A decade ago the top of my Christmas list read like a Tiffany's ad -- I wanted all things sparkly and shiny. Last year, I wanted warm boots. This year? I could really use an extension ladder.

Over the years I've found that not only has my Christmas list changed, I have as well. The material things aren't nearly as important as spending time with the people that matter most to me, and as we've gone through several belt-tightening measures, my list has become more practical than fanciful (hence the warm boots). And my list is more home-centric than ever. Although practicality usually rules my Christmas list and pocketbook, it sure doesn't hurt to dream. So, just in case a certain someone might be reading:

Dear Santa:

I'm sure you remember me -- we're the ones who usually have to rely on generous friends and sometimes elves of the Keebler variety to leave a solid treat on Christmas Eve. Despite that,  I am hoping I've earned a place on the "nice" list this year. If I do, here's my list for you to consider:


Sitting pretty: My son's bout with the flu last week makes a new couch high on the list.

Candice Olsen designed this couch, which would look great in my house.

Candice Olsen designed this couch, which would look great in my house.

You don't want to know what that poor piece of furniture has been through; if it could raise a white flag, it would.


Nailed it: My parents gave me a sweet electric sander a few years back. I love it. But it would be great to have a small nail gun to accompany it. My only request: no compressors. They intimidate me.

Upsizing: Vaulted ceilings and stupidly placed light fixtures are sometimes the bain of my existence. An extension ladder would help me reach new heights -- literally -- and will come in handy as I start in painting the ENTIRE interior of my house over the next year.

Storage wars: I've been searching high and low for a cabinet to that could become a make-shift pantry. Should you see something, 31 inches wide is what I need.

Counter fit: I love the burn rings and stains on the light gray countertop that mark my children's kitchen adventures, but they're growing up, so shouldn't my countertops follow suit?

Safe travels on the sleigh, and we'll actually try for homemade treats this year.

XXOO, Nicole