All I Want for Christmas

December 9, 2013

all i want for christmas

Today, I’m going to do the one thing personal finance bloggers aren’t supposed to do… I’m going to talk about all the things I want to buy! Of course, I’ll spin it and say I’d love if Santa put a few of these under the tree for me, but even if he doesn’t there’s a good chance I’ll pick up a few of them for myself in the new year. (And it’s a pretty grown-up wish list, so I won’t let myself feel any guilt!)

1. Brown Betty

My dad is British (if you couldn’t guess by the last name), so I grew up in a house of mass tea consumption. Tea with breakfast, tea with lunch, tea in the afternoon and decaf tea after dinner. And, of course, there’s only one teapot used in our house: a Brown Betty. Somehow, despite the fact that I’ve been out of the house (other than those 6 months) since I was 22, I’ve never owned a proper teapot of my own, and I want that to change. Brown Betty’s aren’t cheap – it’ll be in the $40-50 range, depending on which size you choose – but they last for-freaking-ever. This is not a need, but a serious want.

2. Milk Frother

Another serious want. I’ve been thinking about buying a milk frother and whipping up some flavoured sugar (thanks to Cassie, for teaching me how to do that) for a couple of years now. Can you imagine how much money it could save me? If I only cut out 1 latte/month for a year, it would pay for itself.

3. Flannel Pyjama Pants / Slippers

I’m sure people of all heights say this about some type of clothing or another, but somehow all of the pyjama pants I own are way too short for me. What’s the deal!? I’m only 5’7″! I’d love a pair that are not too long, not too short and super soft. (And slippers to wear in my new place would be nice too.)

4. Books / Gift Cards to Bookstores

My books-to-read list is always a mile long, but I rarely buy them new anymore. Considering I used to have a pretty crazy book-buying addiction, this isn’t a bad thing! But I do miss the feeling of picking out a new book and consuming it in one weekend. (Note: This is always on my Christmas wish list.)

5. Emergency Car Kit

Yes, I’m 28 years old and somehow I still do not have any type of emergency kit – not even jumper cables – in my car. This never concerned me before, probably because I lived in Victoria and could count on family to help me if I was ever in a bind… but I don’t know really anyone here! So, I have to be safe and help myself.

6. Electric Drill

I can honestly say I’d never thought of asking for an electric drill before, but it sure would make hanging pictures and shelves easier! Honestly, I keep thinking about buying some cheap shelves for my new bathroom, but the fact that I don’t have a drill is stopping me. One day…

If Santa could only bring you one thing this year, what would you ask for?

  • Danielle @ LabelsAreForTinCans December 9, 2013 at 6:17 am

    Sounds like a great list to me! I remember in 4th year undergrad we got a milk frother and stovetop espresso maker and literally made lattes everyday… multiple times a day! Haha we went a little overboard. But it probably saved us $ in the long run!

    • Cait Flanders December 10, 2013 at 6:32 am

      Fingers crossed Santa brings it then! It probably should’ve gone in the #1 spot.

  • Erica December 9, 2013 at 6:57 am

    I completely feel you with the short pj pants thing. I find this is the norm for my sisters and myself- short flannel pj pants… all winter long!

    If I could only have one thing which I know Santa cannot give me but I should give myself is a mini emergency fund (1.5 months to start so half of the 3 month bare minimum recommendation).
    Otherwise truthfully I have everything, my health, my family and a place to call home :-)

    • Cait Flanders December 10, 2013 at 6:36 am

      That’s sweet, Erica. :)

      Merry Christmas to you and your family!

  • Kali @ CommonSenseMillennial December 9, 2013 at 7:01 am

    I love your list! I think we’re a little unlike most Americans in that we do have a tea kettle (other people I know heat mugs of water in the microwave for tea?!) but it’s stainless steel and very not British looking, haha! I love the Brown Betty. Might have to invest in one of those someday!

    If Santa would bring me just one thing, I would hope it was clothes! I rarely buy clothes for myself – thanks, frugal lifestyle! – so getting some new outfits as a gift would be amazing.

    • Cait Flanders December 10, 2013 at 6:41 am

      (Re: microwaving water… EWW!)

      Your tea kettle is used to boil water, but the Brown Betty is just used to make a giant pot of tea, so you fill it with hot water and tea bags and let it steep. I have a great kettle, but am sick of only being able to make 1 cup of a tea in a mug.

      New clothes would be nice too! Hope Santa brings you some ;)

      • Kali @ CommonSenseMillennial December 10, 2013 at 2:12 pm

        Oh, I didn’t even realize that (obviously)! Lol. Thanks for the info – except, now I want one even more!

