Holiday Wish List 2013

This is the time of year I really knuckle down and start holiday shopping in earnest. Some people are proud Early Shoppers (squinting at YOU, Tawny!), but many of us wait until Thanksgiving to get serious about it.


wish-list-image1Normally I sit here, pretty content with my lot in life, and can’t think of much I really want for Christmas. But I know for sure my husband will expect a Wish List with web addresses, specifications and colors, so I try to pick a few things out. This is quite apart from the Things I Am Coveting list of last month, since my Christmas List should supposedly contain things I actually expect that I might receive. My Things I Am Coveting list was chock full o’ whimsy! Here, in no particular order, are some things that have officially caught my eye this year:


Flexi-8a1.    Flexi8 Hair Clips — These are no ordinary hair clips. These things are easy-to-use, flexible, don’t pull, and they are available in a huge range of sizes and styles. I’m not even kidding about the sizes and varieties. They can hold the skimpiest wimps of hair, dreadlocks, or anything in between. It’s kind of astonishing and awesome. My friend Liz Carlyle turned me on to these and I went to the Flexi8 website and ordered clips for me and all the long-haired females in my family!


Sony Bravia 40 inch2.    Big Old Flat Screen TV — Officially, this will be my husband’s Christmas present, but all wives know that these things are really for the both of you. On Cyber Monday, I tooled over to the New Egg website and answered their questionnaire to find the perfect TV for us. Once it suggested a couple, I went and checked prices everywhere and, lo and behold, New Egg had the lowest price! So in a few days, we — I mean, he — will be enjoying some large, flat screened, HD viewing.


Acer Iconia A2003.    Tablet Computer — Y’all know me well enough to know that I am not an early adapter of any technology (see flat screen item above). So it’s no surprise I don’t have a tablet of any sort. However, I also don’t have a smart phone (mostly because I don’t want to pay for an expensive data plan) and I’ve found that many times it would be more than handy to have something I could use to look up addresses, directions, phone numbers, etc. My husband has a smart phone, but it is useless in his hands so we might as well not have one. About a year ago, Donna let me use her iPad when we were at a conference so I could post comments to the blog. I was hooked! Ever since, I have envied the tablets of others. I found another handy questionnaire that helped me pick out what I do and do not need in a tablet and narrowed it down to one. After explaining to my husband why that was the best one for me, he agreed to get that for me for Christmas. I am looking forward to having my tablet (and case with built-in keyboard, also on the List!) so I can actually write AND answer e-mail AND look up information when I’m away from home! I anticipate it will change my life and definitely for the better.  😆


SmartWool sock4.    SmartWool Socks —I am no stranger to SmartWool socks. I have quite a few pair in my sock drawer. However, I have one particular pair that are my favorites and they are developing thin spots at the balls of my feet. I really need some more, but they have to be exactly the right ones. Just the right amount of cushion, the right color, the right pattern (or lack thereof). I anticipate I’ll have to order these for myself, wrap them and put them under the tree. But by gum, I will find those socks. REI, here I come!


black watch band5.    Leather Watch Band  — I have no idea how old the black leather watch band I have now is, but I think it’s the third one I’ve had on this particular watch. My wristwatch has a HUGE analog face and keeps pretty accurate time. It’s also an Indiglo, so I can see it at night or at the movies without bothering EVERYONE (people who check the time on their phones, I’m looking at you!). It has probably been at least 4 or 5 years since I bought the one I have now. It is battered, tattered and about to give up the old leather ghost. I need a new one. I will also have to buy myself this one, I’m afraid, since I’ll likely have to take it to a jewelry store somewhere to find another band. It’s a necessity, but left to my own devices, I’ll never get one until I have to, so I might as well throw it on the list. I may even spring for a new battery!


