1. I think poinsettias, fake or real, are really pretty. This year my tree has a bunch of fake poinsettias as ornaments. I have some more for my stairway banister, but I haven't put them up yet. I'm looking forward to it. I'm also looking for some stockings to hang with the poinsettias, but I haven't found any that I love yet. I might have to make some.
2. I love Christmas bells. I love playing the bells and the chimes, and I like how pretty bells look. I really wanted to find some cute (not cheap-looking) bells to put on my tree, but I couldn't find any I loved. But, I did find a bell, similar to the one that my mom and dad have that I put on my tree. It makes me happy to be able to ring the bell when I walk by the tree.
3. I am really into Christmas music this year. A few of my favorite Christmas songs are O Holy Night, Stars Were Gleaming, O Come All Ye Faithful (Adeste Fideles), and Baby, It's Cold Outside. The links are to videos, but they are songs I like. If you get the giggles to videos as often as I do, you may need to not watch the videos but listen instead. Do you have favorite Christmas songs?
4. Christmas treats are so, so tasty. There's something about Christmas that just makes me fat thinking about it. I love sugar cookies, gingerbread cookies, those peanut butter cookies with Hershey's kisses in them, almond rocha, peanut brittle, homemade caramels (which are the only kind of caramels I really like), those Lindt truffles, fruit pies, and oranges. They're so tasty. So, so tasty.
5. Christmas lights are beautiful. I've noticed that Christmas lights participation has waned a lot in the past few years in my community, but I really appreciate people who put up lights. I hope that you put up some lights somewhere, even if you're like me and you actually just decorate the inside of your house with lights so the blinds have to be open for anyone to see the lights. But seriously. Christmas lights are beautiful.
6. Snow. I love snow. It is one of the most beautiful things that nature provides. Sure, it's pretty cold and can sometimes be treacherous or deadly, but I love to look at the beautiful drifts of snow, the icicles as they hang from rooftops, and the way that they can transform even a chain-link fence into a breathtaking marvel. Snow is beautiful.
7. There is a somber and peaceful feeling about Christmas. This feeling might come from over-consumption of all the Christmas treats that causes me to feel like hibernating until the spring, but I really think part of it comes from people's hearts and minds changing and contemplating different aspects of their lives this year. Sometimes this time of year causes serious introspection, some sad and some good. Sometimes it causes people to look beyond themselves to others and seek to help those they don't know or those they do know very well. Either way, I feel like a lot of people are their better selves around this time of year. I've been a little cranky this year, but I have appreciated the infusion of good feelings this year, as well. I've noticed other people giving of themselves to help others, and that's inspiring. I also appreciate that people are so busy during this time of year doing Christmas activities that they have less time to worry about other people's faults and things that aren't important. I think busyness goes a long way to helping people find peace because I think that we as a people create our own distress most of the time.
So, I hope that during this time of year, however you celebrate, you can look around yourself at the little things that are beautiful, peaceful, and happy. I hope that you can find a way to give to the world in some small way by just doing something good for someone else. I hope that you can look at your own life and see the beauty that is already there.