Mostly, what I want for Christmas is more time. Failing any more time for me, I'd like other people's time. I don't want stuff*, I want time to make, to do and to enjoy life.
Firstly, I want a laundry fairy. What do you mean you don't know what one of those is? It's the fairy that appears when you're not looking and not only puts the dirty clothes in the wash, but gets them out again, dries them and puts them away. I am so, so, so fed up with piles of dirty laundry, piles of not-quite-dry laundry, piles of clean-but-not-folded laundry. I just want a laundry fairy. I don't want to be told that there's no such thing. Don't break the magic of a middle-aged woman's dreams.
Next, I want all those little jobs in the garden to be done... cutting the hedge, moving the plants from the flowerbed that's been condemned, putting the hooks up to hold the summerhouse doors open, laying the new paviors, choosing, buying and laying the stone chips in place of the condemned flowerbed, sorting out the bike store, arranging to have a patio laid, getting the external wiring to the summerhouse organised, setting up the telescope properly, pressure washing the path, fixing the fence that's about to fall down. OK, I admit, some of those might go beyond the bounds of "little jobs", but still, don't any of you fancy popping round and doing some hard physical labour for me instead of buying me a comedy knitted hat?
Then, I want all the crappy, irritating, boring things about owning a house to disappear. An invisible housekeeper/butler/handyman would do the job. They could job share with the laundry fairy. Then maybe the cooker hood would work, and the bathroom extractor fan wouldn't sound like a sixty-year old lawn-mower that nobody's oiled in fifty-seven years, and there wouldn't be a hole in the spare bedroom ceiling.
After that, I want time to sit down and finish doing the half a dozen projects I've started and then given up on. Like the cushions to match the curtains at the family cottage; like the painting ideas I got half way through and then put in the bottom drawer; like the heaps of scraps of paper and random mutterings about my family tree; like my aborted efforts to track down my great-grandfather's PhD thesis; like the ideas for cuddly dinosaurs I have; like digitising the family diary; like, like, like.... everything.
I also want time to go to the cinema and the theatre without feeling too guilty or too tired or too alone, because my life is so badly organised the only time I can do those things is if I leave BigBear at home looking after LittleBear.
While we're at it I want time to have conversations with BigBear that aren't only about LittleBear or what should go on the next grocery order. It's not that I don't like talking about food and my son, but I'm fairly sure I fell in love with BigBear for some other reason. I'm fairly sure we used to be members of the local Arts Cinema. I'm fairly sure we used to do cryptic crosswords together. I'd like to spend more time being those people again, not just zombies on the sofa who lack the time and energy to be anything else.
And last of all, I want to spend time with my two lovely friends, Tigger and Piglet. I want to do that with all our riotous, daft, intransigent, silly, lovely, funny, boisterous children. And I want to do that with just the three of us. But I don't want to spend weeks trying to work out that maybe in February half-term 2018 we might all be free at the same time, but only for a Wednesday afternoon, and then oops, no, one of our husbands actually has to plait his boss' kitten's tail hair that day. I want it all to just magically be organised, so the three of us can stay up late - eating, drinking, talking, laughing, crying, looking to the future, looking to the past, and knowing that we don't have to get up at the crack of dawn to tend to our children, and we don't have to feel guilty about it.
That's not so hard is it?
Just one or two little things for Christmas?
Or gin. You could just give me gin.
* except books. I always want books. And time to read the books.