It's only fitting this time of year that I quote Buddy from the wonderful Christmas movie, ELF. When asked by the department store manager "Why are you smiling?", Buddy replies, "I just like to smile. Smiling is my favorite".
Here are my November things to be happy about...
- Holiday Shopping ~ CHRISTmas is certainly not about the presents, but it is fun to shop and buy gifts for family and friends, especially something you'll know they'll really enjoy. Even without buying anything, I love malls, shopping centers and stores decked out with decorations for Christmas.
- Warm Kitchens ~ Kitchens are my favorite room in any house because that's were memories are made and delicious meals are prepared. I love cooking and baking and I love the coziness of a kitchen...it doesn't matter the size, how it's decorated or what's in it.
- Band Music at Halftime ~ I was in marching band for 6 years and loved every minute of it. I played the clarinet and was also on the flag team. I have very fond memories from being in band, especially in high school. We even made it to the State Marching Contest my senior year - fun times! Even now, 13 years later (whoa!) I still look forward to watching the bands at halftime.
- Home for the Holidays ~ We don't live near our parents (they are all about 5-6 hours away) so it's always nice to anticipate going home for a visit, especially at Christmas. We will be spending Christmas this year in Arkansas with John's family and then we'll go visit mine in early January.
- Being Offered a Ticket to an NFL game ~ I much prefer watching football games in the comfort of our living room, but it was fun to get to go to a Cowboys game - especially for free! We received tickets from a vendor of a client at work a couple of years ago and we had a great time.
- Eggnog ~ This isn't something I can drink a lot of, but I really enjoy having at least one cup of eggnog during the holiday season. It's really rich, but yummy. I haven't had any yet, but I will before Christmas Day.
- Small Town Life ~ We live in a small town outside of the Dallas area and it's nice to escape the busyness of the Metroplex. We love all that the "big city" has to offer and take advantage of it, but nothing beats small town life. John's from a very small, quaint town in Arkansas and it's very peaceful and nice. Fredericksburg, Texas is one of our favorite small towns too - with adorable shops up and down Main Street. Small towns are so simple and with the world as crazy as it is, they bring calm. Don't you wish we could all live in Mayberry?
- Scarves Knotted Snuggly ~ I have several scarves and I really enjoy those days it's cold enough for bundling up in a warm coat, a scarf and some gloves. I've worn my nice, long coats the past two days and I love it. As cold natured as I am, I much prefer the fall and winter weather.
- Sentimental Value ~ I am a sentimental person and thankfully John is too. He may be even more so than me - one of the many things I love about him, it's so sweet. But we have many treasures and keepsakes from our childhood and growing up years, from family and friends and we have two tubs of special things from each other. We call them our "treasure tubs". You can read about them here.
- Countdown to Christmas ~ It's on - hooray! But I don't want to rush it and wish the season away. It only comes once a year.
- Not having to rush ~ Life for everyone is so busy and fast-paced these days. It seems to be getting worse with so many to dos, tasks, commitments, schedules, appointments, things on the calendar and on and on. Being able to take your time and savor the moment is so underrated.
- Help with the Dishes ~ I am BLESSED and LUCKY - my husband washes the dishes in our house. It's something he's taken upon himself to take care of since the day we were married and he's not complained about it one single time. It's not to say that I don't wash a few dishes from time to time or load/unload the dishwasher, but the majority of it is done by sweet John. Thank you, my love! I don't take it for granted. It's funny because sometimes I'll say "thank you for washing the dishes" (after a meal) and he'll say "thank you for dirtying them" ( by making the meal) .
- Sleeping Late ~ Not something I get to do often, but not having to set the alarm is such a good feeling when going to bed the night before. It's nice every once in a while to wake up when you want to. "Sleeping late" for me could even just be 7:30 or 8:00, since we get up so early during the week, but that works for me.
- Long Touchdown Passes ~ Thrill and excitement for a die hard football fan - COMPLETED long touchdown passes are even better!
- Holiday Window Displays ~ I kind of talked about this above, but I really enjoy all of the decorations and lights in store windows.
- Shopping...Done ~ We aren't there yet, but we are getting closer. It's such a good, relieving feeling when it's complete and then on to the wrapping - my favorite part!
- Putting up the Tree ~ We put our tree up the weekend before Thanksgiving due to the fact that we would be traveling and we wanted it done for when we returned home. We had lots of fun decorating the house and took many pictures that I need to post VERY soon.
- Christmas Movies ~ I heart Christmas movies and we have several of them. We made a list before the Christmas season started of all of the Christmas movies and specials we wanted to watch before Christmas is over. We've knocked off a few, but still more to watch. We plan to make chili and watch one this Friday night - can't wait!
- Parades & Football ~ We all know my passion for football and parades make me happy too. I've been in a few myself and the Macy's Parade is one of my favorite things about Thanksgiving. I watch it every year. I read on a blog the other day that "parades, football and feasting should be a part of everyday life" - I agree!
- The Sounds of a Meal Being Prepared ~ This goes along with my love for all things involving the kitchen and cooking/baking. The sound of spoons stirring in a pan, beaters in a mixing bowl, a food processor slicing and dicing, an electric knife carving meat, foil being torn, doors and drawers opening and closing, a pot of water boiling, sizzling of meat...it's all music to my ears.
I wish you all of the happiness your heart can hold during this Christmas season.
Until we meet again...