Apparently I’ve been doing too much shopping again. We need to make a Christmas list for Rudder’s parents (which is also a Hanukah list for mine, but his family is the one with the list tradition) and I really can’t think of much I want. There are a couple of places I wouldn’t mind gift certificates from. I can always use more hair ornaments. And more yarn would be nice, since I can’t find any around here, but I do have some stash that will hold me for a bit. There are some American cosmetics, expensive here, that I’d like to have replaced when they run out (but they haven’t yet). There are some foods I’d like, but I don’t know how well they’d get past Customs. That’s not much of a list.

I mean, there are things I want, certainly: for George Bush to wake up and realize actual bipartisan behavior is in his country’s best interest. For Israel and Palestine to quit acting like brawling siblings (“She started! No, he started!”) On a more personal level, a longer time here because a year won’t be nearly enough and another nice cool climate afterward (we’re supposed to be going to Taiwan, which is only slightly cooler than Houston). More free time. For our stuff to arrive soon, especially the ergs. Better technique in my rowing. Our SoFi numbers. I don’t think any of those are likely to be showing up under my menorah this year.

I’m not doing well thinking of gifts for others this year, either. The problem is that we really ought to send typically Dutch presents, but I hate to send stuff that will just sit on a shelf (wooden clogs, Delftware). Cheeses or chocolates would be appropriate, but again, getting food past Customs may be tricky. Tulip bulbs are nice but not all of our giftees garden.

Any brilliant ideas anyone may have are very welcome.