Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens….These are a few of my favorite things!

Ok, I admit I stole those from Julie Andrews.  But all of those things on the list (except the wool mittens — they make my hands itch) and many other people, places, and things give me great joy.

snoopy danceJoy at this time of the year *tastes* different from joy at other times of the year.  Do you know what I mean?  And no, not just because we make special treats reserved especially for Christmas or Hanukkah or Kwanzaa or Solstice…  Something elevates it, makes it shinier and brighter and tastier to the senses.

A heart-achingly beautiful rendition of “O Holy Night” at a Christmas service will dissolve me into tears during the first 4 bars.  My poor guys still don’t have a clue how to deal with me at that point.  I tell them I’m not sad — not at all!  Joy!  Joy is filling me from head to toe!  The beauty of the music, the purity of the voice singing it, the story it tells — it’s all joyous!

When the snow is falling from a dark sky, but the neighborhood night is lit with twinkling lights and warm glows from windows: that joy fills my eyes with a different flavor than at other times of the year.

Dropping change into red kettles and pet shelter portals, and putting teddy bears into toys for totses boxes.  Pure joy in hearty doses!

Our fireplace is a source of great joy for me.  Of all the houses I’ve called “home” as an adult, this Home is the only one with a fireplace.  After T and I bought this home together, we had the option to keep it as wood-burning with a gas starter, or switch it over to all gas.  T told me he thought I’d be happiest with a gas fireplace (much quicker to enjoy, less mess), but all I knew about those were the cheap, plastic-looking versions from decades ago. He convinced me to go look at the options… I did, and they looked GOOD! I was sold. And now I have a toasty, beautiful fire in less than 10 seconds whenever I want.  Which, once the temperature drops to under 40, is almost every night.  At Christmastime, with the stockings hung by the chimney with care — it’s more beautiful than I ever could have dreamed.  I count it as one of my blessings.  Joy.  Pure, simple joy at a dream finally made real.

dancing for joyMy child, my partner, my pets, my friends — all of these bring me the most wonderful joy for so many different reasons, with unconditional love at the top of the list.  And that love goes both ways: they love me, and let me love them.  At times I feel positively spoiled by love.  The support and honesty they share have led me to new paths I might not have investigated otherwise.  At this time of year, as we exchange gifts and cards, posts on Facebook, and email, those relationships glow even brighter in the light of this season’s joy.

I suppose writing about what makes me happy is a way for me to count my blessings.  I have many.  Little and big.  Most are fairly uncomplicated in how they bring me joy, and I think the simple joys are sometimes the very best.  I’ve always said it doesn’t really take a lot to make me happy — my generally optimistic nature has saved my sanity more times than I care to count.  Although there have been times where it might seem as though I’m really stretching to count something as a blessing, there is, indeed, something powerful about deciding to make the best out of any situation.

Magic happens when you choose to find the joy — even when it seems to be hiding from you.  Look for it, because this time of year — no matter what you celebrate — brings joy to you.  BRINGS it!  You don’t have to go looking for it!  Open your eyes, your ears, your hearts, and minds.  It is here.  Waiting for you.Christmas joy

Enjoy the light and love this season brings.  At this time, and always, I wish Joy for all of you, Friends.

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