I learned a lot from my trip home last year. I learned that a visit to my hometown is expensive, that life without a cell phone is nigh impossible when I have friends tardier than I, and that I cannot continue to pack or request gifts that don't lie completely flat. I learned that I don't need more than three outfits (one for dressy occasions. I'm no slouch) and that no one cares if I wear the same shirt twice in a row. I learned that I didn't really care what people gave me, even though I demanded gifts and accolades for traveling so far. I was just happy to be home.
This is not to say that my goals for this year are entirely different. Sure, I do need to go shopping when I get home. I've discovered that biking everywhere means a pair of jeans only last for one year. That coin laundry theft from earlier left some holes in my wardrobe. Last time around I also had a lot of food goals. I was going to eat Mexican food, waffles, something that Grandma made, and drink my weight in my mom's citrus tea. Turned out that Japan and jet-lag had shrunk my appetite, and corn syrup-filled sweets were quick to overwhelm.
My trip this year will shorter by at least a week, so that's 11 full days at home (add 2 days of traveling to each end). Very little of that time will be spend vacationing (a.k.a. resting and relaxing). I do want to taste Hideaway pizza, real Mexican food, a filet mignon, and citrus tea is no joke. Now when I think about going home I think more about my family, and how I want to spend all my time with them. Family friends like the Wilkins, Aunt Jan, Nana, the Posts, the Moseleys, Tranbergs/Tangrens and the Hamilton's (this could be a forever-long list, so I shall pause here) are high on the must-see list. Of course, Nina, Hannah and any of my work/college/high school buddies who happen to be in town go up on the list of Do Not Leave Before Seeing.
However, family is my number one priority. I’ll only have so many lucid waking hours. After 6 p.m. the jetlag crazies take over I won’t know what I’m saying anymore. I gotta get quality time in while I can make sense of it. Also, I won't have a car or a mobile phone, so everything and everyone will have to come to me. I don't hate it. If I get stir crazy I will force Barron to take me to Red Robin for a cheeseburger. Otherwise, I officially invite everyone ever to my parents' house for Christmas, or pre-Christmas, or post-Christmas, or brunch.
Nevertheless, I realize that some people like to prove their love for me with stuff they bought. I will help these people by making a list of flat things at which I would not turn up my nose (let’s pretend that I’ve ever turned up my nose at a gift, save for when Gillian wrapped hand-me-downs and I cried):
· Laptop sleeve
· Laptop bag
Here are my favorites on Etsy. I have a wallet in the same print as the beige/brown/orange bird bags. I want to be able to carry my laptop and school papers in one bag. I would be using the sleeve/bag every. Single. Day.
- Gift certificates to:
- ITunes, because most of my spending money goes there anyway. I moved my music file to an external hard drive and subsequently regained all of my laptop storage. I have enough music to listen for 7:04:52:23 and still have an ever growing list of albums to buy. Right now I’m working on my collection of religious music, for when the Spirit says “Sing.” And yes, I listen to all of it.
- Express. Due to being the massive amounts of tag I play and bike-riding I do for work, dark jeans have become an indispensable part of my professional wardrobe. Also due to the massive amounts of tag and cycling, holes in awkward places have become part of every single pair of my jeans. I know the jeans at Express fit me and I won’t be stepping on the hem all the time. That way, if I absolutely must go to the store, I can run in, grab some jeans in my size, and skeedaddle. As little as possible TAFF (Time Away From Family/Friends). The link is here.
- Fire Mountain Gems and Beads, which can be found here.
- I’m low on supplies, folks. Shipping from places like Etsy and Ebay can kill a healthy bank account.
So that’s my grown-up Christmas list. Three items. I’m also taking requests from the good folk at home. I’ve only one requirement: Lies mostly flat. I take it back; one more requirement: Won’t get me stopped at customs.
So, tell me. Oshiete kudasai. What do you want for Christmas?