All I want for Christmas is…


To hell with “cheap and cheerful”. Pretty much anything I want for Christmas costs minimum $1,500, up to $1.99 million. Here’s my list, Santa, I have been a very very good girl:

  1. Awesome latte maker. I am a total latte addict, and at present my addiction is costing $4 a day from Shot’s Cafe in Lenox. They make the best in town, and they are super nice, and they get my “no foam” request just right. I appreciate that. However, $4 a day equals $1,460 a year, so it would be a good investment (<– ridiculous statement) to have my own machine. I need to do more research, though, to ensure I get the best. Argh. 5 years ago it was looking for tile and faucets and steel countertop edging. Now, it’s: Who makes the best home latte maker? I am willing to pay, to a point. Above: Andreja Expresso Maker, made in Italy since 1945, may be a candidate. $1,695, from Sweet Maria’s.
  2. iPad — I’ll take the 64GB iPad with Wi-Fi + 3G, please. I don’t really know what 3G is, but I know it’s awesome and I want it. I need to be connected to the matrix at every possible waking moment. Yes, I do. $829 from Apple, 3G service sold separately.
  3. A complete new wardrobe, I think that $15,000 might be enough. As I have mentioned before, my style is “Escape-from-New-York-meets-yoga-chick”… which my husband also refers to as “bag lady.” I don’t have any desire to change that style. But maybe if I upgraded my designers (nix: Goodwill mash up), that might help elevate the overall effect. My teenage fashionista daughter turned me onto Free People — that’s their all-cotton duster at the right. If they would like to become the official fashion sponsor of the blog and start supplying me with all my clothing, that would be just fine. Link: Free People.


  4. Aforementioned teenage daughter now has her driver’s permit. Talk about experiencing true horror: The baby now piloting two tons of steel while struggling to resist the ever-constant vibrating of her goddamn cell phone I am going to take an ice pick to it I swear. Years ago, I promised her that if she stayed in band, she would get a car. So come spring we need a third. She will get the Escape. I want a Fiesta. The lime green looks dandy. $13,320 base MSRP but I’m sure I’ll take it loaded.
    gulfside place
  5. Three years ago we took a Christmas vacation in Sanibel, Florida. It has phenomenal beaches — there is something about the current that pushes white sand right up to the shore. It is insanely expensive to live there, and in my fantasy “where should be buy” research, I have decided on Gulfside Place. Very retro looking. The condo above sold for something like $1.99 million. 3 bedrooms, direct wrap-around views to the gulf. I have been watching this complex for about 2 years now, and every once in a rare while, a time capsule unit comes up. I want one of those, please. I get Eric Pfeiffer’s newsletter, he sold this Gulfside Place condo.


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  1. Shane Walp says

    The iPad is kool, but make sure you get kon Verizon’s network – it’s much more reliable. Also, don’t bother with 3G that’s old tech. Verizon’s 4G is coming out by the end of the year. Instead of 500 – 800kBps dnld speeds, you’ll have 5-12mBps. MUCH quicker!

    • pam kueber says

      Thanks, Shane, I am an e-geek in some ways – but not when it comes to phone technology. Also, can you believe it, we don’t even have 3G here in the Berkshires yet. We’re just now scheduled to get it!

  2. Amy Hill says

    I like small sparkly things. Very sparkly, useless items make the best gifts. Practical items with electrical cords attached are not suitable gifts.

  3. vintage_vantage says

    Best. Post. Ever.

    I wonder if young America will know how to socially interact anymore. I have seen kids text each other across a room before. Really? I remember playing “underground church” (neighborhood wide hide and seek at night) and “kick the can” as a kid. Now its, “Check out this app!”

  4. Heidi Swank says

    I would like $20,000 or so for Christmas, so I can hire a crew to fix our concrete slab, put in flooring, get a nice vintage wall oven, put in a dishwasher, strip the paint off the cabinets in the kitchen and bathrooms, strip the painted over cedar beams in the living room, take the rest of the damaged wallpaper down and paint the walls, and finally fix the landscaping in the front yard. Oh, yes, and something sparkly and useless would be nice, too. Hmmm… On second thought, maybe $30,000 would be better. I have been a very good girl this year, too. 🙂

  5. Gavin Hastings says

    Pam, I’m surprised at your list. Everything is new and so, well 21st Century!

    All I want this year are 2 cartons of vinyl floor tile and the Armstrong Fashion Stripe.
    Total cost: about $100 bucks. I was always a cheap date.

