December Favorites

I thought it would be fun if I took a moment each month to let you know what things are currently striking my fancy, so here goes the December installment! Current favorites:

Song: There are so many Christmas carols that I truly love - "Silent Night," "O Holy Night," and "Joy to the World," just to name a few. I love the classic ones, the funny ones, and the twists on old favorites-- they all make me focus on the joy of the season.

Book: A Christmas Carol and Other Christmas Classics by Charles Dickens. This is a large volume I began reading this time last year and picked back up this month. I just love the beautiful way Dickens writes, describing each scene, character, and event in such great detail that I feel like I can see it. It's taking me a really long time to plow through the stories, and I have to put a great deal of focus into it, but it truly is like escaping into another world.

Verse: Luke 2:19 - "But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart." In the midst of Christ's birth in a stable, surrounded by animals, greeted by magi bringing gifts, Mary thought about the significance of the event. She took time to dwell upon everything it would mean for the future. She didn't get too caught up in what was going on around her that she didn't register what had just happened-- she treasured those things in her heart. I long to have that kind of a devotion and disciplined mind in this Christmas season.

Food: Quinoa-stuffed kabocha squash. I adapted a stuffed sweet potato recipe found here, and it was delicious! I was really sad when I realized I had eaten it all and had none left.

Movie: I have been watching dozens of Christmas movies since Thanksgiving, loving the themes of love, compassion, innocence, joy, forgiveness, and peace that I have seen running through them. Some of my favorites are Charlie Brown Christmas, Eloise at Christmastime, Elf, It's a Wonderful Life, and The Santa Claus.

Memory from last month: Thanksgiving was such a sweet time. I got to celebrate a few times-- first with my community as we gathered together and shared what we're all thankful for, then with my whole church family, seeing an amazing turnout and feeling overwhelmed with gratitude for the provision for the event, and then with my own family as we enjoyed one another's company over a third round of delicious turkey and potatoes.

Now it's your turn. What are some of your favorite things?