Irish Walking CapeAs noted, I am a creature of simple needs. I am so excited about the tablet and the TV I can hardly stand it. I’ve already worn one of the Flexi8 clips I got for myself to work, where it was much admired. Even thinking about soft, new SmartWool socks makes me smile in anticipation. It will also be a great relief to get the new watch band, so I’m not waiting for it to break every time I put it on. I suppose other people dream of different things, but I only know what makes my toes curl. Please note, the red cashmere Irish walking cape from the Things I Am Coveting post did not make the final cut. Still too expensive!  🙁


Now that the holidays are upon us, what has made the Final Cut and landed on your list? What’s the biggest thing you’ve ever asked for and received? What was the most unexpected and welcome? (And yes, Suzanne, puppies count!)

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  • Jane says:

    Hello Caren,
    One of my friends always gets everyone socks. He buys all the nice wool ones from REI. The most unexpected and welcome present I received was a plane ticket. I was staying with my cousin for the holidays in Michigan, but then she had to work(she’s a flight attendant.) She bought a ticket so that I could go on the trip with her so that I wouldn’t be alone for Christmas.

    • Jane, the rooster asked me to let you know that red is his color when it comes to socks!

      Wow, a plane ticket! That’s majorly impressive!

    • Caren Crane says:

      Jane, a plane ticket is the coolest present ever! Especially since her motivation was so sweet in making sure you weren’t alone. Best cousin ever! 🙂

      You may be tempted to buy the GR a plane ticket so he will leave sooner, but save your money. He’ll be gone before too long! 😉

    • Caren Crane says:

      Jane, I meant to say I am sharing a brain with your sock-giving friend. My children were trained early on that “socks and underwear mean love.” They are horribly disappointed if they don’t get them! Well, the girls are, anyway. My son is just as happy to buy his own, since he is a serious fashionista!

  • SecretNinja says:

    I`ve only got pretty much one thing on my wish list this year….really hoping to finally get an eReader or more specifically, a Kindle Fire HD. Not that I don`t love my physical books but I just want to try the eReader craze and really take books everywhere with me! I`ll forgo all other gifts this year in hopes of getting one from Santa LOL


    • Caren Crane says:

      Ada, I hope you get an e-reader of any sort this year. You will LOVE it! I never thought I wanted one until I borrowed a friend’s Kindle to read a book. I was gobsmacked! I am so spoiled with being able to change font sizes! that reading paper books is a chore for my aging eyes!

      I am reading a paper book now and am disappointed EVERY NIGHT that the font size won’t increase in the dim light. I hope you get one soon!

  • Helen says:


    I have just about finished my shopping all except Hubby and I am having a hard time thinking of what to get him although I think I might go with the same as you are getting your hubby we do have a flat screen TV but is is about 8 years old and flickers sometimes and he wants one a bit bigger so one of my daughters and I will check them out this weekend.

    As for me I want one of the new kindle paperwhite next gen e readers I do have 2 e readers already but I really want this new one 🙂

    One of the best presents I got was the year I lost my Mum and Hubby got some photos blown up and put into a lovely frame and it made my day 🙂

    Have Fun

    • Caren Crane says:

      Helen, aren’t husbands the hardest to buy for? After a while, it’s not like they really need anything much, but they always have something on their technology list, it seems. 🙂

      Too funny that you want a third(!) e-reader. The paperwhite is very lovely screen quality, though. I totally get wanting yet another one! 😀

      And your DH was incredibly thoughtful to get the pics of your mom framed. What a wonderful thing to do. So thoughtful! I tell you, it’s gifts like those, the ones that show the giver really thought of you and what you needed, that are the most special.

  • Caren, what a great post. I love those hairclips! I laughed at you being a slow adapter – now you’ve got a tablet, clearly I’m the only person in the world who hasn’t got one. I need to do something about that.

    I laughed at the biggest present. When I was a wee gel I was horse mad. As in monomaniac. To shut me up, my parents said they’d buy me a horse if I came first in my class that year. Bad challenge, parents! I was so horse mad, I made sure I came first!

    • Caren Crane says:

      Anna, I don’t have the tablet yet, although the DH did say he would get one. Hopefully the one I want and not the one he wants. We shall see!

      I’m sure your parents vastly underestimated Young Anna. I would never have made such a promise, knowing you now! 🙂 Btw, I ordered the DH a t-shirt for Christmas that says: “Non-flammable? Challenge accepted!” Ha!