    As another member of a big family (11), you may see that some are weathering the current storm well…and others are sinking. This year we have decided that the “haves” will quietly supply gifts for the children of brothers and sisters in need.

  6. says

    I also had a horrible and expensive latte addiction. I am still drinking way too many lates (with no foam!), but make them at home with a Bialetti cooktop espresso maker. The one I have is about $50 retail but my husband found it on clearance at Macy’s for $10 a few years ago for Christmas. Score! It has saved us a ton of money and doesn’t take up any counter space in our tiny 1961 ranch kitchen. For at home latte making, no matter the device, I recommend Pilon, which can be found at any grocery store in the coffee aisle. Good luck with that Christmas list. ~ Leah in Largo (Tampa Bay), FL

    • pam kueber says

      Thanks for the tip on the Bialetti, Leah. I will check it out. Hey, a gazillion generations of Italians all made their espresso on the stovetops, didn’t they???

    • Sabrina says

      Another vote for the Bialetti! It has a bit of a learning curve, but IMHO, it makes better espresso than my BIL’s fancy machine.

  7. says

    I’m a pure coffee JUNKY. I guess I need to start researching a good home machine for Pam this week. I grind my own and use a french press most of the time but I do have a Breville espresso machine for quick use.

  8. Nina462 says

    I would like a new driveway (oh wait, that’s coming in the spring for my birthday). So, for Christmas I would like this red cherry hutch for my kitchen, although I’m currently working so OT to save for it.
    So – now since those two items are out of the running, I would like antique TV that I saw on a trip to the UP this fall. Oops, won’t fit in the car, so my niece cannot bring it down with her.
    That leaves me to an old set of dishes I have my eye on (get rid of my corelware), and a “” stamps (I like to follow my money where it goes!).
    As for charity, we have already mailed 200 boxes to the troops & have adopted a family (whom we already know, but it’ll be a secret).
    Hope everyone had a good turkey day –
    Isn’t it really nice that we have everything we really need and the other stuff is just, well stuff?

  9. Becky says

    Just saying: IF you don’t mind “gently worn” (after all, we’re RETRO PEOPLE! 😉 I’ve just updated my wardrobe from Goodwill/Walmart Mom, to Ralph Lauren Lady, for pennies on the dollar, via Ebay. I never used to consider buying clothing from them, but the sellers have gotten fabulous with exact measurements, precise descriptions, and I can report that 95% of everything I’ve bought so far not only fit, but was in like new condition, for usually about 75% off list price.

  10. Karen says

    All I want for Christmas is the “Pasadena” doorlite kit from Crestview Doors. And I KNOW I’m getting it because I ordered it myself on Wed. when they offered an additional 50% off clearance items. Yay!

  11. says

    I had to double check to make sure I was on the correct blog!

    As for the latte, I would also check out the Miele coffee machine. Apparently it does everything but bark when your coffee is perfect.

  12. says

    LOL … very much enjoyed this post and I hope all your dreams come true and those wonderful presents are under the tree, or outside the house!

    I’m still entranced by the latte you whipped up for me…or maybe it was the company…wink wink

    I’d like a pair of arch support slippers…do they exist and have any femininity to them, too? my Stegmann wool clogs are falling apart…and not very feminine. Oh, and a 401a Singer Slant-O-Matic please.

    If you haven’t yet, check out Alabama Chanin’s shop…’Free People’ – like clothing with some decorative detail. I like a lot of what they offer.

    Hey, now that you’re a stitching wizard, you could whip up some AC style yourself (they do have patterns)

    • pam kueber says

      the Mr. Coffee cappuccino/latte maker finally died, Denise. and I am told from reading the web copy from all the high falutin’ $1,500 machines that such machines made strong coffee – not expresso. ooops, i guess we were duped. 🙂 come again to visit and i’ll take you to shots — oh my, that really truly is bliss! there is a difference, and alas, now i know it.

  13. St. Louis shelly says

    As a long time espresso maker, you want to spend the money on the coffee grinder, not the machine. I use a low end Gaggia because they are easy to fix and since I don’t have the money I use a burr hand grinder. Keeps my arms in good shape;)
    And since you make lattes, don’t rule out a Moka pot. They call them stove top espresso makers. It doesn’t make a true espresso but does make a good cup, especially for lattes. Depending on what size you get you’d only be out about $30.
    YouTube has lots of demos.

    • pam kueber says

      Thanks for the tip, St. Louis Shelly. I haven’t had more time to do research but in my initial flurry, I was reading that indeed, the grinder matters…. Thanks!

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