If you are a human being born after the hit musical “The Sound of Music” first premiered on Broadway in the 1960’s, the song “A Few Of My Favorite Things” has crept into your DNA, whether you like it or not, and become part of the American collective unconscious, possibly even the world, right there with Beatles lyrics and the Star Wars opening theme song. It’s also been assigned to the Christmas holiday, which goes against the canon of the play, but that’s a topic for another post. We all have things that matter to us, some timeless, some trendy, some maybe a little eyebrow raising if you share them with others. And, oh, we’re gonna share our favorite things with people around us, aren’t we?? Of course we are. There are tons of products and services that rely on our word of mouth to spread the love to everyone around us.
Well, last night, when I was busy baking pan du chocolat et noisette (Nutella croissants, yum!) for the bake sale tonight at work, I realized that MY favorite things are very different than Maria’s and probably less expensive than Oprah’s, although she could GIVE me her favorite things and that would be pretty cool by me. So, note to Oprah: I wear a size 8 shoe, my jeans size is changing but I’ll let your staffer know when she calls me, I’m completely okay with any food stuff on the list, and if you’re going to send me a car, I prefer black, charcoal grey or that deep, sparkly red Mustangs seem to come in. I’ll wait by the door. 🙂
Naturally, Oprah isn’t going to send me any of that stuff. She tends to give things like that to people that are really amazing and not snarky little blogger/museum staffers/aspiring writers/stressed out, single moms like me. (See what I did there? hee hee hee!) I can dream, though, and keep my eye on the front window, just in case.
Anyway, as I was saying, baking last night and as the croissants were cooling, the combined scent of warm bread and rich hazelnut cocoa spread made me remember Maria Von Trapp and her perky little list. In a way, I feel like we’ve been programmed to think brown paper packages tied up with string are the BOMB. I like cream colored ponies and apple strudel as much as the next girl, I really do, BUT are they my favorites?
So, because none of you asked for it, and we’re sliding into Christmas, these are a few of MY favorite things:
Favorite Things That Cannot Be Bought: (I’m not listing people here. They know who they are.)
The scent of fresh out of the oven bread, cookies or well, anything yummy. Even while it’s baking, there is something so warm and homey about the smells coming from the kitchen. Anytime is fine, but it’s especially great on a rainy night. This also goes for simmering soup, spaghetti sauce and the way olive oil smells when you heat it up, before the garlic goes in.
Speaking of scents, there is something overwhelmingly sexy about the way a man (one that belongs to me, of course. But, most women will agree with me here, I think) smells when he’s just out of the shower. Definitely a favorite thing, and it will be one of yours, too. It’s just gah gah gah good – as yummy as the warm bread/cookies smell, I promise, in a completely different way. Try it. Oh, and you’re welcome.
Finally in the power of smell category, one I will not ever get to smell again, now that the child in question is almost fourteen: the sleepy, warm smell of a little person when you tuck them in for the night. If they could bottle that scent and feeling, no one would need Ambien again, because all the peace you need is right there wrapped in a sniffly bundle of human perfection.
Christmas lights in the rain.
Winter sunset skies. The cool mornings before a hot day.
Late blooming roses. My favorite roses to grow at home are called Joseph’s Coat and they are red, coral, yellow, pink and cream. I also like the pale porcelain pink creeping roses that I used to see in New York all the time. I called them Sleeping Beauty roses because they reminded me of the ones that grew on her castle while she slept. If anyone wants to SEND me roses, I love the coral ones – long stem or short – they smell amazing and are more special to me than the red ones.
Clear, full moon nights when you can see all the stars. I’ve seen two shooting stars recently. That’s two more than I’ve seen in my entire life, so, I’m taking them as a good sign.
Men in uniform. We covered this on Veteran’s Day, but it is well worth repeating.
Midnight on Christmas Eve. The world, no matter where you are, is as quiet as it will ever be, right then. It’s pretty magical.
Churches. This is going to sound nuts, because anyone that is acquainted with me knows that I have not been to church in a LONG TIME, but, I love going into churches when services are over and just sitting there. In a Roman Catholic church, you can smell the candles burning, and watch the sun play on the stained glass. It doesn’t take much to commune with God in that setting, without the noise and hum of other people.
Time to work on my own writing with no interruptions, inspiration to spare, and my favorite songs on repeat.
Standing in Rockefeller Center at any time of day during the Christmas Season.
Standing at the top of my lighthouse any time of year.
There is a person in my life who I can happily listen to while he reads his grocery list aloud. It’s his accent, of course, that thrills me, plus, he has one of those male voices that just melt me. *SIGH* I’m pretty glad he doesn’t read this blog, because I’d be in BIG TROUBLE, as he could use that power against me.
Favorite Things That Cost Money, But Are Worth It:
Pumpkin Pie Perfume from Demeter Fragrance Laboratories. YUM!! The Honey Fragrance is amazing, too.
Pizza stones. You can buy these from a Pampered Chef rep you know and spend a fortune. OR You can go to Bed, Bath and Beyond, Target or Walmart and get them for cheap. Worth every penny. You will use them for pizza, for bread, for croissants stuffed with Nutella…
Boots. Tall boots, slouchy boots, ankle boots. Love them all, high heeled or flat. All shoes, for that matter.
The clothes PinUpClothing.com sells. I bought the best dressy dress I’ve ever owned from them, and if I ever come into a fortune, almost ALL of my clothes will come from them. Check them out: http://www.pinupclothing.com
French Press coffee pots. I was going to buy a fancy, one cup at a time coffee maker and then my son reminded me that I owned a little two cup french press. It was awesome, it even makes perfect hot tea. I am now eyeing a larger one and getting rid of my generic, Mr. Coffee style electric drip thing.
Peeps candy. Yellow chicks, please. Pink, blue or green will not do. The flat kind are only good if they’re the jack o’lanterns or the new Minion ones. Otherwise, classic, yellow chicks.
Books: Les Miserables, To Kill A Mockingbird, The Stand, This is Where I Leave You, for starters.
Movies: It’s a Wonderful Life, Gone With The Wind, Singing In The Rain, The Philadelphia Story…..too many to list.
The point is, everyone has lists of their favorite things. What does it take to get out there and immerse ourselves in them? Why not make this a holiday season filled with reconnecting ourselves to the things that invigorate us? Then, we have that much more to share with the world – all that energy, excitement and joy, to share with the people around us.
That’s the whole point of the holidays, in my opinion.
Now, if anyone wants to see my “Santa Baby, I’ve been an awful good girl list”, I’ll be HAPPY to post that later on this season, along with my address to make shipping easier. 😉