  • Anna Sugden says:

    Loved your post, Caren. Must try those hair grips – I can’t get many to stay in my hair, so am always on the look-out for good ones. The best I have is from a market in Amsterdam and is one of those lock grips that’s also simple to open one-handed.

    I’m very lucky in that Doc Cambridge is an awesome gift-giver and always finds something (or several somethings) extra special. I have some fabulous hockey memorabilia and autographs that found their way under the tree. One of my favourites was a pair of personalised bobbleheads he got of himself and me! You may remember, I have a collection of certain hockey player bobbleheads, so it’s cool to have ones of the two of us. 🙂

    • Caren Crane says:

      Anna, I hear you about the hair clips. I have a lot of hair, but it’s very fine. Getting normal clips to stay in is a challenge! These, though, stay in like magic. Plus, they are available in sizes small enough to hold just tiny bits of hair if that’s all you want. Plus, they’re beautiful. It’s like magic!

      You are most fortunate in all ways with Dr. Cambridge. He is a most thoughtful man! I had no idea you could get personalized bobble heads. That is even more fun than M&Ms with your picture on them! 😀

  • Deb Marlowe says:

    I’ll join the no tablet club with you Anna! I have a smart phone and I’m stubborn about duplicating technology.

    I only have one thing on my list– a new bench to replace the old, tired, falling apart one in my yard. Unfortunately, this is not the time of year to easily find one!

    I’m jonesing on that cape for you, my dear!

    • Caren Crane says:

      Deb, I think (for me) the tablet will be more useful than a smart phone. We shall see. 🙂

      I noticed your poor bench when I was last at your house. It needs to be replaced, for sure! Your Valiant Husband should have been shopping the end-of-season sales in September for a new one! Maybe for Mother’s Day…

      As for the walking cape, I think it will be only a dream. A gorgeous dream! 🙂

  • Shannon says:

    I’m torn between getting checks towards a smart phone–probably an iPhone. My brother is shaming me into it every time he sends me something from the web, and I cannot read it.

    The other thing that I’d want gift certificates for is a specific piece of jewelry. I bought some RLM costume jewelry and it broke, but I loved it. He has the sterling silver version of it on-line at a popular site. Do I really need expensive druzy, silver earrings? But the cheap version was beautiful.

    • pjpuppymom says:

      Sorry your RLM jewelry broke. I have a couple pieces that I bought about 15 years ago that I still wear a lot. Beautiful stuff!

    • Caren Crane says:

      Oh, Shannon, no woman really needs gorgeous jewelry, but what feels better than dressing up and looking fabulous? Maybe you can buy yourself another saucy set of costume jewelry. 🙂

      I think you’d appreciate the earrings more than the iPhone. Plus, then you’re stuck paying for an expensive data plan so your brother can send you obnoxious links to check out. I say let HIM pay for it if it bothers him so! Ha!

      I figure my tablet is a nice compromise. I can check my e-mail and check out things on the web (if I’m in a WiFi hotspot), but I am NOT paying for a data plan for my tablet. It’s highway robbery! (And I am, as we know, a cheapskate.)

  • CateS says:

    Thanks for the flexi8-clips tip! I got all the stuff I need… now I’m trying to downsize…

    • Caren Crane says:

      Cate, it’s the way of it, isn’t it? My mom and I were talking over Thanksgiving about trying to cull things out of our houses. I am hopeful my kids will someday take all their things with them, but I’m afraid I may still have stuff in my mother’s attic! 🙂

      I figure useful things like hair clips and electronics don’t really add to the clutter, do they? Actually, when the new TV comes, we will have to get rid of our old one in a hurry. Along with lots of other things piled up around here! I swear, the more I give away, the more I have…

  • pjpuppymom says:

    Deb and Anna, I’m in the No-Tablet club with you.

    Love your choices, Caren. Too bad that cashmere cape didn’t make the final cut. Gorgeous!

    It’s been a long time since I made a Christmas Wish List (18 years to be exact). As I don’t have anybody in my life to give the list to, I focus my attention on the gifts I’m giving and the lists of the little ones in my life. Seeing their excitement when they open their gifts from me is the best gift I could receive.

