Ask me what I want for Christmas. Go on, ask. Well, the answer is – I don’t know. Beyond some bed socks and a new pair of pyjamas (t-shirty top, flannel bottoms, please), my wants are simple and few. It’s probably the same for most people my age. If you have a job, and you want something, you buy it yourself; putting it on a list and hoping upon hope you unwrap it on Christmas Day seems a bit risky. It may no longer be in stock, people may misjudge your size, and it certainly won’t be in the Black Friday Sale anymore! My twelve-year-old is SOOOOOOOOO excited about the Big Day that she can barely contain herself. I asked her why she was quite so fervent about it (she was literally shaking at the very mention of next Tuesday, I’m not kidding). And although she thoughtfully listed all the finer (and less mercenary) points about the festive season; family gathered together, Christmas dinner with all the trimmings, hanging around in pyjamas for extended periods of time – she finally admitted that ‘presents’ were really top of her list. But when does all that childish gift-excitement leave us? I guess the onset of adulthood will do it. So I thought, loosely following a theme that’s been on Twitter lately, I’d write a short list of random things that a grown-up like me really wants – things that you won’t find under the tree…
For my husband to put the cushions back on the bed:
Well, I can dream. And I’m not talking about pillows, I’m talking about cushions. Okay, some (men) may say that there are too many cushions on my bed (mainly fawn-coloured faux-fur ones with a matching faux-fur throw). Some may even say that my room is starting to resemble f***ing Narnia. But our bed would be a dull and uninspiring piece of furniture without this adornment. But I know my husband doesn’t care for all that frippery. Still, please, husband; on your day off (when you get up WAAAAYYYYY after I have left for work), please make the bed. And when you’ve done that, please put all the cushions and the throw back on too. It feels pointless me doing it when I get home at five o’clock in the evening (yet I still do it) just to take them all off again four-and-a-half hours later when I go to bed. I don’t ask for much this Christmas, but I do ask for that.
The end of Christmas cards (please)!:
This won’t be a popular ‘gift’ (though it is seasonal), but I just…sort of…well…I wish Christmas cards were no longer a thing. I know! I know exactly what you’re going to say,…’lar-lee-lar…keeping in contact….lar-lee-lar…old people…lar-lee-lar…other stuff about tradition’. We actually wrote at least thirty cards this year, we may even have sent some of them on time, but I busted a gut to do it. And I will continue to bust a gut to do i for years to comet; for family members who are far away, and for distant friends you never get to see anymore. Yet it’s a tradition that I secretly (not terribly secret anymore) wish would die out. Is that wrong of me? Come on, we’re on the internet now, people. Can’t you do without a bit of cardboard sent in the post from me? Are you going to keep it and cherish it? No. Are you going to recycle it the minute you get a chance? Yes. Was it really worth me sending it at 67 pence a pop first-class or 58 pence second-class? Um…no? And while I’m at it, can we talk about ‘Thank You’ notes…? Perhaps we shouldn’t, I may already have alienated my entire readership over the Christmas card thing. But the next present on my wish-list is certain to kill off the last few stragglers.
A second referendum (pretty please)?:
Oh my God! How dare I lull you into a false sense of security with a tongue-in-cheek blog about Christmas cards and faux-fur cushions, and then in the next breath have the audacity to talk politics – and even worse – the ‘B’ word?! You know me, I play my political cards close to my chest, and I actually think politics can be a pretty divisive thing amongst people who generally like each other – but just don’t necessarily have the same political opinions (which is why I tend to keep it off my site). But it appears there ain’t gonna’ be no deal, and I think it’s time we admitted we need a second vote (I highly doubt we will get one, but it’s my Christmas list, and I’ll bloody well ask for what I bloody well want).
For diets not to age you quite so badly:
I don’t mind growing old – I don’t. It’s a part of life. And I solemnly swear never to have any ‘work done’ to my face just to slow the advance of time (cosmetic procedures to your face are always a mistake, in my humble opinion – yes, I am very opinionated today) – you’ve got my promise in writing here, folks! But as I’ve said (many, many, many times before) I’ve been on a low-carb diet for the last six months, and lost approximately a stone in weight in doing so. Yay me. But it has its drawbacks. I have a friend who says (when you consider whether or not to go on a diet), ‘you sacrifice your arse or your face’. And what she means by that is, if you want to get rid of your big arse, go on a diet. If you want to look pert and youthful, don’t go on a diet. Why-oh-why must you lose weight off your face?? I didn’t think mine was especially fat in the first place. And I also wish people would stop looking at me with a sad shake of their head and saying, ‘you need to stop now’. What they don’t quite understand is there’s nothing to stop. Trust me, I still eat like a pig, and I’m bang in the middle of my BMI; I just eat the right things and understand macro-nutrients better. All I want is my (evidently) once-chubby face back…
To finally discover the purpose of toner (for your face, not your printer, I already know that):
I’ve done the three-step facial care routine for as long as I can remember. I’ve even stepped-up the routine a bit in the last year or two; now using far more expensive products (see aged diet-face above). I know what cleanser does – it cleans the crap off your face. I know what moisturiser does – it replaces the moisture you eradicated when you cleaned the crap off your face. But it’s the middle-man I never understood; step two. What is ‘toner’ for, exactly? Since I don’t really understand toner, and won’t splash out cash on something I don’t really believe in, I still buy a cheapish one. This is what it says on the back of the bottle:-
‘Facial toner features a special blend of skin toning goodness to help keep skin toned and refreshed; this blend includes ingredients like Pro Vitamin B5, Chamomile, Witch Hazel and Allantoin. This facial toner for sensitive skin is ideal to use after your cleanser and before your moisturiser morning and night to help remove those last traces of dirt and make up from your skin.’
Bit vague, isn’t it? So it’s just getting rid of the final crap off your face before your moisturiser? Didn’t your cleanser already do that? What I want for Christmas is a precise and scientific explanation of toner’s action, and why I really need to continue buying it. That’s all.
Oh, and finally, I would like an end to war and poverty, and all that. Hmmm, wait a cotton-pickin’ minute…that turned out to be just another negative list of things that vaguely get on my nerves (not that I ever write posts like that…)! But you see I’m just not that fussed about opening a tonne of presents on Christmas day. We in the western world have more than we need already. And I’d really rather we didn’t buy each other gifts ‘just for the sake of it’. Having said that, I am sure the presents kindly bought for me on the day will be lovely (my loved-ones know me well enough by now. [A: I don’t like being cold, and B:…nope, being cold is the biggest offender. Any present that staves-off cold will be good]). Oh, and more use of brackets within brackets, we just don’t do enough of that. But I’m just saying that there’s nothing I really need (other than the items mentioned on my list above). And one more thing; you, all I want for Christmas is you – to keep reading this blog, even though I don’t write often enough. Maybe catch up next week (I promise not to mention the ‘B’ word again)?