(Small Pleasures lists highlight the everyday items, activities and experiences which bring an extravagant amount of happiness to my life. Writing these lists is a fun practice of mindfulness that encourages gratitude for the abundance of blessing in my life.)
December was the typical blur of holiday preparation and eventual celebration. Recognizing the small pleasures among the big took more work than usual. It was worth the effort, though. The end result captures some of the ways I managed to protect my sanity during the most wonderful time of the year.
Small Pleasures: December 2019
- Klaus (Netflix original movie). This beautifully animated movie tells the story of Santa Claus in a fresh, delightful way. It’s poignant, magical, satisfying. Watching it with my newly married daughter made the experience even better. I recommend it, with kids or without.
- Winter Solstice by Rosamund Pilcher. This charmer of a book lifted me out of a rotten reading slump and set me down in the middle of a quaint Scottish village during a December snowstorm. The story had everything I was looking for: engaging characters struggling through difficult circumstances but still open to friendship and love, an evocative setting perfect for Christmas, and a deeply satisfying ending. Winter Solstice was the perfect book for December and I’ve been recommending it to anyone who will listen. I’m also looking forward to investigating the rest of Rosamund Pilcher’s catalogue.
- The fresh scent of a live Christmas tree. The Fraser fir we bought as our Christmas tree this year filled our house with it’s lovely piney scent for days. That smell is the one I associate most with Christmas and I love it. (So do the cats, who basically live under the tree for the entire month of December).
- Watching Perry Mason with Jay. My husband and I get on these kicks where we focus on an old TV show and watch the available seasons/episodes over the course of several months. We did this with the original Star Trek series and have recently turned our attention to Perry Mason. I’m enjoying the show’s plotlines but I’m loving the peek into 1950s/1960s culture and style. Della Street is my favorite character. She’s a smart, competent, stylish and independent woman at a time when that was rather uncommon.
- Felt dryer balls. In an effort to reduce some of the cleaning chemicals I’m using in my home, I decided to try wool dryer balls in place of fabric softener. I purchased my set from Food 52 (the cool tones) and am very happy with the softness of my laundry. What makes the end result even better is the few drops of Mountain Rain fragrance oil (from the Fresh Summer collection by Barnhouse Blue) I add to the balls before I toss them into the dryer. Now my laundry is soft, smells wonderful and I’m helping the environment and our skin in one very small way.
Add numerous cups of hot tea and an excess of twinkling lights and you have my personal prescription for thriving during the hectic Christmas season of 2019. Do you have any small pleasures to share? Please do in the comments!