Sunday, December 16, 2012

Happy Ho Ho Ho (and whatnot)

At this time of year our daily high temperatures around here have begun their inexorable downward slide into the "too-chilly-for-me" range, and the daylight hours are disappearing as we skate toward the Winter Solstice. These two events tend to make me somewhat grumpy (which may or may not be a massive understatement, I'll let you be the judge). So to counter that, it's a good opportunity to contemplate some seasonal happenings that lift my spirits instead. Without further ado:

--Semester Break. While I do love my job--the intellectual stimulation, the linguistic challenge, the collaboration with talented, helpful, and all-around-wonderful colleagues--I also appreciate that every 15 weeks, we get to wipe the slate clean, take a refreshing hiatus, and start over again.

--Justifiable napping. When it's cold outside, I don't harbor the slightest drop of guilt when pulling a fleecy blanket up to my chin, curling up into a ball, and snoozing for an hour. After all, I'm not wasting time, I'm...conserving body heat! That makes it healthy, rather than unproductive or (perish the thought) lazy! When Springtime rolls around again, I know I'll feel like I should be outside taking advantage of the sunshine and warm breezes; for now, I choose to practice Selective Hibernation, thank you very much.

--On a related topic: Reading Under the Covers. Particularly when all four of us congregate after dinner on the King-sized bed, each with our own book, for a cozy family Story Hour. Bonus for me: sitting shoulder-to-shoulder with my three guys is like having my own little fleet of space heaters! Aaahhhh....

--And when we're not sequestered at home: Fiestas. Extra special time spent socializing with friends and family, meeting new people, catching up on news. Of course it almost goes without saying, but you can't overlook the huge benefit of Party Food. There's something magical about all those treats--I mean besides the fact that I didn't have to prepare them myself. I believe that all of the laughing and gabbing and wandering around one does during a shindig help to negate any calories one consumes. Call it the...Social Metabolism Boost. (I may very well be delusional, but that's my rationalization, and I'm sticking to it! Heck, I might even trademark it...)

--Finally, as December hurtles on at an astonishing clip, Christmas rapidly approaches. Obviously this means boundless excitement, gleeful anticipation of surprises, and even more cherished moments spent with loved ones. But also, for me, it means the beauty of special Music we only get to hear during this month. Singing carols in church. Listening to all-holiday programming on several local radio stations. (But thank goodness I discovered a religious channel that plays all of the traditional songs. Because honestly, after the 75th Jingle Bell Rock I was D-O-N-E. And can someone please tell me who decided that Last Christmas was anything other than a breakup tune with Christmas mentioned in the title? And why on earth did 47 other people think it was a brilliant idea to re-record it? Yeah, I'll take Angels We Have Heard on High, thank you very much...)

So that's it, a partial Happy List for this season. Now if you'll excuse me, I need to turn on some music and get ready for a party!

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