I say this every year: I love December.
It’s the one month when I don’t mind a chill in the air, because it feels so very Christmassy. (Though this week has been astonishingly mild.) I love the sensation of hurrying along a busy city street, under twinkling lights, wrapped in my favorite green coat and the winter accessories I haven’t grown sick of yet. And the twinkle lights – plus the festive shop window displays everywhere – make the dark (which comes so early) much more bearable, at least for now.
I also say this every year: I feel like I blinked after Thanksgiving and it’s mid-December already.
This time of year has such potential to be holy, sparkling and peaceful. And let’s be honest: it can also feel rushed, frenetic and hollow. So as I work through various lists (gifts to buy, tasks to cross off, emails to send), I’m relishing a few small things that are saving my life:
- Kate Rusby’s Sweet Bells album. Quiet yet cheery, and wonderfully Celtic. (Also, I love the way her Yorkshire accent comes out on certain vowels.)
- The cozy purple wrap I knit for myself last year, which I am wearing all the time.
- The Magnificat, which I cannot stop humming.
- The black ankle boots Mom bought me last Christmas, which I’m wearing almost every day.
- The tiny birch bark reindeer who have taken up residence outside my favorite local flower shop.
- Chai in a paper cup from Darwin’s, every weekday. And about once a week, my favorite breakfast sandwich there: eggs over medium, bacon, melted cheddar cheese and avocado. Perfection.
- This beautiful desktop wallpaper (via Susannah Conway).
- Instagram photos of Mary Todd Lincoln – not the First Lady, but the tiny dachshund puppy who’s one of the shop dogs at Parnassus Books. (So. Much. Adorable.)
- Clementines – tiny, bright, delicious hits of citrus. (Bonus: they make my hands smell so good.)
- A few convivial evenings with friends, trading laughter and stories around a table.
- Giggles from baby Evie.
- The words of my Advent book, full of hope and longing.
- Stealing at least a few minutes every night to sit in front of our twinkling tree.
- The sound of my husband playing Christmas carols on the guitar. (I particularly love his rendition of “Angels from the Realms of Glory.”)
- A few pages of Winter Solstice and/or Shepherds Abiding, every night before bed.
- My dachshund slippers.
What’s saving your life this December? (And how many days till Christmas?)