December 5, 2019

melissa's 2019 christmas wish list

Well helloooooooo poppets! Right before Thanksgiving, Julia and I saw a performance of 'Mrs. Doubtfire' at Seattle's 5th Avenue Theater (Julia performed there last year in their holiday production of 'Annie') and it was INCREDIBLE, if you're in the area, it's a must-see if you love theater! The primary cast came in from New York, and the show is going to Broadway in the spring. Anyway the takeaway is that now I want to say "HELLOOOOOOOO POPPETS!" to everyone I see. See also calling everyone "dearie."

I've Very Helpfully put together a list of things that would delight MYSELF at Christmas time. Helpful in the sense that I keep sending random text messages to my husband Andrew, and I thought it might assist him in seeing All The Things in one spot.

If you have received one of my boxes, or read my blog for even half a minute's worth of time, you won't be terribly surprised at my list. I like the same things, year in, year out.







I tend to put various miniaturized versions of these things in my boxes, as you might be aware by now. And without further ado, please behold my Christmas Wish List:

So I was meandering my way through Barnes & Noble a couple of weeks ago, and I saw 'READING SOCKS.' I now really don't want to live life without my own pair of reading socks.

We have a wee marmalade obsession in this house, and I was quite delighted when I saw this variety of 'Old Times' orange marmalade from the British brand Tiptree. I'm going to classify my longing for this marmalade as a NEED, not a want.

During Cyber Monday I happened upon this loungewear ensemble from Uniqlo that was $10 off the regular price. I almost bought it for myself. Then I dithered. And dallied. And now it is no longer $10 off and I has a Big Sad. The selling point to this outfit is that you can wear it for being comfy at home AND wear it out and about, which I don't know why Uniqlo is selling this as some kind of novelty - that type of clothing equals 99.9% of my wardrobe. (Andrew took a peek at this and politely inquired "Oh. Would you like this in size frumpy or size extra frumpy?" HE'S ALL MINE LADIES, I'm proud to say.)

I've been meaning to read 'The Hazel Wood' by Melissa Albert for some time now. If you read any descriptions about it, you'll see why. This YA tale of a girl named Alice realizing that the fairy tales her grandmother wrote about are actually real and have had repercussions on Alice's family life is supposed to be a stunning read. I need to hurry up and get on this so I can be ready for the sequel coming next year, 'The Night Country'.

I'll be VERY SAD INDEED if the 'Little Library Year' cookbook does not show up at Christmas. It was/is the #1 thing I've requested. THE NUMBER ONE THING, ANDREW. I usually get a new cookbook every year at Christmas or for my birthday (or BOTH), and it delights me no end to open up a new cookbook and sit poring over recipes I'll never make. HA HA HA. Actually I make quite a lot of things from my cookbooks, but most importantly, my cookbooks give me great joy, and I read them over and over and over, like novels. I really do.

So this is a funny (?) story. Years ago. Years. Like, 4 years? Maybe more? Who's counting the slow march of time at this point? Either I gave Andrew, or he gave me, a variety of Kusmi tea (one of our favorite tea brands) called Tsarevna. We tried it, and although the ingredient list says it's a black tea flavored with orange peel, winter spices, vanilla and almond, we both agreed it was heavy on the licorice element, and.......

......THERE IT SAT, a huuuuuuuuuuuge tin of it, looking very pretty and VERY FULL, for years. Well I made a cup a few weeks ago, added a hefty slug of milk......and I LOVE IT. I've had it nearly every day? What's going on?? Did my taste buds change?? Andrew agrees that it is a totally different experience with the milk, which is funny because most Kusmi teas we find too subtle for milk, and that they are best enjoyed plain. So now....we're almost out of this tea and I'd like more. Maybe we can order another and it can sit there untouched for another four years lol. I also would like more of my beloved Green Tea with Almond Kusmi tea, it's my very very favorite.

I received a Susan Branch calendar last year, and this book, and although I have adored Susan Branch for years, I went through sort of a Susan Branch renaissance if you will, and I re-discovered how much I love everything she does. Her calendar sat on my table all year long last year and brought me immense joy. So I need the 2020 Susan Branch calendar, and for ALL THE YEARS forever. Oh and I accidentally put in the picture for the mini calendar, woops.

Recently I read an article that said that the best way to get a crisp bottom pie crust was to use a metal pie plate. I HAVE ONLY MADE PIES IN GLASS. Like, my whole life. So this was news. And the one metal pie pan I have is not very good, and is dented and I think used for Julia's playdough when she was a tiny tot. So I would very much like this pie pan, Andrew, and then I can make MORE PIE.

Oh one last thing:

So I'm a huge lover of Epsom Salts baths. Huge. And I just became aware of Ancient Minerals, which are magnesium chloride bath flakes. There is apparently an important distinction between this product and regular epsom salts, which are made from magnesium sulfate. The magnesium chloride is more suited for topical application and apparently more readily absorbed. I've been wanting to try! So um, I BOUGHT IT FOR MYSELF, Andrew if you're reading, you can cross this off lol because I took care of it.

So that's my list, more or less! I don't think I'll ever tire of getting jam and tea for Christmas. Nope, not ever.


  1. You made me laugh out loud, so thank you for that! This post makes me feel like we'd be friends if we knew each other in person.

    I'm curious to know what makes "reading socks" different from other socks (aside from the price-ha!), though the pink ombre version of those socks appeal to me.

    I just finished reading all three of Susan Branch's illustrated memoirs and am also in a Susan Branch renaissance! She inspires me.

    I love pie and also use a glass pan, so perhaps I'll have to try the metal pan myself. You know, For Science.

    Hope you get everything on your wish list! (Andrew, if you're paying attention, you have no excuses...)

    1. I know I'd be kindred spirits with so many of my blog pals!!! i figure if anyone is hanging around these parts, we like the same things. Ha, your guess is as good as mine regarding the 'reading socks' - the ones I saw were extra think and cozy looking though! More Pie definitely needs to happen in the name of Science ha ha ha.

  2. I really hope Andrew reads your blog. LOL.

    Great pie pan. Fun list. xox

    1. we'll see if he can 1) follow directions and 2) remember what he read lol.

  3. So I returned from three weeks in France yesterday and went to the post office today to pick up my mail. And there was my book box!! Melissa, I have loved every box you've sent, but this one was extra special. Aside from the book, which I actually had on my "books to read" list, there were the socks...the wood ornament, the tea, the candle, the sweets (although how I can think of eating anything after stuffing my face with French food for 3 weeks...). Every one of these lovelies is something I would have chosen for myself. How did you know I love anything with a deer on it? They are also the kinds of things my dear dear mother would put in my stocking every year. She passed away in March, so this is the first Christmas in 60 years that I won't get a stocking. But your box is the perfect stand-in. Thanks so much!!

    1. oh my STARS. THANK YOU for this darling note. I'm so delighted that you were pleased! that really makes my day, my week!!!

    2. and big XO. many virtual hugs, I'm so sorry about your mom.

  4. P.S. I did get to spend a glorious afternoon in Shakespeare and Co. while in Paris!!

  5. You are hilarious and awesome. I love your posts. C'mon Andrew!! The cookbook!!

    1. ha ha I'm a lot funnier when I write than in person! but yes I AM awesome, and Andrew has assured me that the cookbook is coming, and says that I've ruined Christmas with my constant surprise crushing tactics lol.