Here are a few of my favorite things about this wonderful time of year, in no particular order…
1. Homey tea sets, like this Rustic Tea Set from Etsy…perfect for having holiday tea on a wintry afternoon.
2. Christmas songs, like this version of Baby, It’s Cold Outside sung by Margaret Whiting and Johnny Mercer.
3. Mid-week lunches with my mom and sis. Hope this lasts all year long.
4. Perfect Christmas Cookies…I so wish I could decorate like she does! (From Chocolate & Carrots.)
5. Super Skinny Hot Cocoa from The Fromagette…a chocolate drink I feel good about drinking.
6. A winter wonderland (photo by flickr user ednl)…I am one of those strange people who love snow, even after Christmas. :)
7. Caring, thoughtful people. My mom and my hubby come to mind first, as well as so many readers and bloggers out there. I’m grateful to Veronica of Veronica’s Cornucopia for her recent post on supporting our troops…what an inspiration! If money is tight, try to think of some other way to help someone else…what about volunteering your time at a local soup kitchen?
8. Cherries, especially when they’re paired with almonds! (My friend Lorraine of Not Quite Nigella made a to-die-for Cherry, Cranberry & Almond Christmas Wreath Galette.)
9. Beautiful festive salads with things like sugared cranberries. The Fennel Salad with Opal Apples and Candied Cranberries on Today’s Nest is particularly lovely.
10. Cozy sweaters (to help deal with #6 above), like the Blanched and Buckled Cardigan from Anthropologie.
11. The smell of thyme-buttered roast chicken. I’m roasting it as we speak and I think maybe the only thing in the whole world that might smell better is baking bread. (Sorry, it won’t be shared on my blog…I’m not taking pictures of it because 1) there’s no shortage of good roast chicken recipes floating around the internet, 2) by the time I eat dinner it will be pitch black outside (and I hate, hate shooting with fake light; read: I’m really terrible at it, lol!), and 3) my go-to recipe is very similar to the recipe for Roasted Chicken with Garlic-Thyme Butter on Food & Wine.)
12. More cherries and chocolate! Hannah from BitterSweet made the most adorable looking Cherry Hot Chocolate Spoons (I am always impressed by her creativity!). I made them with my niece and not only were they a huge hit, but we had a ton of fun making them together. And she wants to give them out as homemade Christmas gifts, which I think is such a sweet idea!
13. Holly leaves and berries (photo by flickr user stevendepolo). They just look like Christmas.
14. Beautiful Mont Blancs for Christmas dessert, like the ones made by the very talented Rosa of Rosa’s Yummy Yums. She’s an amazing baker.
15. Mashed potatoes…add cheese and herbs and I’m in heaven. Alisha of The Ardent Epicure (one of the sweetest food bloggers I know) recently made Cheesy Mixed and Mashed Potatoes and Rutabaga with Garlic Drizzle and Garden Herbs. If that doesn’t sound amazing, I don’t know what does!
16. Eggnog Pudding. This recipe makes three servings and I’ve been making it every third day…yup, I think I’m in danger of becoming an addict. :)
17. Horchow. It’s a site on which I am hard-pressed to find something I don’t want to buy (for gifts or for myself, lol). I especially love the beautiful simplicity of their Alcamar Dinnerware…I think it would be gorgeous for a holiday brunch.
18. Sugar Plums, the cutest little holiday treats. Ever. (From Cookie Talk.)
19. Christmas tree shopping. Every year my siblings and I and all our spouses go with my parents to pick out their tree…always real, of course. It never quite feels like Christmas until the house smells like a pine forest.
21. Pretty homemade garlands, like popcorn and cranberry strings, and this button garland from Oh Crafts.
23. Thick scarves, like this stunning Blue Circle Scarf on Etsy. (Again, to help with #6. :) )
24. Pinterest…if you’re looking for a new hobby, this is it. While it is a fantastic place to organize your holiday stuff (think recipes, decorating ideas, gift ideas, etc.) it isn’t limited to just the holidays. And yes, you will spend/waste countless hours there. Consider yourself warned. :)
25. It’s a Wonderful Life with James Stewart and Donna Reed. Best.Christmas.Movie.Ever.
Feel free to share some of your favorite holiday things!
Please note that I was not compensated for this post in any way; this is merely a list containing things I truly love about the holidays that I thought you might enjoy as well.