Sunday, December 10, 2006

These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things

I was drinking a really yummy coffee that I made right here at home today when I thought about all the things I love and enjoy right now in my life. Yeah, yeah, the kids and husband are great, but there are things I see or hear or taste or smell regularly that I just really enjoy right now. Here is a short list of some of those things.

1. Land O Lakes Peppermint Mocha Half and Half - A fantastic product I just found today. Unlike the non-dairy versions, this one tastes delicious!!!! Warm it up, add it to your coffee, and you have a delicious holiday drink.

2. Listening to (and singing with) my daughter Emma as she belts out Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. She sings it with such energy that you can't help but be filled with the Christmas spirit. Also, I love when she gets to the end of the song and sings that Rudolph goes down in a mystery, and tells me it's okay if I sing that he goes down in a story. Makes me smile every time.

3. Starbucks gingerbread lattes. I used to always order the peppermint mocha at this time of year, but sampled the gingerbread latte, and now I'm hooked. (Plus, see #1, I don't have to get them at Starbuck's anymore.)

4. Old Christmas movies and TV specials. Anyone who knows me well knows my all-time favorite is The Year Without A Santa Claus. Who doesn't love Heat Miser and Cold Miser singing their songs? My brothers, sister, and I can sing each song in it's entirety, and have done so at family gatherings to the dismay of our spouses. (They got used to it!) I also have to put a nod out to the old movies that I have grown to love since meeting my husband. It's a Wonderful Life and White Christmas are now required watching each Christmastime. Add The Bells of St. Mary's and A Christmas Carol with Patrick Stewart playing Scrooge, and I have my December viewing planned.

5. Seeing my brother-in-law, Kevin, play young scrooge and nephew Fred in The Drury Lane's children's production of A Christmas Carol this year. The show was fantastic, Kevin's performance was great, and getting to see it through Ian's eyes was just plain fun.

6. Hearing my 2 1/2 year old daughter shout, "Christmas clock!" every hour. We have a Christmas clock that my mother-in-law gave us several years ago. We get it out each year and on each hour it plays a different Christmas carol. This year is no different; when we began decorating, we got out the clock, put in the batteries, and set it on the mantle. However, Zoe found the clock fascinating, and every time she hears a carol play on it, she makes sure no one in the house misses it. Brendan and I like hearing Zoe do it so much that we have taken to shouting out "Christmas clock!" as well.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Strawberry Scents

When I was a little girl in the 1980's, I loved Strawberry Shortcake. I had (and still have, thanks to a diligent mom) all the original characters from the very first year, plus many of the characters that appeared after Strawberry Shortcake became so popular. I loved sniffing their heads and smelling that sweet strawberry (lemon, orange, cupcake) smell that became so familiar to me. I played with the dolls well into seventh grade and have wonderfully fond memories of them.

So, last year when I saw there was a Strawberry Shortcake Christmas special, I bought it for my two daughters, hoping to set some of the Strawberry Shortcake magic alive in them. Yes, she now wears trendy clothes instead of her cute little strawberry dress and enormous hat, and yes her friends wear cool clothes, too. However, the story was very sweet and Emma really enjoyed it.

After Christmas, the DVD went away with our numerous other Christmas DVDs to be stored until this Christmas. Out it came this year and now Zoe has also grown very fond of the sweet little girl who claims that "giving is berry, berry nice, indeed!" Both the girls have watched the DVD several times this year since it's reappearance from the basement.

But, this morning, before putting the DVD into the player, I noticed something that I'd never noticed before. As I waited for the DVD carousel to spin to an empty slot, I held the Strawberry Shortcake Christmas DVD close to my face. I noticed a familiar scent. I pulled the DVD closer and sniffed. It smelled like strawberries!!! I sniffed again to make sure I wasn't daydreaming, then I sniffed the DVD case. All of them smelled of Strawberry Shortcake! How did I miss this before?

It's an interesting concept. Not sure it is necessary, but interesting nonetheless. Zoe is getting a Strawberry Shortcake DVD for Christmas, I know I'll be checking it for good strawberry smells!