Recently my friend David, who blogs over at restlesspilgrim.net, posted about things that make him happy, writing "What are the things which make you really, truly happy? Where are the places you can always find joy?" He then proceeded to list his top 10.
And it got me thinking -- in this time of the year when we're stressing to find just the perfect gift for everyone on our list, and people are asking us what we want for Christmas -- what does make me happy? It seemed like a good exercise for Advent.
So, inspired by David's blog post, I, too, sat down and made a list. The first seven (and I didn't actually stop at 10, but went to 14) or so came to me quite easily, but I did have to put some thought into it. In no particular order (although I have numbered them in the order I came up with them), here is my list. Some are very silly, some are serious. And I found most of them have nothing to do with material things.
1: Reading a really good book and being in bookstores, especially of the used/secondhand variety (they just smell divine!).
2: Time spent in a cool, quiet chapel, for prayer and meditation, just me and Jesus in the tabernacle or monstrance.
3: Gift wrapping. I really love to wrap presents. I find it soothing, but I also love taking the time to wrap a gift beautifully to make a gift really special. I joke with my roommate, who is very into crafting, that gift wrapping is my way of being crafty.
4: Classic movie marathons and/or seeing classic films on the big screen.
5: The prospect of and packing for a trip, especially to someplace I've never been before, or to visit people I haven't seen in awhile.
6: These three songs. They will always turn my mood if I'm feeling like a sad sack: This one I danced around in my living room to as a little girl: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iPUmE-tne5U ; these next two remind me of high school: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tbNlMtqrYS0 ; and this one of college: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MXp413NynFk
7: Having a child, usually one of my godchildren, cuddle into my lap.
8: Dancing, although I don't do much of it these days.
9: Looking through old family pictures and letters/learning family stories and history.
10: Sitting in a darkened room, taking in the delicious evergreen-tree smell and just watching Christmas lights blink on and off. There's just something mesmerizing about it (this could lead people to think I'm easily distracted by shiny things...which I suppose that is sometimes the case) that appeals to my sense of wonder.
11: Changing into comfy clothes at the end of the work day.
12: Time spent with good friends.
13: Snuggling down into clean sheets.
14: Cool, fall, scarf-wearing weather.
So, what are some of the things that make you happy?