  • FI Pilgrim December 9, 2013 at 7:15 am

    A cordless drill is the most essential tool I own. And I don’t have an expensive one, either! Mine’s a Dewalt 9-volt, smaller than the one pictured, and it came with one of the XP batteries for only $99. I’d love to have one of the Bosch lithium ones one day, but my Dewalt has provided me awesome service for almost 10 years now.

    • Cait Flanders December 10, 2013 at 6:46 am

      Nice! The drill is one thing I know I’m going to buy myself, if Santa doesn’t bring it to me.

  • Jordann December 9, 2013 at 7:18 am

    If I could only ask for one thing this year…it would be a chunky knit scarf! I’ve been looking for one forever and they’re always too expensive/too cheaply made (like 100% acrylic).

    • Cait Flanders December 10, 2013 at 6:47 am

      Nice! I hope you get one. The one I bought myself a couple weeks ago is on me every single day.

  • Alicia December 9, 2013 at 7:53 am

    I have #5 and #6, and they’re super handy! The drill was an old hand-me-down from my Dad when he upgraded, but the amount of time I use it, it works just perfectly, though it might not be quite as pretty.

    Also, I’m 5’9-ish (probably closer to 10) and some of the pants I wear at home make me look like I’m constantly wearing capris. But then my ankles get cold, so I through on knee socks, or leg warmers. Let’s just say my fiancé is a very lucky man, some of the silly getups he gets to see me in, LOL!

    My only real “want” for Christmas right now is a bed frame… honestly, since I moved back in April, the boxspring mattress has been on the floor. And while I don’t mind it (I actually like it being close to the ground) I feel like a 20 year old because of it.

    • Cait Flanders December 10, 2013 at 6:51 am

      Sweet! So maybe Santa should bring my dad a new one, so I can just steal his, haha!

      And bahaha! The visual of what your fiancé gets to see made me laugh.

      I hope you get that bed frame – or save for it, soon. I’d want to get up off the ground too. :)

  • Michelle @fitisthenewpoor December 9, 2013 at 8:01 am

    I’m hoping for some new slippers too. I desperately need them now that we live in an apartment with all wood floors and a terrible draft!

    • Cait Flanders December 10, 2013 at 6:55 am

      Exactly! I hope you get ’em :)

  • Deena Dollars December 9, 2013 at 8:03 am

    A drill is *such* a good idea. I’ve always borrowed them from friends and neighbors, and it would be really handy to have!

    • Cait Flanders December 10, 2013 at 6:56 am

      Right? And when are you going to buy that for yourself? haha

  • Colleen December 9, 2013 at 8:35 am

    A puppy. That’s it.

    • Cait Flanders December 10, 2013 at 6:58 am

      Aww! If you get one, I want to meet it (and you) :)

  • Trista December 9, 2013 at 8:43 am

    Cait, that’s a pretty good Christmas list in my opinion. I asked for a tool kit a couple years ago. It’s definitely come in handy. But mainly it’s used by male callers when I have issues. I’m not much of a do it yourself kind of person. I could probably use a drill and a emergency car kit too.

    I haven’t actually asked for anything this Christmas. Although I’d love a Chapters gift card because I still have my eye on that large white piggy bank you posted on Twitter. But unless I can pay for half with a gift card I will be leaving it in the store.

    All of the things I want are too expensive to receive as gifts. I kinda need a desk for going back to school ($250-300 with chair) and I really want a LCD or LED TV ($500-600). I’ll probably pick up the desk anyway. But I expect the TV will continue to be on the want list for a few more years. It’s already been there for 3 or 4. Ha ha. I’ve also had my eye on a bed-in-a-bag comforter set at Walmart for close on a year now ($150). The comforter I have now I bought about 7 years ago for $20 and it’s really plain. But it’s still soft and still warm so I can’t justify the new one just yet.

    I did ask my father for something for my birthday though. There is a special 20th anniversary edition of Frank Sinatra’s Duets album that came out this past Fall. It’s two LPs, two CDs and a DVD. It’s a total want of course. Even though it is kind of expensive it fit under the limit of what I’d be comfortable with my parents spending on me.

    • Cait Flanders December 10, 2013 at 7:01 am

      Oh my gosh, I always try to forget about that piggy bank, haha… wouldn’t it be fun to fill up!?

      And I think everyone should ask for at least one want. Wants are always the things we have trouble allocating money for in our own budgets, but it is ok to get something that would make you happy – not simply satisfy a need. I hope you get it. <3

      • Trista December 10, 2013 at 7:14 am

        It would be really fun to fill up that bank. It’s so chic too! I think it would be a great decor item.

        I agree that asking for wants that we can’t fit in to the budget is a great idea.

        I got some good news yesterday. Capital One has given me the ability to increase my credit limit on my card from $300 to $1050. That’s great news as they said I wasn’t eligible only a few months ago. It’s been almost three years since I’ve been seen as credit worthy by anyone. So it’s a step in the right direction. Although I’m a little nervous about having access to more credit I did accept the increase.

