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Things That Make Me Happy

December 13, 2012

I have many other things that I “should” be writing about. But I don’t want to… not today. I’m still thoroughly enjoying my “hibernation” by sleeping far too much and not doing anything useful and feeling happy and content.

And drinking hot chocolate. Gigantic mugs of really hot, really chocolate-y hot chocolate. Using that lovely old-fashioned, no-sugar-added kind of cocoa powder, taking the time to mix cocoa, sugar and a bit of milk in the mug, to stand at the stove watching a pot of milk, pouring it boiling hot into that mug and that careful first sip because I always heat just a bit too much milk and can’t move the mug without spilling anything… and at last curling up in my armchair, hands wrapped around that mug, letting it warm my fingers while I try not to burn my tongue… hmm, I think I have to go make another mug now.

hot chocolate

Not actually the gigantic mug I usually use… but this one is my traditional hot-chocolate-mug, which I’ve been using since childhood.

Christmas is approaching… I always feel a little confliced about Christmas, because I don’t like the commercialism, and the garishness of decorations, and celebrating it seems a little hypocritical since I decided I was no longer a Christian… But nonetheless, a part of me is still childlike enough to get excited, to be charmed by candles and carols, and the smell of fir branches, happy to bake cookies and wrap presents, happier still if I can make the presents myself. Really, I think, I like the preparations better than the actual holiday!

The yearly holiday card exchange at the internet forum I still consider my online home. It’s been going for eleven years now, six of which I’ve participated, and for the last three years I’ve been the one to organize it, bringing holiday cheer to mailboxes on several continents.

christmas cards

Who said the internet was the end of snail mail?

And that forum in general – it’s become quieter and quieter in the last couple of years, but lately there has been a bit more activity, with some “old” members I haven’t “seen” in years coming out of the woodwork – I may be ridiculous, but every time I saw one of those long-unread names, it made me cheer.

Another thing that inevitably makes me happy is snow. I find it hard to believe that there was a time when I didn’t like winter …. although I still loathe snow-less winters, and I find it hard to imagine I ever disliked snow. I mean… snowball fights and snow men and snow angels, sledding  and building igloos – how could I not have loved that as a child?


I wish I still had somewhere to do all these things, and someone to do them with, but just the existence of snow makes me happy too…  watching it swirl under the streetlamp… feeling the flakes tickle my face … crunching under my boots… hiding all the ugly grey and brown… highlighting the red and pink and orange of berries still clinging to their branches… brightening up even an overcast day (of which there are far too many here)… and the blinding whiteness of a sunny day… all of these things inevitably put a smile on my face.

Of course, I know it’s a nuisance for drivers, and yes, it does turn into ugly, dirty slush on the streets – but the latter just makes me wnat to move to the countryside, not wish there was no snow, and the former – I don’t own a car, and I don’t have to worry about getting to work until February, muahaha!

Capsella bursa-pastoris

I briefly considered using this picture for my Christmas cards… the plant is called shepherd’s purse, and there were shepherds in Bethlehem, so it’s really quite Christmas-y, right? I found a better one, though.

And then there are other, smaller, random things that warm my heart…

Watching TV with my grandparents and finding totally unfazed when that garden/cooking/travel/whatever report turned out to be about a gay couple… I was a bit worried about how they would react, and their easy acceptance, my grandma’s casual, “oh, so those two are together” that wouldn’t have sounded any different if one of them had been a woman – that came as a total (and very pleasant) suprise!

Having actual conversations with the Carpenter Brother… as he’s grown up, we’ve had less and less to talk about, to the point that I sometimes feel like I hardly know him any more. But with our mother’s 50th birthday coming up, we’ve begun to secretly plan together…

That birthday is another thing that makes me happy. I’ve never organized a surprise party before, so I’m a bit nervous, but I also find myself grinning gleefully whenever I think about it. (Luckily, my mother doesn’t know enough English to read my blog!)

Friendly customers, even when they’re not my own –  just being in a store and listening to a customer joking with an employee puts a smile on my face.

Watching the Clown Brother dance in his chair when he hears a song he likes. Both because he’s so often in a grumpy mood lately, and it’s nice to see him so excited again, and because it’s simply funny to watch.

Clown Brother

Admittedly, I miss the days when he could dance like this, instead of being stuck in a chair, but when he wants to dance, he doesn’t let that stop him. (And I love how doubly, no, triply appropriate that picture is, because it was taken at our last Harry Potter party – after all, dancing, Harry Potter and a party are three of the things that are making me happy right now.)

Finding a particular Harry Potter fanfiction again. I’ve largely given up reading fanfic, but this week, I suddenly remembered a certain story and luckily found it again. It has parts that made me want to cry with heartbreak, and then it has parts that make me want to cry with happiness, and I’m so pretending that this is canon.

For some reason, the sound of trains. Whether I’m curled up in a seat myself, listening to the quiet rat-tat-tat as it takes me to a faraway place, or whether I just hear and feel the low rumble of the trains passing behind the Nettle Nest, I find it so relaxing.

And purring cats. That must be the part I like best about visiting my mother’s place so often lately: plopping myself down in the living room and Gandalf immediately settling down on my lap.


He even puts up with me doing stuff like this to him… or putting him on a leash and making him walk in the snow…

2 Comments leave one →
  1. December 19, 2012 01:31

    Now I want to see the Christmas card you chose, because I think the one you rejected is beautiful. I want to know what beat it!

    • December 19, 2012 01:44

      I’ll post it at Christmas. Got to save a special picture for then (also, in case any of the people I wrote cards to happen to read my blog, I don’t wan to “spoil” them). 🙂

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