Laura on Life... What I want for Christmas

Did you ever notice that there is a season for plumbers? It's called the holiday season. It never fails. I don't know if it's because of the increased number of guests who need to use your toilet or that December is the time for all humans to she...

Did you ever notice that there is a season for plumbers? It's called the holiday season. It never fails. I don't know if it's because of the increased number of guests who need to use your toilet or that December is the time for all humans to shed hair. But whatever the reason, nearly every holiday season, I have trouble with my drains.

I love the holiday season with all of its ups and downs, and I usually have a lot more ups than downs (especially with my drains). However, I could use a little help during this time of year since there are so many things that need to be done.

For example, I love to shop for gifts, but I don't like to wrap them. You can't give a naked gift, though. It's just not done. So I need some help wrapping. Does Merry Maids do that?

I would love to buy a "wow!" gift for each person on my list. The problem is that "wow!" gifts usually cost a lot and I never seem to have enough money to get exactly the right thing for everyone. Of course, I also want to put something in the Toys for Tots bin and contribute to the "Angel Tree" and put a little something in that hanging red pot next to the guy making that incessant ringing bell noise in front of every department store. I figure if I pay him, he'll stop ringing the darn bell. He doesn't play nice, though.

I love to eat Christmas cookies. The smell of anise and chocolate chip cookies brings back so many wonderful memories. But I burn at least 50 percent of everything I bake and that smell is not very nostalgic. Now, because of my incompetence, my kids' memories will be that of burnt cookie dough. I may have started a whole new tradition. My great-great-grandchildren will probably burn a batch of cookies every year in memory of me.


I'm not exactly a creative cook either, but my turkey and stuffing usually come out moderately decent. What I wouldn't give for the skills of Julia Childs, though. To be able to put on a spread that deserves a standing ovation is a long-term dream of mine.

Instead, my cooking tends to result in loose fillings, a cracked cap, or the evacuation of some child's two front teeth. I've always related well to that popular holiday favorite: "All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth." That kid's mother must've been a lousy cook, too.

One thing that annoys me is that I can never find a large enough turkey at the grocery store. I need a 24-pound turkey for our large family, but the largest I can find is 18 pounds. Do two 12-pound turkeys have the same amount of meat as a 24-pounder? Even if they did, my cookbook doesn't tell me how to cook two 12-pounders. They assume that sane people only cook one turkey at a time.

The point is, I need certain things at the holiday season that I don't usually need. The number one thing is... time; time to finish all the cleaning chores that we women obsess about. Your carpet can have Koolaid stains on it all year long, but not during the holidays. As a result of all this cleaning, my hands are as dry as the Sahara in July. So I need lotion and rubber gloves.

Throughout all of this pre-holiday activity, I still need to type out my column, too. I need a few typists just to do that. Of course, my computer needs to work for that, and it tends to break down just when I am the busiest. My husband is a technological wizard, but he's too busy fixing other people's computers to deal with my "little problems." I need some little, tiny, on-call, elf-nerds living inside of my laptop. They can fix it when it glitches. Maybe Santa has a few of those lying around.

I need folding chairs, folding tables, folded napkins, and maybe even someone to fold the laundry. I wonder if the Wrapping Merry Maids would fold laundry too? Probably not.

Most of all, I need sleep, which being as exhausted as I am would almost certainly be possible if my true love was not also a sleep-talker.

When, on the 12th day of Christmas, he - my true love - asks what I want for Christmas this year, I'll tell him:


Twelve Plumbers plumbing

Eleven Typers? typing

Ten Lords a-sleeping

Nine Ladies baking

Eight Maids a-wrapping

Seven Hundred Dollars

Six Teeth a-staying

Five Folding Things


Four Calling Nerds?

Three French chefs

Two Rubber Gloves

And a 24 pound turkey.

If my true love will grant me these things for Christmas, I will never again ask him to fix my computer, wrap a present, or take a plunger to our toilet.

You can reach Laura at or visit her Web site for more columns and information about her new book.

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