December Happies

It’s that time of year. The time dominated by an impending holiday to celebrate peace, love and understanding. The time where preparing for said holiday tends to make us anything but peaceful, as we rush around in the snow and in crowded malls to get ready for the Big Day. Did you just groan? Did you just start twitching with the knowledge of how much still remains to be done? Have you considered calling your boss with claims of being ill with the plague, just so you could have more time?

A month ago, I reminded myself that happiness comes in small packages, by paying attention and not losing yourself in what isn’t there. Today, five days before lift-off – four if you, like the Danes, celebrate on Christmas Eve, that’s getting difficult. I’m fairly on track this year, but am still having a hard time focusing on the good stuff, instead of the list of things still to do. Which made me think that perhaps a List of Happies ought to be a regular feature here, not just because it helps me remember what’s important, but also because I love hearing about what makes other people happy.

So here’s the (holiday-centric) list for today:

A peregrine falcon has adopted the area to the north and east of my building as part of its hunting grounds. Most mornings at about 10:30, I see other birds – sparrows, pigeons and the like – fly frantically for cover. A minute later, the falcon appears, circling for a while. One day, it was so close to my window that I could see the change in colour from chest to wing feathers.

The Tinks are out of their incubator and doing well.

The Christmas tree people are back at their usual corner. Every day, I walk past and inhale deeply right around this place:

Last week, I went to hear Handel’s Messiah at St. James Cathedral. The combination of organ, choir and the Hallelujah chorus gives me shivers.

Before I sit down to dinner, I put carols on the stereo and light my advent candle. It reminds me of Danish December.

I’m listening to Around the World in 80 Days by Michael Palin. It makes me laugh and feel well-travelled.

What makes you happy today?