Recommended wine for today’s entry: My friends Jere and Chris brought us a bottle of Qupe Syrah, a California wine, the last time they were here and they recommended it highly. I have saved it, and will offer it with one of the two delectable (sure) meals that I’ll be serving over the holidays. Here is the Web site’s description: “The wine is essentially a blend of cool-climate Santa Barbara grapes and warm-climate Paso Robles grapes. The cool-climate fruit gives spice, acidity and balanced alcohol while the warm-climate fruit give softness, roundness, ripeness and more up-front fruit flavors and aromas.” It was called a classic by Dorothy J. Gaiter and John Brecher in the Wall Street Journal’s Tastings column. Sounds like an excellent choice for this week’s festivities.
Are you a list maker?
Some people are and some are not. I know a lot of people are — and a couple of them are distraught people — because just yesterday, while shopping, I saw two separate pieces of paper with names and sizes and items on them, some crossed out and some obviously still to be purchased. But since their lists were on the sidewalks outside of American Eagle and Kroger, I think someone’s gonna be forgotten on Christmas morning.
My husband has always been a list maker. I used to tease him that he should write his list on Post-it notes leading to the back door. He could line ’em up … “remember to wear pants,” and “grab your keys” and “on the way home, stop and buy Ashley a diamond bauble,” and other important tasks that he couldn’t forget to do that day.
I never used to make lists; I always smugly announced that if something was important enough, I still had enough brain cells with available storage space that I didn’t need to write it down.
But now, either because I was forced to learn a bunch of really stupid stuff about igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rock in college and it just won’t seem to vacate the brain space now that the final’s over, or because I drink wine more often than the human brain was originally equipped to withstand, I am forced to make lists.
Currently, I have the following lists going: (In the event you haven’t had your coffee and/or you ALSO have stubborn rock knowledge clogging your brain, let me point out to you that I am about to give you a list of lists. And you’re actually still reading this.)
1) A list of people I still need to buy something for.
2) A list of presents for my two daughters, complete with running subtotals of a) amount of money spent; and b) number of items they will have to open on Christmas morning.
3) A list of who is coming to dinner Christmas Eve and who is coming to dinner Christmas Night.
4) A list of groceries still to buy for aforementioned dinners, designated with headers for Tuesday and Thursday, to ensure the greatest freshness of all ingredients. The back of the Tuesday list contains an addendum of items included when I realized that we’ll have to eat something before 12/24 and that my college daughter expects me to whip up a special Christmas morning brunch in between events, because she hates change and we have to have grits on Christmas morning. This list is in crayon, because writing utensils haven’t been on a recent list.
5) A Christmas card list. This list has been sitting by the TV, along with the cards, for about two weeks. I actually had to dust the whole pile last week. That list may be the one stamped UNACCOMPLISHABLE soon.
6) A list of items I’ve already bought for everyone. I do this, brilliantly, so that I don’t get someone the same item two years in a row. You know how you’ll look at something and say, “Oh, wow! Doesn’t this just look like Don to you?” And you take it home, triumphant, and as you wrap it, you start to get a little uncertain feeling in your gut, but you shake it off, then you package it up and take it to the post office, send it on its merry way, and as you walk out you realize that it looked like Don because you gave him the exact same item last year. Well, obviously I have had that happen.
Now, I know what you’re thinking: “Oh, wow. She is THE MOST ORGANIZED PERSON ON THE FACE OF THE EARTH and I want to hire her, because she’ll likely save my business from certain failure. Well, before you make me an offer, I have to tell you that I just realized that I haven’t gotten the newspaper out of the box for three days and I haven’t RSVP’d to a party that is tonight. Just so you know.
Anyway, my Christmas list system is unsurpassed. And I often use index cards so that they can be cleverly concealed in a back pocket and put through the washer.
I would be totally under control right now, but in between last December and this December, I think someone came in and stole my 2008 List of Items Given because I can’t find it ANYWHERE. I also just looked for the List that Ensures a Fair and Balanced Division of Gifts for The Girls So That We Don’t Have a Marcia, Marcia, Marcia! Moment on Christmas Morning (If you weren’t a Brady Bunch fan, you won’t get that. Sorry, but you should have been a Brady Bunch fan.)
Anyway, that is one list that absolutely must remain under wraps or there will certainly be no surprises on Christmas morning, and now it’s gone missing.
I might start a list of where I hide my lists.