    • Caren Crane says:

      PJ, you smart phonies have no need for a tablet. Those of us in Blackberry land need one! I would rather have a tablet (which will have a 10-inch screen and can be used for writing) than a smart phone. I can also use it to Skype with my daughters, which will be great!

      My mom is also in the No Wish List zone. She can never think of a single thing she wants or needs. I want you to know, it just makes you more of a challenge for your offspring. I’m just saying! 🙂

      I can’t WAIT to have grands to buy for! I love gift giving. Finding just the right something for a loved one is the best feeling ever! I’m sure you are the consummate considerate gift-giver, too, PJ. There will be smiles all around your house!

  • Sandyg265 says:

    The biggest thing I ever asked for and got was a Hudson Bay wool blanket. The most unexpected was a puppy when I was 7 since I’d wanted a dog for a few years and my Mom kept saying no.

    • Caren Crane says:

      Ooh, Sandy, I’ll bet you’re still using that Hudson Bay wool blanket, too! Makes me want to curl up and watch a movie on this cold, cloudy day. 🙂

      I’ll bet you loved that puppy all the better because it was a surprise! Did your mom ever regret saying yes? I know mine sure did, to any number of pets!

  • LOL, Caren, I love your list. Technically, Jazzman and I already got the big new flat screen TV. Must say how I enjoy it and it was for both of us, even though Jazzman thought it was just for seeing the football and baseball games better!

    We were surprised by our daughter and her family already with our best Christmas present. A new puppy!! (Yes, he definitely counts!) His name is Rusty and for the most part he’s fitting right in!

    I put on facebook to my kids that I’d love this chopping board covered in Chopin music…it’s called….wait for it…


    I need new plastic spoons/spatulas…would make nice stocking stuffers.

    But mostly I just want to have my family around and enjoy the laughter!

    • Caren Crane says:

      Suz, I love Rusty’s pics on FB. He is adorable! I’m sure you are having the usual puppy issues. We certainly are having kitten issues over here with Kimba. I wouldn’t consider him a “gift” but he sure is cute! 🙂

      Love that CHOPIN board. Ha! Nice of you to give them stocking stuffer ideas. I typically have to buy all of them for me AND everyone else. Though the kids have started surprising me a bit now that some of them have some cash. 🙂 I’m sure yours will come through with the kitchen tools!

  • LOL, I’m still laughing about lists.

    Y’all know my daughter Lyndsey. Well, she started making a Christmas wish list a few years ago. She gave them to her hubby, me, her MIL, SILs, sister and brother. It’s several pages long.

    Now, this is no ordinary list. It has pictures! One for each item, the size, the color AND the URL where you can buy it from! hehehe

    She lists clothes, music, books, jewelry, etc.

    This way she gets what she wants but really has no idea what will end up under the tree. She only expects people to buy one item on the list…and she’s done it with her hubby and kiddos the past few years, too.

    It does make shopping easier!

    • Caren Crane says:

      Suz, I love that idea! I only have my Amazon wish list, but it is limiting. For instance, my Irish walking cape could never be listed! But Lynds kind of has the best of all worlds by giving people LOTS of options and ensuring she gets just what she wants. Win-win!!

  • Jo Robertson says:

    Oh, my list is so sad, Caren! I’m at the point where I don’t need anything I can’t buy myself, and the kids are pulling out their hair trying to think of something unique, which is a lot harder than just giving $$.

    I always love the little things that I use a lot but forget to buy until I need a replacement. Last year I mentioned pastry brushes (you can’t have too many IMO) and I ended up with 3 of them LOL.

    I love when my kids wander my house discreetly and figure out what I use and will likely replace. especially if it’s inexpensive. I hate my children to spend $$ on me when they have their children to buy for.

    Love that cape, Caren. So lovely!

    Watch the big flat screen. We got one a few years ago and I canNOT pry the remote out of Boyd’s hand. I swear it’s glued on there.

