Today I’m linking up with my friend Sara Letourneau for this installment in the “What’s Making Me Happy” series. Hop on over to her list when you’re done reading here! This month, I’m going with a Christmas theme.
I bought this one from an Etsy shop just before Thanksgiving. I loved the idea of a countdown to Christmas, but wanted something different than the paper calendars that disperse bible verses or pieces of chocolate, or even the “book a day” system I’ve heard about. In each drawer, I rolled up a piece of paper with a typed message from one of Santa’s elves. The messages say things like, “Wear your Santa hat to school today!” or “Take a car ride to see Christmas lights,” or “Do something kind for a loved one.” Some of the boxes also have candy in them. Edwin loves opening them every morning, and he’s been enjoying almost all of the messages. I’m taking note of the responses so I can curate for next year.
I’m also doing this in lieu of Elf on a Shelf. While it’s fun to think of hiding the elf somewhere new each day (I feel like I could get really creative with that), I don’t love the idea of using him to “threaten” my children into behaving. This Advent calendar is a way to similarly enjoy the season by focusing on positive acts rather than the threat of repercussions.
I love to bake. This year, I went a little crazy: eight different types of cookies so far. The small light brown ones are Austrian chocolate nut balls; the white balls are Russian tea cakes; the dark brown with sprinkles are peanut butter balls; the big lacy ones are cranberry-pistachio lace cookies; the ones in the middle are coconut cookies; and the ones with the M&Ms are “Rudolph eyes,” my take on traditional Hershey kiss cookies.
I’m eating two (okay, three…okay, I stopped counting!) every night with a mug of tea. Yum.
If you’d like the recipes for any of the above, I’m happy to share! Just email leannesowul(at)gmail(dot)com.
I’m listening to… Pandora.
For most of the year, I listen to music via iTunes or our Sirius XM subscription. But I’ve curated the perfect Christmas station on Pandora, and we’re listening to it every morning at breakfast. All the best classics: Bing Crosby, Ella Fitzgerald, a little Nat King Cole.
I’m appreciating… Amazon Prime.
I bought at least 75% of our gifts from Amazon this year. When you have a newborn at home, outdoor shopping opportunities are limited. Next year I hope to do more local shopping.
I’m watching… my favorite Christmas movie list:
- White Christmas
- Christmas in Connecticut
- Holiday Inn
- The Santa Clause
- Christmas Vacation
- A Christmas Story
- Miracle on 34th Street (the 1990s version)
- Love Actually
If I have time, I’ll also watch Serendipity and Little Women, which aren’t Christmas movies but part of them takes place during Christmas.
What’s making you happy this month, Christmas-themed or otherwise? What Christmas movies would you add to the list?