Yes, it's that time of year! Oprah just announced her list, the websites are starting their must-haves and I don't want to be left out.
So, as you begin your holiday spending spree, here are my Top Ten Things I Can't Live Without.
1) Bubble Baths in Candlelight with Cool Music Playing
Nothing is better than kicking back on a Friday night, lighting a few candles and chilling to some cool tunes in the tub. I usually prefer ambient music. My daughter calls them "peace baths" because after barging in one time I said, "Sweetie, Mommy just needs a little peace and quiet."
I first started "sunsetting" in college. There is a hill called Libe Slope (by the library) that looked out over Cayuga Lake. At sunset, a group of us would sit silently and watch the sunset. I try to catch as many sunsets as possible. I love the deep blue the sky turns, as the stars pop out. The mountain range line is perfect. I have been known to make my family stop whatever they are doing to partake in "my favorite time of day."
3) Eating Dinner at a Table
Even as a single gal, I have eaten nearly every meal at a table. For some reason people thought this was weird. We try to have every family meal around the table together almost every night. I can't imagine life without that little stop in the day to regroup. I also feel that way about breakfast, but I do tend to skimp on that one and lunch is at my desk which is technically a table...
Cost: $0- assuming you have a table and were planning on eating anyhow
I read anything and everything. It's the best way to spend an afternoon.
Cost: $0 at the Public Library
Everything is better by the campfire. I look better in firelight. My family gets along better around a campfire. It just makes life better.
Cost: $0-$25 depending on if you live somewhere that requires you to go somewhere to camp or start a fire
I sing pretty much constantly. I also like to dance. I miss playing in an ensemble. I think everyone would get along better if we sang to each other rather than spoke. Music can change a mood. It calms me. It inspires me. It can make me cry. It can make me smile. It can make me remember.
Cost: $0- just open your mouth and sing.
7) Making Out with My Husband
Hopefully, not everyone has access to this gift. However, feel free to insert your own kissable person. Kissing is highly underrated in the oversexualized world. No one is too old to make out to some great hair band ballads. At least that's what works for me.
Cost: Well... that's debatable.
8) My Children's Laughter
Listening to my kids laugh makes me smile from the inside. There is nothing better in the world. In fact, listening to any children laugh immediately makes me smile.
Cost: Sometimes my dignity, but if it gets a laugh, it's worth it.
9) Perfectly Cooked Eggs
I recently started having eggs fried lightly in olive oil and seasoned with rosemary, thyme, kosher salt and pepper for breakfast. It takes 5 minutes and just starts the day in the best way ever.
Cost: $2-a high end item
One of the very best parts of my life is that I surround myself with great people. I don't have a lot of tolerance for people who are negative, continually in distress, treat others poorly-- so by not including those people in my life-- even ones I'm related to-- it makes my life so much easier. I'm there when my friends need me and I don't expect them to be happy constantly. But the ones that drain me-- I stop calling. Fortunately, they are usually too absorbed in themselves to notice. Life is too short to spend on people who are energy suckers. Do yourself a favor this year for the holidays, choose your friends wisely. Thin the rolodex. Spend your time with those whose time you enjoy. Because time is not unlimited.
While I can appreciate that some of these items are hard to fit under the tree or in a stocking (especially the eggs), I highly encourage you to try out a few on the list or consider giving them as gifts this holiday season.