Over the past few years Wendy has asked Santa for just one simple thing, yet each year it seems to be the one thing he's failed to bring.

Her wish, though not a pony, Frozen soundtrack, or power tool that's new, would ultimately require a lot of effort and proved to be much harder to do.

While many people may wish for extravagant bobbles, toys, and trinkets, Wendy's wish was far more practical than a pair of Super Bowl tickets.

Wendy's Christmas wish was so simple, in fact, for she merely had dreams of a functional clawfoot tub where she could soak and relax.

Each year she hoped and wished her bath might just appear, but her elves failed to make it happen year after year. They had other projects, blown deadlines, and lots of excuses get in the way, but one thing was consistent, no tub to this day.

But this year the elves were determined to make Wendy's dream finally come true. They had a plan and a day and said, "Little lady, we're bringing this tub to you!"

Though the tub was all clean and feet secured in their place, a lack of supply lines to deliver water seemed to put us off pace.

We had all the parts needed waiting patiently next to the window sashes, all in polished nickel and all tucked away in neat little stashes. The elves just needed to get their little butts into gear, so Saturday morning the elves awoke and got to work without even bothering their reindeer.

They had wrenches and flanges and even their tubing cutter. They had putty and pipe dope and lots more plumbing clutter. They were ready to go and were on a Christmas mission, they wanted to give Wendy for what she'd been wishin'.

The elves started the work with their first plumbing deal. They fixed up their shutoffs with pipe dope for a watertight seal.

The thing that proved be the elves whole tub hookup strength, was ensuring all of the pipes were cut to the right length.

They measured once, measured twice, and even measured it thrice, because the only way to get this to work was to make it fit like real nice.

The waste line required some additional measurements too, and the overflow's gasket had to be compressed with a screw.

With the waste line in place the elves turned their attention to the tub supply, connecting the 1/2" lines per the instructions to be sure to comply.

Copious amounts of dope and putty were also used in this case, the last thing they wanted was water all over the place.

The actual hookup of the tub filler spout, left the hard working elves eager for the water to come out.

I'd be telling a lie if I omitted a detail, one elf had to make a single connection four times before he could get it to seal. Seems he had ignored one critical part of the deal, the plumbing gods don't take kindly to forgotten parts, at least that's how I think they feel.

With a final twist of the wrench and check of the ground, the elves paused for a moment to make sure there was no water around.

They chanted their standard saying to be sure their job wouldn't be thwarted, "No drips, no runs, no errors" the elves said as they all cavorted.

Happy with their progress they tested their tubes, made sure the water flowed so they wouldn't look like DIY noobs.

Final connections of the telephone sprayer attachment were completed, then the elves let the tub fill with hot water that couldn't be depleted.

Their journey had taken a winding route to the end, but they hoped that drawing a bath for Wendy would give any bad feelings a mend. They assembled her bath caddy and lit a candle or two, in hopes Wendy's Christmas wish could finally come true.

It's a thing of beauty to be honest, rather a sight to behold. This clawfoot tub had taken a journey almost too strange to be told. From it's original house of 80 years in down the street in Del Ray, to our basement for another 11 after we won it on eBay.

We hired some men to carry the behemoth upstairs, and carefully placed it with only a few swears.

We breathed life into this beautiful antique cast iron beast, but given its history it was what we could do in the least.

Today this tub is helping someone's dreams transform a space, but that's a whole story for another time and another place. Until that day when we can do a big grand reveal, we hope this story will express just how we feel. A Christmas wish that you hold close to your heart every year, may eventually come true if an elf can just lend an ear. So keep wishing and hoping for all of your dreams from your elf, and if all else fails I guess you can always just do it yourself

And if you liked this tale of Wendy's Christmas Wish, you might want to also check out the story of Wendy Grinch
Comments 17


Beth Wilt
12/23/2014 at 11:35 AM
Love this. Very creative, Alex!
Karin K
12/23/2014 at 11:46 AM

Love it! Thanks for the entertaining post, and Merry Christmas!

12/23/2014 at 11:59 AM

This is great! That post was extremely well written and that tub looks fantastic! Hopefully Wendy enjoys it! Good work!

12/23/2014 at 1:11 PM

Wonderful! Thanks for post chuckle. Merry Christmas to you both! Wishing Wendy lots of bubbles in the tub.

Franki Parde
12/24/2014 at 9:02 AM

This just brought tears to my eyes...happiness, wonderment, it is just marvelous!! You are just the "best elf ever!!" PEACE to YOU & YOURS!! franki

12/26/2014 at 3:02 PM

LOVE! Hope you all had a good Christmas!

1/2/2015 at 10:53 AM

Those are some talented elves! As always, a great read!

Jacquelyn H.
2/9/2015 at 11:10 PM

It was great meeting you last Sunday at your open house in Alexandria. That claw foot tub looks amazing, what a great bargain!. Thank you for your blog, my husband and I enjoy themAlt smile


It was so great to meet you too, Jacquelyn! Thanks for letting me talk your ear off about claw foot tubs.Alt smile

2/15/2015 at 9:12 AM

We have a tub just like yours - in our basement - down two flights of stairs from it's final upstairs destination! Loved reading your post about moving it. Oh the fear I have about that! But I am wondering - where did you source the new faucet? I'm finding that new tub makers are no help at refurbing an old tub and claim there isn't new hardware out there. Should I go vintage or is there a good reproduction company? Thanks in advance!!


Sorry this is so late, but we got our tub set from Signature Hardware. http://www.signaturehardware.com/

They have sets that are standard sizes (8" spread) that work for old tubs that are non-standard. Getting a vintage set would be cool, but really expensive to get one that's still in good shape that doesn't leak. That's the problem with the vintage plumbing things, they all often leak in one way or another.

2/19/2016 at 1:57 PM

Got my faucet thru ATG--Lowes.com--then on the bottom of the page.Also got foundry nails to attach the clawfeet tub - but I got 4 1/2 and think I need larger---oh wouldnt it be nice if somene hadnt used these for what he cant remember......Ha Ha If anyone has a tub with foundry nails slid in please let me know size.Thanks Bev

2/21/2015 at 4:44 PM

Hooray for Christmas miracles!

3/6/2015 at 7:15 PM

Just curious...is the master bathroom finished? Hope there'll be a final reveal of the whole space! Love your blog!


Oh Maggie, "finished" is such a subjective term in our house. Alt smile In short...no. We still have a few projects left before we're totally finished, but at least it's functional. We have a few posts coming up over the next weeks that should show it in its near finished state.

9/4/2015 at 2:11 AM

Hah! I loved reading about your clawfoot tub adventures! I've had one sitting in my garage for 10 years, after moving it from another island! You've inspired me to do something about it! :D

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