    • Caren Crane says:

      Jo, I’ve resorted to similar sleuthing with my mom, I’ll confess. One year I had a stroke of inspiration at Thanksgiving and got her a HUGE gravy boat for Christmas. We are a big family and we do like our gravy! 🙂

      This year I may give her an e-reader. Not sure she’ll use it much at first, but I think she would really love that you can change the font size. And she would never buy one for herself!

      Honestly, if I hadn’t been wearing my pitiful watch yesterday and happened to notice it was about to fall off my arm, I never would have thought of the watch band. It’s hard to think about what you need when you’re thinking of what everyone else needs, IMO. And you have PLENTY of others to think about, Jo!

      I plan to use the flat screen as much as I’m allowed. I have a feeling Ron will be doing a Boyd on the remote! 😀

      • Caren, I got my mom a Kindle Fire for Christmas last year and once she saw how big she could make the font, she’s been in love ever since. She still reads paper print books, but she does almost as much reading on the Kindle.

        Your mom will love it.

        • Caren Crane says:

          Suz, that’s great to hear. She has been pretty skeptical, so I’m glad your mom took to it so well. I really think she’ll like it. One thing I’ll have to do is load it with books for her so she’ll use it. Fingers crossed!

  • catslady says:

    The most unexpected was a wild barn cat when I was about 10 or 11. I wanted a pet always and never thought I would get one because my parents weren’t thrilled with the idea so I was really surprised. Actually, I never ask for anything – I’m usually happy with whatever (except the year my husband got me a rug cleaner – really!!!!)

    • Caren Crane says:

      Catslady, how very appropriate that your first kitty was a feral barn kitty! My own feral kitty, Kimba, approves. Or I think he does, anyway. Hard to tell when he won’t sit still long enough for a conversation. Too much a kitten, I’m afraid!

      I am not a fan of surprises, so I tend to ask for exactly what I want. But I love surprising other people, so I’m not sure what’s up with that. 🙂

      I would love a rug cleaner, but then I am weird like that and appreciate deeply practical gifts more than anything else. I really have no use for jewelry and whatnot. Give me a new Dyson vacuum and I would be in Heaven! I’m sure I am a disappointment to diamond retailers everywhere. 😀 Hey, at least I understand not everyone would like a rug cleaner! LOL

  • Becke Turner says:


    Fun but hard question. I really had to compel the cogs to turn. I’m with you on the Smart socks. They’re great.

    Since we’re empty nesters, we have or buy what we want. However, our wants are few. I asked my daughter not to buy for us and she threw my argument at her. It gives her joy to buy for us. So here comes the guilt. Last year they bought us an iPad. However, I prefer my tablet and work on it all the time on the commute to work. (DH drives)

    I have a Kindle, but I think a Paperwhite Kindle would be nice.

    Biggest/received: We bought my first “nice” car right before Christmas. We don’t do fancy just nice.

    Best surprise gift: Cutback saddle from my dh

    • Caren Crane says:

      Becke, kids can really turn your arguments around on you, can’t they? I feel terrible when my kids spend money on me, especially the girls, since they’re still in college (and very cash-poor). But who can argue with loving to gift others? It really is a wonderful thing.

      How lovely that you got your first nice car right before Christmas! It’s a great time to buy a car, when they’re making room for the new models. And I hear you on nice but not fancy. We are the same way!

      I’m sure your husband was tickled to surprise you with that cutback saddle. What a great surprise! Something you could really use, too, which makes it even better, IMO! 😀

  • Thank goodness someone else refuses to succumb to the allure of the Iphone! My flip phone with the monthly pay as you go plan works fine for me and has since my first RWA conference in San Francisco in 2008.

    I am still in lust with that walking cape! And I am checking out those socks as well.

    My home is too small to accommodate one of those huge televisions. I would have to put it on one end of the house and my sofa on the other end to enjoy it! Although Richard Armitage or Gerard Butler on a big screen might make it worthwhile!

