Thursday, December 16, 2010

A Few Favorite Things

Raise your hand if you’ve been hearing festive holiday music everywhere. I crawled out of my car the other day to the tune of “My Favorite Things” wafting through the parking lot. Yes, the parking lot. Kind of cool. You know this Rodgers and Hammerstein song, right?

“Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens

Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens

Brown paper packages tied up with strings

These are a few of my favorite things

Cream colored ponies and crisp apple streudels

Doorbells and sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodles

Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings

These are a few of my favorite things

Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes

Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes

Silver white winters that melt into springs

These are a few of my favorite things

When the dog bites

When the bee stings

When I'm feeling sad

I simply remember my favorite things

And then I don't feel so bad”

This song always inspires me to consider a few of my favorite things. And yes, I adore whiskers on kittens and cream-colored ponies (any ponies, really), but here are a few more things that lift my mood when, say, a bee stings:

Books (I know, what a shocker). Some of my treasured holiday reads include The Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore and A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. A Christmas Carol might be my most favorite holiday story EVER. I’m a little embarrassed to share that I read this story almost every year. I should have it memorized by now.

Christmas cookies. Here is one of my favorite recipes--Russian Teacakes (cookies, really):

1 cup butter (or margarine) softened

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup finely chopped nuts

1/4 teaspoon salt

powdered sugar (to coat cookies)

caramel cubes cut into quarters

Heat oven to 400 degrees

Mix the butter, the 1/2 cup of powdered sugar and the vanilla. Stir in the flour, the nuts and the salt until the dough holds together. Roll dough around each piece of caramel to form a small ball. Place these balls about 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake them for 10-12 minutes, or until set and a very light golden, but not brown.

Roll each cookie in powdered sugar while still warm. Let them cool. For those with a sweet tooth, roll cookies a second time in powdered sugar.

Seeing DOG GONE and BUCK FEVER out in the world. Spotting my books here, there, and everywhere still rocks my world. Here’s DOG GONE at a book fair in Virginia.

Writing I’m pretty sure that writing books is the greatest job in the world, at least for me.

Last but not least: family, friends, all creatures great and small (except, maybe, bedbugs and spiders), and chai lattes also belong on this list of my favorites.

What about you? What are some of your favorite things?


  1. I love that song, Cynthia, and it's always made me think of my favorite things, too. Here's a few: warm snuggly kittens, a book so good that you can't put it down, sunshine, the way a good dog puts his head under your hand to be petted, donkeys - with their funny brays and amazing long ears, and chocolate chip cookies right out of the oven.

    Thanks for the recipe, by the way. Sounds yummy. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

  2. Merry Christmas and happy holidays to you, too, Linda! And I love your favorite things! Our neighbor had a donkey when I was growing up--loved that little guy. He was adorable, hilarious, and really stubborn. Thanks for sharing. : )

  3. sounds like a great recipe!Anything with lots of butter and caramels ranks high on the list!

    Favourite things: fresh bed sheets, the feel of the sun on my bare back, dog breath, kayak racing, snowshoeing in deep powder and getting rosey cheeks, the smell of the woods after it rains.

  4. I love this song...but, I don't think I've ever heard music piped to the parking lot.

    There are so many favorite things on my list, but I'll leave you with just a few seasonal faves: twinkle lights, sitting close to the fireplace (but I usually have to fight the kid and critters for prime position), fresh baked cookies still warm and gooey, carmel machiatos, snuggling my husband while watching Love Actually.

    Merry Holidays!

  5. That's awesome about your books.

    Favorite things:
    -deer jerky

  6. I do love that song (and movie). And how awesome to spot your book at different places!
    A few of my favorite things: hugs from my kids, rock concerts, Coca Cola.

  7. You are all amazing! What fabulous favorites! Terry, trust me on this one: those cookies are scrumptious. And I love that dog breath and the scent of the woods after a rain are among your favorite things.

    Welcome Lola! Yeah, I'm still sort of impressed by the musical parking lot. It was like being at Disney World (minus MIckey). : )

    And welcome Chris, too! It just so happens that deer jerky is one of my husband's favorite things, too.

    LOL, Kelly--somehow I knew rock concerts would be on your list of favorites.

    I hope you all enjoy some of your favorite things over the holidays!

  8. hot air balloons, rainbows, a really good book, a really good movie, a cozy fire and sweet memories of my college roommate

  9. Laura!!!! How wonderful to see you here! : ) I, too, love watching the hot air balloons and all those memories--but you won't catch me in the basket of one of those balloons. Eeek. Thanks for stopping by and commenting! : )

  10. Ha, I was in the dentist the other day and a song came on the playlist that made me Laugh out loud--It was Miss Piggy singing the Twelve Days of Christmas.

    Yes to loving writing. I love finding books on the shelf of people that I know. It's such an honor to see these great covers and know a bit about the person behind the author's name. I love catching a perfect orange/pink sunrise. And socks. I don't know why, but fun, fuzzy socks make me feel good. :)

    Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse

  11. Miss Piggy and the Twelve Days of Christmas is hilarious, Angela! And your favorite things are awesome. I agree about the fun of finding books by people we've come to know--fabulous! And fluffy socks... yum.