My Favorite Things

During Christmas season, there are songs that feel a little cringy. There are the super corny ones but even the ones you don’t mind are too few and seem to be perpetually repeating every hour. However; I really, really love to hear and hum along to a few. I love Donny Hathaway’s version of “This Christmas.” Whitney Houston’s version of “What Child is This.” I also love “My Favorite Things” from the Sound of Music. The lyrics to the song are a reference to things the character Maria chooses to fill her mind with when times are bad. I love how the song is all about self-care before the term was ever in vogue.

“When the dog bites/When the bee stings/When I’m feeling sad/I simply remember my favorite things/And then I don’t feel so bad.”

I propose we write a My Favorite Things list for every season of the year — aka known as — my seasonal self-care list. A list to remember even as we face all the craziness life throws at us. Here’s mine for the Christmas season, California style (rhyming not required).

I love the sun on my shoulders while I walk my doggie. I love the small flickering white lights woven between the garland on the fireplace mantel. I love the smell of cinnamon. I love wrapping my hand around a cup of hot chocolate while I nestle (is that a pun?) on the couch with a blanket wrapped under my feet. I love teasing my husband about the way he pronounces “giblets.” I love the time off from work and the way I feel the tension leave my body as my attention shifts to all things Christmas. I love visiting the mall at night where lights beam green, red, blue and white. I even like the fully decorated too large Christmas trees. I love the bustling of consumers ( I mean customers) finding gifts. I love the generally elevated cheer from public servants, particularly in retail stores and privately owned places.

I love hearing about the story of Jesus of Nazareth. It is such a story of impossibility and from that impossibility comes greatness and love and forgiveness and a chance for people to have a new beginning. I love the smell of greens and sweet potatoes and ham. I love when my kids are home with us, along with our extended family and friends. And even though they are grown — watching my kids’ smiles as they open their gifts brings me joy. These are just a few of my favorite things during the Christmas season, and all of these help me sustain a healthy balance when I begin to feel cynicism at the world. What are some of your favorite things?

PS — A new “Sound of Music” will be running for only two days in September 2019 in select theatres. It looks like it’s going to be good.