A Little Yule Cheer, Day 11: Small Pleasures, the First Half of Advent 2021

The past several months have been complicated for me, as I’m sure they have been for almost every human being on the planet. Life is like that. Really good things are mixed in with the rotten. It can be so easy to give into the negative parts and lose track of all the goodness and blessings that come our way every single day. For a long time now, I’ve tried to pay attention to the experiences that bring my heart joy in the midst of living this messy life. Because I’m trying to be intentional about enjoying the Christmas experience this year, my list today focuses mostly on that theme.

Small Pleasures: First Half of December 2021

  • Working through John Piper’s advent devotional An Indestructible Joy with Jay and Aaron. We are finding some of Mr. Piper’s writings to be over the top, which has generated a fair amount of laughter and silliness. With my twenty year old son, I’ll take it where I can get it, even if it means being disrespectful to a beloved theologian.
  • Spending time with Julia at Longwood Gardens’ Christmas displays. We overused the word “magical” to describe our experience.
  • Sipping Starbuck’s hot chocolate and listening to Chris Botti’s Christmas album on the way to work. Talk about feeling mellow. I was so relaxed when I got to campus, I practically melted out of the car.
  • Stumbling across Nora Jones’s live concert at the top of the Empire State Building on Youtube. (I mentioned this yesterday).
  • Learning to crochet. There is something about the focus, the feel of the yarn, and the repetition of stitches that I find soothing. It’s both mindful and mindless at the same time, which seems to be a good combination for me.
  • Watching Christmas movies with Jay. So far we’ve watched Holiday Inn and The Polar Express. White Christmas, A Muppet Christmas Carol and Christmas Vacation are still on the docket along with any other movies that catch our fancy.
  • Seeing Santa riding a fire truck. Every year our local fire department decorates all their trucks and drives through the neighborhood, sounding the sirens and blasting Christmas music. Santa is always waving from one of the rigs, too. The kids (and dogs) in the neighborhood love it and so do I!
  • Pisco-jitos at El Serrano. El Serrano is a wonderful Peruvian restaurant in Lancaster. The mojitos there are made with Peruvian brandy called Pisco. Who knew Pisco makes mojitos the best I’ve ever had.

Now that I’ve started thinking about it, I feel like I could go on and on with small pleasures. No matter how much hard stuff I have to wade through in this life, it doesn’t take me very long to find the good stuff if I make the effort to look. Do you have any small pleasures you’d like to share? Please do!

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