Making A List, Checking it Twice

by brandt

Note: Because you all were SO NICE yesterday and gave us the most views we have EVER HAD for our website, I’m going to be extra nice and give you a 2 FOR 1 SPECIAL!!  That’s right, instead of anxiously waiting for the next time I decided to update the website, you will get two, TWO posts today instead of the normal one!  And it’s a NAVEL-GAZING EXTRAVAGANZA!  CHRISTMAS LISTS!  HUZZAH!  Of course, Ashley had to go and outdo me, but that’s what she’s best at.  So sit back and enjoy!  Ashley’s post will be up this afternoon!

I was a bit apprehensive around Thanksgiving this last year.  While we had a great time with much more friends than family at this year’s party, I knew the inevitable topic was going to come up with my uncles.

“So, Brandt, I need a Christmas list for you and Ashley.”


Yes, it’s that time of year.  It’s Christmastime again. Ever since I was 18, I hated doing Christmas lists.  I’m just not comfortable asking for things.  And since Ashley and I have been married, it’s not just doing a Christmas list for me, but for us.  While we were in college, it was very easy.  We could come up with little things that we really needed (being poor college students), like socks, or a DVD player, or dishes.  If we had a house, it would be different as well.  We could use smoke alarms, or a garbage disposal, or paintbrushes, or a shop vac.

But what do you do when you’re in transition?  What do you do when you know you’re going to be moving out of an apartment, into a house, but you don’t know when?

You struggle, that’s what you do.

And so, for your viewing pleasure, you get to see me squirm and be uncomfortable when listing 5 items that would be quite nice if they were to show up under a tree.


First and foremost, I’d love for someone to make a donation to a charitable organization.  Not one of those “This has been made in your name” type things, because it doesn’t matter where it’s from, or that it’s being done for me.  Ashley and I volunteered for an animal shelter in Southeast Idaho that saved kittens and cats from being euthanized and placed them in a special home for them (crazy as it sounds, they BOUGHT a double-wide trailer mobile home and created a cat sanctuary).  I knew the woman who ran the shelter very well, and she told me a couple of times that many times the shelter costs their own money to keep it going, to pay for things like food and kitty litter to cover over 50-60 cats.  So that’s number one on my list.


After being all soft and sentimental, I need to revert back to my MANLY WAYS.  DEWALT.  POWER TOOLS.  BLACK AND YELLOW.  GOOD GRIP.  I worked construction for a spell, and all the guys had these.  While I’ve got a knock off brand that I was able to find for cheap, I’m realizing why they all had Dewalt.  They do some good work over there, and I’d love to snag one.



I need to find my happy medium.  Not too sentimental and soft, not too manly and gruff….Ah, here we go.  Amazon’s Kindle with WiFi.  You’re telling me I can keep all my trashy harlequin paperbacks – err – manly stories of tough manliness on a device that doesn’t hurt my eyes and can hold an entire library full of gritty dirty-nail manliness? And counts as geekiness as well?  Count me in.  And only $139?  Shill away, my Amazon friends, shill ’till your hearts content.


Choffy.  Mmmmm sweet nectar of the gods!  I’ve never been one for coffee.  Don’t ask me why, but it was just never big in my book.  It’s probably a bit too bitter for me.  Ashley isn’t into coffee either, because of the taste.  And then I found Choffy.  Mmmmmm.  Instead of using roasted coffee beans, they use roasted cacao beans (the sames stuff used to make chocolate).  Basically, it’s brewed chocolate It’s got the same bitter taste (though not quite as strong), and apparently it’s absolutely wonderful for you.  I just like that it makes me different than the coffee folk – almost as if I’m some trendy hipster.

“Oh, is that coffee?”

“Um, you mean CHOFFY?”

“Yeah, whatever.”

Yup.  That’s me.  The Choffy hipster.


A house.  Please, Housing Gods?  Santa?  I’ve been so good this year.  I haven’t kicked the cats.  I’ve cleaned up my room.  I’ve been nice, said my “please” and “thank-you’s,” and washed behind my ears.  I know it’s just a small thing, but a house for Christmas would make the the happiest little boy on the block.  Kind of like that one year when I was the first of my friends to get that 10-speed bike, and they all wanted to see what it was like to switch the gears.  I’m willing to put in the work, I’ll take care of that house.  If you could just find it in your heart to allow me to partake in the joys of homeownership?  Please sir, I want some more?

So fill me in folks. Be selfish like me. What’s on your list? Any “must have” items this year?

Images from the University of Massachusetts Lowell, KIDK Rexburg, Quality Supply, iTech News, The Nest, and Adventure Toys.


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