  • Erin @ Red Debted Stepchild December 9, 2013 at 9:07 am

    Great list! My tea kettle is the cheapest one I could find from Target, but I would definitely like a nicer one at some point. I’ve got my eye on the crazy expensive cast iron tea kettles from Teavana…

    Santa is bringing me cash and Chipotle gift cards this year (easier to fly home with than bulky gifts!) but I’m currently lusting after an Oregon shaped cutting board and a carry-on travel bag that will fit my purse and laptop because they always count them as two personal items :(.

    • Cait Flanders December 10, 2013 at 7:04 am

      Ohhh, there’s a BC shaped cutting board at a store here that is SO cute but I can’t justify purchasing, haha. Love the idea of the larger travel bag though!

  • Girl Meets Debt December 9, 2013 at 9:36 am

    Great list Cait! Every Girl needs a pair of cozy, cute, perfectly fit pajama pants. I like the Victoria Secret ones but they are kinda pricey. La Senza is way cheaper. If Santa could only bring me one thing, I would love new chocolate brown boots. The perfect pair is so hard to find!

    • Cait Flanders December 10, 2013 at 7:06 am

      Boots are always tough! Hope you get some you like.

  • Rob December 9, 2013 at 10:25 am

    Well, Cait, I’d vote that you go for the Brown Betty so that you can then make your dad a proper “spot of tea” when next he and your mom drop by for a visit! :-)

    As for me, “for the dad that has freaking everything” (as my kids tend to remind me), I’d vote for a nice fat Timmy’s gift card. It would certainly get used every day on my early morning coffee run. But like you – it’s a want, not a need.

    • Cait Flanders December 10, 2013 at 7:08 am

      I think it’s ok to ask for a want – especially when you already have “everything”. :)

  • Cassie December 9, 2013 at 11:33 am

    LOVE the list! You’re right, it’s very adult :) I have a milk frother at home as well, and it definitely makes homemade drinks feel a lot fancier.

    I definitely went with the broad list more than the narrow list, so it was tough to pick just one, but I think my #1 gift request would be a coffee grinder so I can make decent drinks at home as well.

    • Cait Flanders December 10, 2013 at 7:13 am

      Ooo, I don’t know anyone who has a milk frother – you’re only further validating my want, haha.

      I hope you get a coffee grinder. I have that $15-20 one I got at Walmart a few years ago, and use it multiple times each week.

  • Travis @debtchronicles December 9, 2013 at 11:45 am

    I have a hard time thinking of things I want…..maybe some new running clothes? That’s about it. #pfworkout for life. :)

    • Cait Flanders December 10, 2013 at 7:38 am


  • Gina December 9, 2013 at 12:20 pm

    Don’t worry, I’m 28 too and I JUST bought myself that same emergency car kit last week for my car! :P

    • Cait Flanders December 10, 2013 at 7:41 am

      Haha, nice!

  • Eva @ Girl Counting Pennies December 9, 2013 at 12:24 pm

    Nice list, Cait! ;) If I could choose one from your list, I would choose Brown Betty!

    If there was only one thing Santa could bring me, I would like a return ticket to Verona. I want to go there so bad! We have a personal development allowance at work (I will get mine in January) so I have asked if I could use it on a flight to Verona and I was told YES! So there’s a big chance I will get it! :P

    I am not going to ask for material things for Christmas/birthday as I am still in the process of decluttering. So I will be choosing experiences over material gifts for the whole of 2014 as lame as this may sound! :P

    • Cait Flanders December 10, 2013 at 7:48 am

      Of course you do. ;)

      A flight to Verona sounds amazing! I hope that comes through for you.

  • Sister Souljah December 9, 2013 at 12:49 pm

    Haha! We read Moll Flanders in secondary school (British-based curriculum in West Africa) and your name always reminded me of that book!

    I love your list. I have a Black and Decker drill and it always impresses all my guy friends when I whip it out to hang pictures and curtain rods myself. And it cost less than $40 when I bought it I think. On the PJ bottoms – my theory is they shrink. Mine always shrink, even the VS ones!

    If I had to ask Santa for one thing… I would ask to magically wake up and be done with grad school. May be lame, but it would be such a weight off my shoulders!

    • Cait Flanders December 10, 2013 at 7:51 am

      Hilarious! I probably shouldn’t tell you we have a dog named Molly then, hehe.

      When are you done school?

