Life is a great big canvas, and you should throw all the paint you can on it. - Danny Kaye

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

My Favorite Things...

(my living room mantle)
This time of year I love the sound of Christmas music on the radio and the Christmas CD that my sister made for me a few years ago for those moments when the radio stations go in and out.  And every year it never fails that another musician will come out with their own version of “These Are A Few of My Favorite Things” and so on… (although I have to say my favorite version is Barbara Streisand’s).  But I also have a few other “favorites” around the holidays and so there becomes a holiday blog post…

I thought I’d snap a few shots of my living room (the room most decorated in our house) to capture what I get to see each and every night during this time of year…doesn’t it make you feel all warm and fuzzy to come home and see the lights and decorations around your house?  It surely does for me.  Taking pictures each year is a way to go back and see how your d├ęcor has evolved…if at all.  But I’ve come to realize that out of all the decorations I put up each year I actually get the most excited about the one thing that I can’t plan or time…Christmas Cards!!!  They have been heavily trickling in over the past few days and I hope they continue (ours went out late last week).  I started hanging them up on the doorways in our home a few years back and instead of tearing up the paint again this year, I decided to hang glittery string down the wall and attach them to the ribbon…what do you think?  I love it and they tend to make me smile.  So although these don’t actually go up the day after Thanksgiving (or before Thanksgiving) like all the other Christmas decorations, I prefer to leave them up just a little bit longer than the rest so I can enjoy the feeling of love and comfort around me when my house becomes empty in early January.
Something else I rarely get to enjoy because I don’t normally think to buy or make it is eggnog.  I recently had a tasting while shopping in my local grocery store and it was really good…and pre-made!  I thought to myself, is it bad if I sit around one night and drink eggnog by myself…like if it was a glass of wine?  No judging as I haven’t done so yet, but I plan to before the 25th.  But my question is this: Bourbon or Rum?  Which is best?  I have heard either one, but do you have a good recipe to share?
Christmas movies…we all love ‘em.  A Christmas Story.  Charlie Brown’s Christmas.  Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.  Love Actually.  Which is your favorite?  I think I have many…
Rudolph (
And then I asked my husband…”What’s your favorite thing about Christmas?”…drum roll?  “PRESENTS!!!”  Of course, go figure.  But then he followed up his comment with “well, probably really and truly, time with family and friends”…which one would you believe?  Ha!
You know, when I think about it, I believe I have a lot of favorite things about Christmas, but two events today reminded me that it’s not all about the music, the decorations, the cocktails or the movies and gifts…it’s actually about giving to others and doing good. 
This morning on the way to work I stopped to get breakfast and as I walked in to order I watched a gentleman approach a military personnel, reach out his hand to greet him and ask him what he was having for breakfast.  The officer responded and the gentleman replied, “Thank you for your service.”  Wow… I hadn’t really thought about giving unto others in that way before, but it sure made an impression on me.
A second way I felt the true Christmas ‘spirit of giving’ was through my boss and our annual trip to Jubilee Academy to see the children of this very special school.  Usually one of my co-workers will dress up as Santa Claus and we’ll visit the children to deliver very small gifts and money.  Now I know you may be thinking it seems odd to give small children money, but you should really just see the reaction on their faces…the best remark when they open up their envelopes with the $50 dollar bill inside is “Ooh!  A Dollar!”  It makes your heart melt.  A few years back when we first started these trips at Christmas, we learned that this was a school started by a woman who had adopted a boy in need and through her love and devotion to helping and teaching children, she started this small, non-profit school…supported only by donations.  Each year as we prepare to go visit the school, I get a funny feeling about whether or not our visit will impact these under-privileged kids in a positive way or not…and then we go…and I leave with a smile on my face.  I believe now that the support my boss provides to these kids and his donations to the school really do help in so many ways.  Generally (or from what I’ve heard) once we leave and Santa says goodbye, the teacher takes up all the money from the children and keeps it for a special day.  One year they went to Wal-Mart and they used their money to buy gifts for other family members…grandparents, brothers, aunts and cousins... therefore giving to others.  It was amazing to hear how selfless even a small child could be at this time of year…when all they really want are a few of their favorite things.
(picture respectfully borrowed from
So in the moments when I catch myself pouting that it may not be a Christmas filled with glitz and glam, I can remember these acts of gracious kindness and attempt to give my own version in some way to another person.
Merry Christmas!                                                 

1 comment:

Liz Bridges said...

I love getting all the cards, too! Yours was super cute! Ours are going out tomorrow. Your cookies sound awesome! Yes, bark is very easy. I do melt the chocolate chips in a double boiler, but that doesn't take too long. It is yummy and everyone loves it. The dark chocolate hazelnut is my favorite!