these are a few of my favorite things

IMG_5499My gifts, some in brown paper bags, with a bit of string. The rest in zip lock bags…long story…

Somewhere in the whirl that kicked in around Thanksgiving and hasn’t let up since, I came upon an honest to goodness brown-paper package tied up with string.  It seemed like a time-traveler from another era–if you’ve ever been there, think Yum Yum Shop in Wolfeboro NH, back before they switched over to the stretchy plastic thingies to secure their boxed cookies.  The memories provoked by this classic Sound of Music lyrical prop have stuck with me, lo these many busy weeks.  And more than once, it has reminded me of the magic of simple things– the joy that comes with giving, and the happy anticipation of  a loved one’s  delight, which all by itself is a gift  given in return.

This being the season of gifts wrapped, one way or another, and favorite things all around, now seems like the perfect moment to devote a post to the verse I might someday add to Rogers and Hammerstein’s classic song.

IMG_5497First off, Harvard Square, this time of year. Magic writ in twinkly lights. Never gets old.

IMG_5422Next up, Christmas traditions at home, like paperwhites and advent calendars. And Santa.

IMG_5360A whole new source of seasonal joy, and a complete throwback to my youth: stamps from the grocery store checkout, gathered and pasted into little booklets, just like the S&H green stamps we hoarded when I was growing up. They earned me some nice new kitchenware.

IMG_5402Aha!  Look what I found! Those missing pages from my wedding gift Joy of Cooking!  They were keeping my sweetie’s grandma’s first edition of Peg Bracken’s I Hate to Cook Book company!

IMG_5383I’m loving the floors in my house these days, big time.  These rugs are the result of a bold and lucky guess, that the colors in the tiny Crate and Barrel website photo were accurate. I’m also exceedingly happy that my contractor talked us into refinishing all the wood floors, and adding radiant heat beneath the kitchen and master bath floors.  Whole new world of cozy and warm around here.

IMG_5342The annual carol service at Memorial Church, in Harvard Yard.  A complete gift of joyful sounds. Including the moment when Linus reminds Charlie Brown what Christmas is all about.

IMG_5390Love this, so much.  Always have, always will.

IMG_5125Pomegranate seeds.  Where were these when I was growing up?

IMG_5500Teeny tiny micro-sundaes from Toscanini’s.  Three bites of salted caramel ice cream, topped with homemade whipped cream and chocolate sauce.  Perfection.

IMG_5188The fake boxwood wreath I bought ages ago, that keeps being a willing recipient of my seasonal gee-gaws. And yeah, that Santa gets around.

IMG_5195I’ve always loved the old-fashioned doorbell we installed two renovations ago.  People kept pressing the lit-up electric doorbell because, well, that’s what they knew to do. But the electric doorbell finally went kaput.  So I’ve added some explanatory signage, and am now enjoying the trill of a real bell whenever our mailman needs my signature.

IMG_5501Greetings in the Christmas card bowl, from near and far.  Lots of wedding photos amongst the group shots.  I know it’s horribly old school, but I do love this season of envelopes dropping through the mail slot, filled with news from friends and family, across the miles and the years. A variation on brown paper packages tied up with string.

 Happy Holidays, one and all.

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2 comments on “these are a few of my favorite things

  1. kploetz says:

    These all made me happy too! I am so delighted that you found those missing pages!!! That is a great epilogue to the tale you told recently. Love the old doorbell. Anytime one can keep original architectural bits, the better (or so I think). And now I really, REALLY want a micro sundae. That looks so heavenly. Have a wonderful Christmas with your guys.

    • khm says:

      Truly, Toscanini’s is god’s gift to ice cream lovers. I mourned when they abandoned Harvard Square, but truth be told, it’s probably best that they’re a bit of a hike down Mass Ave, or I’d be eating waaay too many of those little micro sundaes. Forgot to mention: I love that they’ve devised a little saucer, so you get to enjoy ALL the chocolate sauce.

      I also love your IG photos today of your radiantly happy daughter. We will be reading The Polar Express tonight, but after that our boys will head downstairs for a Die Hard fest. What can I say? Twentysomethings have their own traditions.

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