The Great Reader Christmas Wishlist
We asked what you wanted for Christmas. Here are some of our favorite requests
Last year, This Old House magazine editor Scott Omelianuk asked what you wanted to see under your tree. And, boy did you tell us—some even took the trouble to include model numbers.
From a good, old-fashioned leather tool belt to a winning Powerball ticket (a few requests for that one, actually), here are some of our favorites from the scrolling home improvement wish list you—our valued readers—have provided.
"I want a mouse-free house for Christmas. That's right. I'll forgo the level floor or a larger laundry room just to have a mouse-free house. Now, don't get me wrong. I grew up in an old farmhouse where the original two rooms dated back to the 1870s, and mice running under your feet were quite common. However, in the farmhouse the mice were never so bold as to scamper through silverware and pots and pans. How do I know? I found "traces" in my soup pot tonight, and it was clean this morning. And, don't get me started on how they crawl into my treadle sewing machine drawers and eat into quilt batting and my 1915 Davis VF manual. Yeah, all I want for Christmas is a mouse-free house."
Ray Township, MI
"I'm not going to make the same mistake the fisherman did and squander my wishes. I only want one thing...a winning Powerball ticket. With that, I can quit my job, buy more tools, and finish remodeling my old house while I'm still breathing."
"If you really are Santa Claus, I want a good, easy-to-use, portable table saw that I can use to cut laminate flooring with and miter a toe strip, too. I'm a 70-year-old widow who has completely remodeled my old house by myself—including removing all the pipes from an old hot water heating system and removing four layers of flooring. Now, I am finishing up and I usually borrow my son's tools, but I know he is getting tired of hauling everything back and forth. So, I'd love to have a saw to finish the job. Please, Santa, I've been relatively good this year!"
"I've been screaming it for years. I want girl-sized tools! Real tools, not toys. I want them smaller and lighter and with appropriately sized handles—and pink, so my husband won't steal them. Ninety-eight percent of the guys at the DIY stores look at me like I have two heads when I ask for them. I really, really want a small circular saw. But, I suppose until a girl starts a tool company, it'll never happen."
"Getting gifts for my DIYer is getting tougher and tougher, as I'm running out of gifts to get him, and also because of the economy. I think a good, leather tool belt will serve him well now, though, since he keeps swearing and whatnot every time he puts on his old one. Leather is indeed a bit expensive, but I know it'll last longer than the nylon-and-Velcro one he's got. As for me, I got an early gift: a big magnet-on-wheels for picking up all the nails on the lawn from our latest project of reshingling the house. It's been great because I had nightmares of flat tires and tetanus keeping me up!"
"My wish for Christmas would be a new Kohler bathroom. Mine is half-gutted now. I have to replace the floor under the toilet and tub, so I guess everything's gotta go. I want a chair-height Kohler Memoirs toilet. Not sure what to do about the sink yet. I do have my throw rugs and hand towels already, so that's done at least. In the end, hoping for a bath fit for a Queen...me!"
"My biggest 'What I Want' is a thermal imager or detector to see if I missed making my home energy-efficient, and to share with others so they can make sure they have enough insulation. I've made my 1923 cottage as energy-efficient as I could, and last year I went solar, which is going great and has met with all of my energy needs."
St. Petersburg, FL
"I'd like some tools to make some simple furniture items. My wife and I are hoping to start a family in the next year and I think it'd be special to have something made by Dad in the room, whether it's a window seat, a lamp table, book shelf. Some tools to help an average DIYer build something simple and meaningful for his first child are on my list this year."
"My bathroom back in order is what I'd like. A few years ago, the tub faucet leaked and my husband decided to fix it. Unfortunately, he is not a carpenter, or a plumber. He went for it and found he had to remove the surround. OK, whatever. When the chainsaw and jackhammer came out, I got worried. Will there be a bathroom left? It's been two years. So, having my bathroom looking somewhat normal and the tub faucet (finally) working right again would sure make my Christmas great."
"I've been in the process of completing a wraparound deck for the past two years. The first year, we got the front of the house wrapped and some of the side, with planking. The second year, the front porch got a roof, and the side was completed. What I would really love is to finish that side porch with a roof, railings, lattice, and balusters."
"The little cottage I live in was originally nothing but a shack—in the best sense of the word. My hippie brother from California turned the old shack on my parent's property into a livable space with wiring, plumbing, insulation (I helped!), sheetrock, etc. He lived here for a while. Then, I bought it for $9,000, a fortune to me as a single mom. But, there's one thing my bro forgot: a closet. I would really love to have a California Closet. Don't you think that would be appropriate for my shack?"
"Last February, we signed a contract to replace our 1874 windows with triple-pane wood composite windows. They gave us an amazing deal, which we had to give up after my husband got laid off. So, now we're stuck with a bunch of painted-shut, old windows. My Christmas wish is that by next summer, my family will be able to drift off to sleep with the sound of crickets coming through our new, opened windows."
"I'm a simple woman, married to a really wonderful guy. But, I grew up with a father who kept this tools in order, looked for projects to do, and enjoyed doing those projects. Then, I married a man who kept his tools in an old dishwasher in the garage, sighs and rubs his head every time I ask him to do a project, tells me everything will take at least three days, and has real trouble on the whole "getting started" thing.
So, here's what I want: My very own Barney. He's my own personal handyman that I've dreamed up. You can see I've already named him and everything. I can call him any day of the week and he'll come over without sighing or complaining, he'll do the work, not leave a mess, and ask me what else he can do before he leaves. My husband, in turn, would like his own cook. So, if anyone at TOH knows a Barney who's married to a chef, I'd sure like to find them."
Mary Kay G.
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