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From Penneys to Prada: The evolution of my holiday wishlist

From Penneys to Prada: The evolution of my holiday wishlist

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Toys, toys, and more toys – most kids Christmas lists contain pretty standard items. A doll, perhaps a board game, and maybe even some sort of electronic gadget for the young techie-in-training.

However, those standards didn’t apply to me as a kid. The influx of commercials promoting an array of useless gifts that seemed to captivate my brother and sister oddly had no influence on me. Instead, I remember sprawling out in our family room mesmerized by the 600-page JCPenney holiday catalog that had just arrived and carefully flipping page after page to make sure I evaluated everything contained in that monster. Itemizing my list by specific catalog references such as “CJ-7028DZ Color: Red” seemed like a sure fire way to alleviate any potential confusion for ol’ St. Nick when compiling my gifts.  There was no doubt in my mind my efforts would result in him shimmying his large rump down our chimney with all my specifically requested items in that heinous velvet sack he famously carted around from house to house. (Side note: that man needs some Billy Reid in his life).

My list contained no traces of toys—instead I focused on the cubic zirconia jewelry (which at the time I was convinced was only worn by extremely wealthy royalty), grown-up outfits far too advanced for a six-year old (have you ever seen shoulder pads on a first grader?!), and various home furnishings that I’m sure had no business being alongside my Barbie Dreamhouse. Thankfully my Mom never told me this wasn’t how most kids’ letters to Santa looked, but I can only imagine what she was really thinking.

Throughout the years my list has changed a bit—I've mainly expanded my horizons from JCPenney. Still relaying extremely specific item numbers to friends and family through the use of hyperlinks, my goal remains to eliminate returns and unwanted gifts. I figure if someone is gracious enough to fork over dough for my present, they might as well make it something I really want. (Flashback to the Runser family room in 1989 when I faked fainting upon opening up my most wanted gift of Janet Jackson's Rhythm Nation album. So happy that one is not on YouTube).

Here are just a few things topping my 2K11 Holiday Wishlist:

1. Adrienne Landau Scarf:
Although Texas weather rarely dictates winter gear, this beautiful scarf will keep me praying for freezing temps 365 days a year. The practical length, unique color, and soft texture all add up to make this my future most beloved accessory…well, until Spring comes.  

2. Frye Dorado Low Boot
A little bit country and a little bit rock and roll, Frye has outdone themselves again with this amazing pull-on boot. Integrating a warm mahogany marbled leather against a dark brown background, you can wear these versatile boots with a thousand different outfits. Yeehaw and Rock On! 

3. Sajauchan Volume Powder:
Ever get home from work, look in the mirror, and think “Ohmylanta did my hair look like it was glued to my scalp the entire day?” Or find yourself trying to justify not washing your hair in the morning to maximize sleep time? Whether your hair needs a refresh before you journey out for post-work cocktails or you want to buy yourself an extra snooze cycle in the morning, this Volume Powder is like magic in an aerosol can. It’s like the half-sister to dry shampoo as it’s not specifically designed to absorb grease, but it will restore life into hair that has lost its spunk.  Regardless of your hair texture, this stuff will give you an instant boost and help replicate that killer root lift you get from a salon blow-out.

4. Amika Triple Barrel Curling Iron
Remember when MTV used to air “quality” reality TV aka The Hills and The City? (Granted, I’ve never actually seen an episode of Jersey Shore, but couldn’t we have sent the cast on the recent NASA Mars Exploration mission?) The thing I remember most about those two shows are the gorgeous wavy, flowing locks of hair rocked by LC, Whitney, and friends. I’ve always struggled with achieving that effortless look making them appear as if they either just rolled out of bed or returned from a day at the beach.

One of the main highlights of this amazing tool is the genius inclusion of three different sized, interchangeable rods enabling you to vary the sizes of your curls depending on the look you are going for and current length of your hair.  Plus, the iron is clipless so no chance of annoying creases or dents.  This puppy heats up fast, too, which is fab for rushed mornings or quick touch-ups after work.

5. Clare Vivier Bag:
The leather on these bags is smooth like buttah (is it weird I sing that phrase to the chorus of “Moves Like Jagger”?). With impeccable craftsmanship that is outta this world, Clare’s bags incorporate a classic style while also keeping it real with bright color bursts.  Plus, all manufacturing takes place in the good ol’ U.S. of A.  

6. Dara Ettinger Midnight Druzy Earrings:
Reminiscent of a faraway starry galaxy sky, these studs might just take top billing over my current pair of everyday go-to earrings. Subtle without being too flashy, I love the sparkle against the gunmetal setting.       

7. Demetri Martin tickets:
It takes a lot to trigger a sincere, gut-busting laugh out of me. Very few people can make this happen—Jerry Seinfeld, Jim Gaffigan, and Demetri Martin are three that immediately come to mind.  Mark your calendars because this former Conan O’Brien writer and Daily Show contributor will be at the Paramount Theater February 4th.