These are a few of my favorite (holiday) things.

I like the holidays. I’m not one of the crazy decorate-every-inch-of-the-house wear-a-Santa-hat-and-jingle-bells people. I just think the holidays are nice.

These are my very favorite things about the holiday season:

Sitting in front of the fireplace with a cup of hot chocolate and a good book.

This is actually wonderful all winter long, but there’s something extra peaceful about it around the holidays. Maybe it’s the decorations on the mantle or the candy cane in the hot chocolate.

Sometimes I even read Christmas books, but they’re usually too sappy or religious for me.

I never had a fireplace until I moved into my townhouse a few years back so I never knew what I was missing. The best part is that it’s propane, so I don’t have to deal with wood, building a fire or cleaning a chimney.

Christmas music.

Yes, I enjoy Christmas music. I can’t listen to it all year long though, just from the day after Thanksgiving until Christmas day.

Thanks to the wonders of Spotify, I made a holiday playlist this year and I’ve been listening to it at work. It’s a mix of some traditional songs and newer things. From Sammy Davis, Jr and Gene Autry to Jack Johnson and Barenaked Ladies.

My very favorite holiday song is Merry Christmas, Darling by the Carpenters. And I’m not embarrassed to admit it. I am about as unromantic as you can get, but Karen Carpenter’s voice is just warm and beautiful. And because she’s an alto, it’s easy for me to sing along. It’s a very singable song.

Vacation.

Our office is traditionally closed from Christmas through New Year’s. Because there is no one in the office, it is the most relaxing time of year for me.

I don’t have to worry about what’s going on (or not going on) while I’m away.

Driving through the Joseph Smith Memorial Christmas light display.

I live close to the memorial dedicated to the founder of the Mormon (Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints?) church. I’m not Mormon, but we go up every year and drive through their light display.

It’s really just a bunch of trees and some sort of metal tunnel with lots of lights on them, but it’s fun.

I think there’s more to do if you actually get out of your car. Maybe a live nativity? And I’m sure there is lots of information about the religion, but I stay in the car.

We just drive through twice and go back home. But there’s something about all those lights that makes you feel a sense of awe and wonder, just like when you were a kid.

Christmas pajamas.

See my post from November 5.

Shopping when there’s nothing I need to buy.

Call me crazy, but I love going to the stores during the holidays.

It helps that I never have much to buy, just gifts for my mother and a few friends. I suppose if I were shopping for six kids and an extended family I would feel differently. But I like the hustle and bustle of the stores, even the cranky clerks.

I used to work retail, I get it. Back then if you had asked me if I would ever venture into a department store right before Christmas just for the heck of it, I would have said no way. But now that I’ve been away from that scene for almost twenty years, I do just that.

Visiting the Maine coast on Christmas Eve.

This is something my mother and I started doing a couple of years ago because we don’t have a big family celebration on Christmas Eve.

We drive over, have lunch as a seafood restaurant, stop at a couple of outlet malls (They are surprisingly quiet on Christmas Eve. And sometimes there are carolers.)

Then we go to see the lights at the Nubble Lighthouse before heading home. We’ve even been able to walk on the beach a couple of years when it wasn’t too frigid.

The ride home is one of my favorite parts of the trip. It’s warm and dark, Christmas music on the radio. My mom and I talk and sing along with the carols. It’s just the two of us and very cozy.

And I’m a firm believer that Christmas should be cozy.

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