I don’t know about you guys, but I have reached my limit on “stuff.” Each year my family asks me what I want for Christmas, and I keep saying I really don’t want a thing. But I know my family, and if I keep saying that, I’ll get a box full of gifts that they think I want. So I dutifully fill out an amazon wish list and send it out (and let’s be honest, it’s all cool stuff! I’m just not sure how much I need any of it).
This year, I’ve been toying with the idea of what I really, really want for Christmas. And the answer is time. I want so much more time. Time to sleep and time to cook and time to relax and time to read… I could go on. So I thought I’d come up with a holiday wish list that tackled that issue, and at the same time I can give you guys some gift ideas for your friends and family that a) you can order up to the last minute and b) don’t have to be wrapped (who loves you?? I DO!).
1. House cleaning. A four hour house cleaning by a professional can do wonders. I recently had this gifted to me, and it was glorious to see my stainless steel sink and appliances look brand new again, not to mention having the blinds dusted or all of the faucets in the house not just cleaned, but polished. Sure we can all keep up (or try to) with the vacuuming and the dishes, but it’s these nitty gritty details that the professionals excel at. (This usually runs about $35/hour)
2. Snow removal. Many services operate on a monthly coverage – it’s like insurance: If it snows, you are covered and if it doesn’t, you lose the money. But living here in the Great White Tundra, we are almost guaranteed some snowfall December through March. Now, choosing the month to cover for your gift can be tricky… some say January (colder) while I, myself might go for March (because I cannot stomach another shovel by then). But contacting a snow removal service and paying for one month of coverage for someone you care about will win their heart many mornings in our darker months. (Pricing depends on where you live and how long your driveway/sidewalks are.)
3. Errand running. How many weekends are being lost to trips for groceries, pharmacies, Target runs and car maintenance? Errand services will do all of this for you, and some will even take and pick up your kids/dogs from classes/practices/appointments/daycare. In the winter with snowy traffic, this could be a true time-saver (just make sure you really trust the person before sending them out to pick up dear Johnny, eh?). (Averages $30/hour)
4. Dog poop pickup. Yup, you read that right. Picking up dog crap in the summer is bad enough, but standing in the freezing cold trying to dig it out of the ice brings on a whole new level of humility. Hiring a service to do this dirty work is a true gift, and they provide a great gift certificate with a baggie of tootsie rolls. You cannot make this stuff up. ($15.50/week for two dogs)
5. Baby sitting. Giving parents a night out for some adult time is nothing new, but still greatly appreciated. You can either volunteer to watch the kid(s) yourself, or stealthily find out the contact info of their favorite sitter and work to hire him/her for them. The cost, obviously, depends on the sitter.
Oh! And that photo up there? That’s my tree this year! When we went to the lot to pick it up the guy asked if we wanted Douglass Fir or Frasier Fir and I said I wanted whatever was skinnier. He said, “Oh, you want a wild one then.” Why, yes. Yes, I do like my life nice and wild.
And speaking of wild! For your internet share of the day, I’m going to show you a photo of a Zonkey. A what? A zonkey! It’s a zebra/donkey hybrid! Adorable!