Move over, Oprah!  I’ve got my own list of favorite things to share with folks this holiday season.  And my things don’t cost a lot, either…

1.  Hot chocolate with whipped cream.  Not the fake watery stuff, but the real deal.  Cocoa made with *gasp* whole milk and topped with homemade whipped cream.  Add a snickerdoodle on the side and I am h-a-p-p-y!

2.  Roaring fires.  We never light one up in our Connecticut house (the firebox is small, the chimney short), but we enjoy raging, crackling fires all winter long in Vermont.  I love the smell of firewood (inside and outside), and nothing beats the indulgence of curling up in front of the fire with a great book.

3.  Holiday music.  I admit, I do love some of the old classics (like Bing, and Nat King Cole), but one of my all-time favorite holiday songs is “Merry Christmas, Darling” by Karen Carpenter.  I also love Christina Aguilera’s version of “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” and Kelly Clarkson’s “My Grown-up Christmas List.”

4.  Pretty wrapping.  As I said the other day, I think my mom spoiled me a bit with this one.  Now, I can’t make my packages look pretty, but I so appreciate other people’s artistry with bows and other decorative wrapping trinkets.  It’s very romantic.

5.  Snow!  Oh, I know.  It creates all kinds of practical problems–traffic, school cancellations, shoveling duties.  But few things on earth are more beautiful than waking up to a thick blanket of snow on the ground and frosting the branches of the trees, or that lovely quiet it creates outside–a muffled kind of peace that practically reaches inside your chest to slow your heart and breathing and force you to relax and appreciate the day.

So those are my top five favorite things about December.  Share one of yours!

xo–Jamie