    And I actually broke down and bought myself a Nexus 7 tablet for Christmas this year. It arrived a few days ago and at first it didn’t look promising as it took me FIFTEEN MINUTES to get it out of the box!! I also bought the keyboard dohickey to go with it. And a case. Merry Christmas to me! I won’t be paying for those expensive data plans either. There are enough WiFi hot spots around for me to use it to check email, etc when I am away from home. I think I will really enjoy it and it will come in hand at conferences so I don’t have to haul my laptop around. My nephew is laughing at me as he knows what a techno-phobe I am. I have two laptops, a desktop, a kindle and now a tablet and yet I refuse to get an Iphone. He just shakes his head!

    Fortunately my Mom mentioned she needed a new watch a few weeks ago and I immediately called my brothers and called DIBS on getting her a new watch.

    I am also getting her gift cards to her favorite restaurants and fast food places as she is on Social Security and eating out is sometimes a bit of a guilty pleasure. The card will be from her Granddogs.

    My niece is expecting a daughter on January 2nd (I’m hoping for a December 29th arrival as that is my birthday) and while I bought the practical high chair as a Christmas gift for my niece I could resist the infant sized pink cowboy boots for my grandniece Miss Marilyn Rose. I am starting her shoe collection early!

    My brothers and SILs and niece and nephews are always at a loss as to what to get me for Christmas so I always send a list of the books I want to my Mom and she passes it on to them. And they know they can never go wrong with bath salts and anything to do with tea!

    • Caren Crane says:

      Louisa, I am so happy someone else sees NO NEED for a smart phone! Isn’t everything else smart enough? 🙂 We must be on the same tablet wavelength, I swear. I think it will solve my few remaining technical problems while I’m away from home. You’ll have to update me on your progress!

      I love that your mom dropped an actual NEED in your lap. How often does that happen?!? Rare as hen’s teeth for my mom. And I love that you slapped dibs on it, too. Ha! Your brothers deserve that after the tree fiasco, too.

      The pink cowboy books for the baby sound divine. And really, you should just buy any cute thing you see for the baby grandniece. There is nothing cuter than baby girl clothes! I love her name, too. Marilyn Rose! She is just a star waiting to be born. Fingers crossed she’ll share your birthday!

      I think it’s most considerate of you to pass on a book list to your loving family. After all, they want you to be happy and books (and tea and bath salts) make you happy. Win-win! 😀

  • Mozette says:

    Weelllll, the real biggie on my wish list is a car. Yep, a car… I’ve been driving for 6 months now and Dad said he’s gonna get me one. So, I’m wrapped – of course – to finally get myself a set of wheels. Ma and Pa are going to pay for rego and insurance for the first 12 months then it’s up to me to organise it from then on. And I’m working on it.. but currently I’m driving a 6 cylindar car which just guzzles fuel like water! o.O

    Anyway, on with my list… World Peace. Yeah, I don’t ask for much… but this would be good, wouldn’t it? If we could all jsut get along after all this time… no hunger, no poor, no pain, no famine… jeez am I sounding like a John Lennon song or what? yeah, I know I am. 😀

    My Crafty Pegs business to take off … yeah, I’m only going at it with baby steps right now, and not many people know me right now, but I’ll be working hard at the Creative Markets to make my mark… and then I’ll be able to put some serious money away and save up for something cool… I’m looking at getting a permanent desk for my Crafty Pegs craft desk… you know, with draws, an overhead light and more space than what I currently have. But its not a folding card table… I’ll be using that for the markets along with the small tressle table I jsut bought for $28 at Bunnings. 😀

    Family and friends being safe and sound… yeah, I don’t want anyone being hurt over this time of year. One of my friends is going to Bali tomorrow, and I said to him, “don’t drink the water not even to brush your teeth!” he just stared at me and smiled, “Oh, yeah! Have to remember that!” so he’s getting great advice from everyone… I told him it was the flouride in the water – and other little bugs too – that we’re not accustomed to – that the locals are. And I also said not to buy food from the local markets as well as they use more than just cow and horse poo to fertilise their crops… much more different types of poo… if he knew what I meant. he just said, “Oh… eeewww..” and I was serious though. I just don’t want him sick when he gets home or over there.

    So, there’s my list… much different from what it was last year… but it’s there.