  • Tonya@Budget and the Beach December 9, 2013 at 3:29 pm

    Those all sound very reasonable. I would almost say the emergency car kit is a need! I have to pick one thing? Darn! World peace? ha kidding…ok I do hope their is world peace, but I’d love to replace my Oakley sunglasses which are falling apart. OR a brand new wardrobe. Does that count as multiple things? Darn! :)

    • Cait Flanders December 10, 2013 at 7:53 am

      If it helps, I wish you could have it all! :)

  • Michelle December 9, 2013 at 5:00 pm

    Very practical list, I love #6! That’ll be on my wish list if I move out next year…oh, and a level to hang pictures straight.
    If Santa could bring me one thing…it would have to be that special someone to share the rest of my life with. Here’s hoping! :)

    • Cait Flanders December 10, 2013 at 8:12 am

      That’s sweet. <3

  • E.M. December 9, 2013 at 5:41 pm

    I like your list! I love flannel pj’s, and you’re right, after washing them they always shrink and I’m disappointed. I hate having cold ankles. I’ve mostly resorted to buying men’s smalls. I’m 5’9″ and the solution seems to work pretty well, except that you don’t get cute colors to choose from. I think a car emergency kit would be great for just about everyone, I should probably add that to my list!

    • Cait Flanders December 10, 2013 at 8:23 am

      What I hate most is I don’t even dry my pyjama pants – I hang them, to avoid this! But it doesn’t seem to work… Buying men’s sounds like an ok idea! The only problem being I have wide hips, which guys don’t have. But I could certainly try a couple pairs on for size!

  • Nadia December 9, 2013 at 8:20 pm

    Cait too long isn’t really a problem as you can have them hemmed!

    I have to do this with 99% of pants.

    • Cait Flanders December 10, 2013 at 8:25 am

      I wish that was my problem! Mine are all too short.

  • Anne @ Unique Gifter December 10, 2013 at 7:05 am

    Mmmmm, power tools! Definitely worthwhile to have!
    You have the makings of a rather nice day up there… tea, PJs, lattes!

    • Cait Flanders December 10, 2013 at 8:28 am

      Don’t forget about books! :)

  • Little Miss Money December 10, 2013 at 12:16 pm

    If I had to pick just one thing of my wish list… it would be that amazing job with the incredible pay that would allow me to pay of my debt WHILE buying everything I want – lol. But I’d settle for a cute, vintage desk to upgrade my home office :)

    • Cait Flanders December 10, 2013 at 6:22 pm

      Sounds nice! I think I need a desk in general, haha.

  • Lauren December 10, 2013 at 12:38 pm

    I have an emergency car kit! I got my first car in university, and my dad made sure I was fully loaded – I carry a shovel, window brush, spare oil, jumper cables, spare tranny/window washer/power steering fluid, and know how to check and change everything (including a tire, now haha). I asked for an emerg kit when I was 20 for Christmas – I’ve never had to use more than bandaids, but I like knowing it’s there just-in-case. I keep those instant heat packs in the glove box, too. When I lived in Timmins I also carried granola bars and kitty litter (for traction if you ever get stuck on ice/snow!). I feel those two items are overkill for Toronto, though.

    I also finally caved and bought myself an electric drill about 6 months ago. Got sick of driving to borrow my dad’s haha. Best decision ever!

    • Cait Flanders December 10, 2013 at 6:24 pm

      Dang! Ok, well I don’t need all of that in BC, but the jumper cables, spare fluids, etc. would be good. A snack is never a bad idea either!

      • Ashley December 11, 2013 at 8:46 am

        I would say that if you are traveling anywhere outside of the lower mainland, you should have those items as well.

        I am currently in the southern interior and I am building up a kit to keep in the back of my truck.
        Just yesterday the Trans Canada highway was closed for quite a few hours.

  • Mo' Money Mo' Houses December 11, 2013 at 5:21 am

    I really want a DSLR camera just because I’ve been saying I’d buy one for the past four years. Maybe this year is the year I’ll finally get one!

    • Cait Flanders December 11, 2013 at 8:48 am

      I hope you do! ;)

      Then go to NYC for Christmas and take lots of pics.

  • dojo December 11, 2013 at 5:59 am

    I don’t expect presents to fill my needs, usually, when there’s something I want or need, I just go buy it, whether it’s Christmas or not. Anyway .. right now I’m all set, don’t have anything on my mind, so I’ll keep the budget as light as possible and save money for more important things in the near future.

  • Gillian December 11, 2013 at 10:53 am

    Ohh I love this! I am 5’6″ and can never seem to find long enough pjs either! What is that all about. I want everything on your list, except the electric drill because luckily my boyfriend brought all of that fun stuff to the mix when we moved in together — otherwise I’d be sorely lacking in the tools department. I LOVE tea and can never seem to have enough cute tea accessories. The milk frother would make awesome lattes with some of my flavoured teas too. Merry Christmas Cait!

  • Sara Hamil @ They Call it Gumption December 11, 2013 at 8:19 pm

    I’ve actually been meaning to get a emergency car kit for ages and it makes me feel uncomfortable knowing that I’m driving around without one. I want to know more about these Brown Betty tea pots! Great list all around!