Treasure: mama’s gift list
Allow me to apologize for the illegible letter you’ve received in your North Pole fan mail pile. The other day, Little Friend sat down at Macy’s “write a letter to Santa” station and composed a wish list on my behalf. She takes good care of her mama, you see, but her piggy bank is rather lean these days. She was hoping you could help her out come Christmas morning–surely you have it in you to pop some gifts labeled “To: Mama, From: Santa” under the tree.
Little Friend managed fairly well with the one meager black ball point pen provided by Macy’s for the letter station. As I sat next to her at the table, I noticed a yellow stain on the red table cloth. Three half-heartedly crumpled letters cluttered the table. I guess even kids can get writer’s block when the stakes are so high. Little Friend, however, scribbled merrily away, transcribing each and every request I made.
Just in case you don’t speak fluent circles, dots, and frenetic lines, I thought I’d drop you a letter to clarify Little Friend’s best intentions. Please give your consideration to the enclosed wish list for a hardworking mama who has been lusting after these items all year long.
Also, it may behoove me to remind you that I’ve been fairly good all year—the laundry is mostly caught up, I washed three windows yesterday, I kept regular play dates all summer, I’ve had the oil in my car changed, I thanked Big Friend for taking out the trash, and I swept the leaves from my porch in a (mostly) timely manner. As for the few naughty moments I may have had, surely you can forgive my temper tantrum thrown when the dog ran away, my ignoring the unmistakable “poopy diaper” smell until Big Friend got home to notice and address the unsavory issue, and the three mornings this week when I’ve intentionally turned off my alarm for an extra 30 minutes’ snooze.
I hope my note finds you and the Mrs. well. Be sure to feed the reindeer some extra rations in these last few days before your big night (I hear high-protein shakes are all the rage in the deer community these days? Truth or myth?) I’ll have a plate of cookies waiting on the hearth for you.
Little Friend’s Mama
2010 Christmas Wish List
Wusthof Classic 8″ Chef’s Knife from In the Kitchen – We have a knife battle here at chez Belle Squeaks. Not literally, of course, but close. Big Friend adamantly prefers his Global knives, while I have a special soft spot in my heart for my Wusthofs. We each own a couple of key knives from our favorite manufacturers, but I’m sick of conceding defeat to Big Friend when it comes time to grab a chef’s knife. Only Global chefs lurk in my knife drawer. It’s time I added a Wusthof Chef’s blade to my arsenal so my chopping, dicing, paring, mincing Nirvana will be achieved. (And Santa, if you could shop local and visit my favorite Pittsburgh kitchen store—In The Kitchen—for said present, all the better.)
Le Creuset Dutch Oven from Williams Sonoma – What’s not to love about a Le Creuset pot? The color, of course, is spectacular, turning any kitchen into a whimsical, vintage wonderland. But the heft and weight of each piece makes cooking seem as important as the gold standard. I can’t read the reviews of this pot without tearing up a little in envy as the reviewers rave about the quality of their stocks, coq au vins, and veal osso buccos prepared with the incomparable help of Le Creuset’s dutch oven.
Gift Certificate to Naturally Soergel’s – Let me make it easy for you, Santa, and beg for just one item from my favorite Natural Foods/Allergen Foods store: a gift certificate. Make sure there are a couple of zeros after the initial number in the amount box, because I could happily fill two or three carts with inspiring products from this store. Even better, unlike many natural foods stores that smell something of patchouli and unwashed armpits, Naturally Soergel’s is impeccably decorated, in tune to customer’s needs, and sells plenty of natural deodorant options. Spelt flour, here I come…
Entire inventory at Pavement – I consider myself fortunate to have stumbled across Pavement on last weekend’s Lawrenceville Joy of Cookies Tour. (This tour is so up your alley, Santa. Free cookies at every store in the neighborhood. Little Friend couldn’t stuff her face fast enough. Big Friend’s pockets bulged with half-eaten morsels.) As soon as I walked into Pavement and spied their shoe display, I knew I had found a kindred spirit in a store. The clothing and jewelry racks just confirmed my love at first sight. With numerous on-trend fashions and reasonable prices all in one tiny boutique, I have to wonder why I ever bother slumming it at the mall. Finally, a one stop shop for amazing fashion at a price that’s almost (and this is where you come in, Santa) within my reach.
Custom Address Stamp from Sweet Papery – I love what Etsy does for the small business, and what it does for my access to ultra-cool, hand-made items. Like this adorable, chic address stamp from Sweet Papery. The company’s website and Etsy shop offer far too many address stamp options for me to decide on just one design, so Santa, I’ll allow you to close your eyes, point randomly, and leave a sweet parcel under my tree. Those of you on my Christmas card list may be lucky enough to spy the winning design on my envelopes next year.
Personalized Stationary from KoJo Designs – Speaking of envelopes, I need some. But not just any envelope will do. Specifically, the envelopes and cards that go along with them from the darling Etsy shop, KoJo Designs. I’m in love with the Birds, and Bees, and Other Goodness set of personalized stationary. And if I had a wedding coming up in my future (any June brides on your gift list, Santa?), I’d point a suggestive finger in the direction of KoJo’s memorable wedding invites.
Ceramic Produce Baskets from Uncommon Goods – I’m dreaming of peaches, plums, raspberries, strawberries, and blueberries. And it’s only December. Yes, I know I could march out to the local grocery and purchase something similar that’s been shipped up from Peru, but honestly, after a summer of gorging myself on fruits grown no further than 50 miles from my own front door, anything else seems like the bland fruit imposter that it is. So I’ll wait for the season to shift back to summer’s bounty, thank you very much. In the meantime, wouldn’t it be lovely to have a set of these arresting ceramic produce baskets just waiting to display the season’s finest?
Smitten Kitchen Cookbook – I’m a patient gal, Santa. Really, I am. As proof, I offer up my devotion to the Smitten Kitchen cookbook. This culinary guide hasn’t even been published yet. It’s not scheduled to roll off the press until sometime in 2011. But I’ve patiently prepared a spot for it on my cookbook shelf. Someplace that’s quite easy to reach, because this is one cookbook whose pages will be stained, marked, and creased from frequent use. Truly, if a website could show the wear and tear of a book, I would have worn out http://www.smittenkitchen.com a few months ago. So an IOU for this sure-to-be-my-new-kitchen-BFF would suffice just fine, Santa.
Joie de Noël Votivo Candle – My little guilty indulgence in life is Votivo Candles. They’re my reward at the end of my shopping rainbow. As in, if I manage to buy all of my week’s groceries and still have some spare change, I’m allowed to splurge on my all-time favorite candle company’s latest compelling scent. This summer, it was Narcissus. This fall, I fell for Tuscan Olive. Now this winter, I’m stuffing my piggy banks in hopes of eventually earning my way to a Joie de Noël. The finely crafted Votivo candles burn evenly for hours and offer up unique scents that do not turn my stomach with a cloying sweetness that most other candle makers fall prey to. Votivo’s scents seem much more akin to a fine Parisian parfumerie. Santa, maybe you could dig some spare change from beneath your sleigh cushions…
Cashmere lined leather gloves from LLBean – I dream of these beauties every time I put my numbed, chapped hands on the frozen steering wheel. Mmmm. Cashmere and leather. And from a trusted, quality company like LLBean. I’m liking these particular gloves because they are slightly longer in the wrist than others, making sure that from fingertip to sleeve, I avoid any unpleasant arctic blast. At least, that’s how it works in my dreams. Don’t you think you could help this girl’s dreams come true, Santa?