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I recently wrote about the lack of holiday traditions in my family and my desire to establish new ones by the handful. While I try to dig myself out of that hole, I can concentrate on the little things I do count on to comfort me and to boost my holiday spirit.
Here are a few of the things that make this time of the year special for me:
The smell of a woodburning fire. I haven’t lived in a place with a functional fireplace in as long as I can remember, but them drifting smoke from someone else’s chimney always makes me think of coziness and falling leaves and quality time indoors. Just a sniff can take me on a mental holiday to a snowy day and a good book, cuddled in front of a blazing fire.
Hot chocolate. I’m not a cocoa snob. Good ole Swiss Miss will do the trick in my book. The importance lies in the feel of a warm mug in my hands and the chill-kicking sensation of that sweet liquid filling my tummy.
Love Actually. In my opinion, this is the greatest holiday movie of all time. I’ve watched it at least once per year since its release in 2003. It is hilarious, it is touching. It will make you forgive Hugh Grant for anything he’s ever done. It’s one thing my entire family can agree on. On the off chance you haven’t seen it, do yourself a favor and get on it.
Toy catalogs. Now that I am a mom, I’m actually delighted by the piles of sales pitches that arrive in our mailbox. While our space is small and we can’t possibly indulge in every super tempting new creation, flipping through them with my daughter reminds me of the giddiness I felt as a child gazing upon similar pages.
Hark the Herald Angels Sing. I didn’t spend much time in church growing up, but if anything makes me feel religious it is this song. Pretty much any version makes my spine tingle and serves as a reminder of the true meaning of Christmas.
Uggs. They are ugly. We all know this. But I love them. I rejoice the day that they come out of summer storage and grace my feet. Their emergence really signals the beginning of the holiday season to me, far more than the Christmas music in stores and the red Starbucks cups that are marching ever closer to Labor Day each year. You will see me wear little else on days from November through March. That cozy sheepskin treats my toes like dear friends and makes my every step a toasty treat.
Christmas ornaments. I have never set up a tree in my own apartment, but I have made it back to my parents’ Tennessee house for all but three of my 32 Christmases. The tree there has fluctuated from real to artificial and one infamous and crazy year was even replaced by a house plant. However, some of the ornaments have been around my entire life. There’s the Baby’s First Christmas ball with my little name on it. There is the nativity ornament made by my younger brother in nursery school. Jesus, Mary, and Joseph are made out of peanuts. Some years I am there to help unpack the ornaments, other times I arrive home to a decorated tree. Either way, so many of those little trinkets make magic in my heart with their very existence.
What are your greatest holiday comforts?
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