By Susan Govern
Just about everyone is familiar with the song from “The Sound of Music” about Maria’s favorite things. Around the holidays I also have many favorite things that I enjoy.
The first thing that probably comes to your mind is gifts. Yes, but those don’t hit high on my list.
As the years go by and older relatives pass away, I am especially happy to be able to spend time with family either in a large group or individually. Old stories are retold Christmas after Christmas but I don’t get tired of them – they are like gold to me.
Another favorite thing is a parking space that is not so far away it ends up located in the next town (county or state) from the store I’m planning to shop in. Add in finding an item I want to buy in the size and color I want and you can put holiday shopping close to the top of my favorites list.
What list of favorites would be complete without FOOD on it? Cookies are great, but it’s all the other wonderful shared meals that make me happy. Traditional foods made from recipes handed down from generation to generation are especially something I look forward to at Christmas.
From the time of my earliest memories I have loved Christmas music – any and all kinds of Christmas music; a beautiful hymn touching my heart as I sit in church with my family or listening to an exuberant group of carolers singing “Jingle Bells” as they come to our home, songs of the season will always make my list.
The colorful lights decorating homes this time of year is definitely among my favorites. As a little girl the best of times would be me, my mom and my dad getting in the car and riding up and down the streets in my hometown to look at the lights people put up. On a snowy evening those holiday lights made everything look so joyful.
Back when I was young, and yes even now although I grumble about the cold, I would put snow within the top ten of my favorite things. I’m not crazy about snow hanging around after the holidays, but Christmas is so special when it’s a white Christmas.
I enjoyed sledding, snowball fights, making snowmen with my friends and now as a grown up – I had fun watching when my children were young doing those same things with their friends or cousins out in the snow.
These days I put hot coffee or hot chocolate a little higher on my favorites list than snow activities, along with warm gloves and scarves (which I hated as a kid). And speaking of things that are warm – my list of winter favorites has to have the wonderful, splendid invention of built-in seat warmers in new model cars (ranking right up there high on the list with remote starters). Nothing beats getting into an already warmed up car with warm seats on a cold winter’s day as you begin a trip to visit far away family or friends.
My list of favorites includes something that only happens at this time of year; the sending out and receiving of Christmas cards. I love sitting down with my address book and picking out just the right cards to send. With each card I hope it will bring a smile to the person receiving it, and that works the other way too because with each card our family gets, I enjoy that connection between who sent it and us. Sometimes the cards travel from one end of the country to the other, some are sent close by, but with each one I feel like the distance doesn’t matter – we’re all still connected.
I suppose if you take a good hard look at my favorite things you will notice a pattern. It’s really pretty obvious. My list is actually – in reality – very short. You see, my list of favorite things really only has three things on it, and they are things I treasure not just at the holidays but all year through:
That’s it – that is my list, the rest is just part of the wonderful memories I have of being in the company of FAMILY and FRIENDS. Even the part about shopping and finding the right thing – it’s because I’m there to find something special for someone I care about and who is a part of my life.
Yep…it’s a short list, but long on how much happiness it brings to me.
May your list of favorites be as special to you as mine is to me.