Running down my Christmas wish list … |

Running down my Christmas wish list …

Jim Scripps

It takes about two hours of turkey gorging, football watching and beer drinking before everyone in the house falls into that catatonic space between wake and sleep. Uncle Bob is walking around in a stupor, Mom and Sis are numbly scraping dishes, and everyone else is halfheartedly cheering their second-favorite team (the Niners didn’t play).

But the next morning, it’s a different story, apparently. According to the scenes on TV, that’s when its time to rev up the energy for the most important part of the holiday season. Sharing time with family and friends? No. Shopping.

According to all the experts, from the Today Show to the Reno news stations, you have to get started early. So early, many start the night before, sitting in lawn chairs outside box stores, waiting for “MEGA” deals on DVD players and turtlenecks.

If you haven’t started shopping by the time you read this column, you either have a screw loose, or you’re willing to pay retail to avoid tug-of-war over cheap flannel shirts … or both.

With this in mind, I thought this might be the time for my own Christmas wish list. And this list doesn’t require sprinting at a Wal-Mart, or playing bumper cars at the mall parking lot. Many of these gifts are unattainable with overcharged Visa cards, or even gift vouchers.

— Fresh powder delivered in weekly, 1-foot increments. This is always on my list, and by this time last year it felt like early Christmas. I guess it’s Colorado’s turn. Global warming? I want to see some global cooling, and fast.

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— A Fiesta Bowl berth for the Oregon Ducks. With second- and third-string quarterbacks carrying the Big Green offense to a record of 10-1 (with the only loss to unbeatable, No. 1-ranked University of Southern California), the Ducks are again BCS bowl eligible. And hopefully it will be against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, who will hopefully give us a better game than the embarrassment suffered by the Oregon State University Beavers last weekend. Why would anyone go to school in Corvallis?

— No new taxes. Call me a raging right-winger who wants your grandmother to starve and the children to share a classroom with 50 other kids, but let’s face it, we’re overtaxed – 11 tax hikes in South Tahoe alone over the last few years. Bush may have thrown us a break, but it’s more than made up for in other areas (DMV tax, sales tax, cable tax, cell phone tax, garbage tax, electric tax, BID tax – oh wait, that one disappeared, but don’t worry there’s another on the way). Besides, this is the gift that keeps on giving … it would mean I can retire before my 70s.

— An end to the war in Iraq. Call me a raging left-wing, tree-hugging tofu-eater, but it seems like the time has come for a resolution to the conflict … or at least an outline of what constitutes a resolution. You can argue all you want about why we went there, whether it was legitimate, etc., but this is a different issue. I will be spending Christmas with my family, and I’d love to hear that our soldiers, many of them National Guard who have been deployed, redeployed and re-redeployed, will be able to spend the holidays with their loved ones. Is anyone ever going to believe the one-weekend-a-month-two-weeks-a-year line again.

— Another healthy and happy year with my little girl. Our daughter, Lauren, came to us in January last year (a month ahead of schedule), and made it the best year of our lives. She’s in the goo-goo, ga-ga stage right now, and it’s been better than advertised.

— A year of improvement for my dad. Unfortunately, dad suffered a stroke last February, and spent the rest of this year battling back (including five months in the hospital, much of it spent on life support), going to rehab and steadily improving. His progress has been inspirational, and I think the best is yet to come. Unfortunately, the stroke didn’t affect the part of the brain that suppresses cantankerous, curmudgeonly behavior.

It’s a simple list that has nothing to do with acquiring stuff (my tiny Tahoe house can’t hold much, anyway), but a good list nonetheless. Send me an e-mail, and let me know what’s on your list … the more harebrained, the better (and no, “a new editor” doesn’t count). Please include your name, hometown and phone number.

Happy shopping.

– Jim Scripps, managing editor of the Tahoe Daily Tribune, can be contacted at