Oprah-endorsed novel about a scrappy heroine facing the adversity du jour. I want a can’t-put-down tome with language I can chew on and characters who behave badly without consequence. Also: the time to read it.
• Is there a Roomba that does windows? Mows lawns? Folds laundry? Yes, please.
• A radio station that plays my favorite songs without calling them “oldies,” “flashbacks,” or “classic” anything, but refers to them instead by their proper name: The Only Music that Ever Did and Ever Will Matter.
• An invitation to a fun New Year’s Eve party. I haven’t been to a genuinely enjoyable December 31 soirée in 18 years. Do they still have them?
• Servants. I could really use a sleighful of eager-to-please servants. No: minions. With unparalleled massage skills.
Barring those, would you mind watering the poinsettias for me, bringing in some more firewood, and scrubbing the burnt cranberry sauce out of that pan in the sink? You’re a doll. And while you’re up, bring me another scotch and cider, will ya? What the hell. It’s Christmas.