Hello and happy Advent season, dearhearts!
Well, yours truly is doing her level best to get herself used to a Christmas tradition or two without the kiddos around. As a fairly-new, fully-fledged Empty Nester, this has taken some getting used to because it feels so differently from before. On the other hand, my husband and I have been able to start some new traditions of our own, and that has genuinely been fun!
Anyway, I’m blessed to get to spend Christmas this year with all the kids home, and I don’t take that for granted. With two sons graduating college in 2023, I have no idea what Christmas will look like next year.
Speaking of traditions, I appreciate the comfort and joy that traditions add to my life during the holidays as much as ever. So, three cheers for the tradition of sharing ” A Few of my Favorite Things” that are as December-flavored as a peppermint mocha. I hope you enjoy the following list, and feel free to visit last year’s list, too, if you’d like!
A Few of My Favorite Things
Emmanuel: An Invitation to Prepare Him Room at Christmas and Always by Ruth Chou Simons: I love anything Ruth writes, and this Advent devotional of deep theological truth AND gorgeous artwork does not disappoint! I realize we’re already a good deal into Advent, but it’s still a great book to jump into the middle of, too.
“Noel (The Lord Has Come)” by Tommee Profitt: I was introduced to this songwriter by my friend, Aimée, whose daughter played cello in the recording of this rendition featuring the artist Stanaj. It is a DELIGHT, and I listen to it on repeat! If you’re on Spotify, you can find it on my playlist here. Also, a Tommee Profitt rabbit trail took me to this other rendition of the same song, and I spied Travis Cottrell singing backup (Travis’s Christmas album, Ring the Bells, is one of my all-time favorites). And then a deeper rabbit trail let me to this *glorious* rendition of “O Holy Night” with Tauren Wells. It’s SO dang good it gave me chills! Did I immediately add this to my playlist? Oh yes I did. For good measure, here’s Tommee Profit’s entire Christmas album on Spotify.
This Turtleneck: The 90’s girl that lives inside me will always love a good turtleneck. I bought this one in green and ivory, and I bought Faith one in maroon. It’s comfy and flattering, and if you have long arms like me, the sleeves go all the way to your wrists! Hooray for no “capri pant” sleeves!
Holiday Candle from Rifle Paper Co.: I bought this last year and loved it so much I bought it again this year.
Trader Joe’s Candle Trio: With scents of Fresh Current, Cranberry Pine, and Nutmeg, these are small but nicely scented candles! I linked to Amazon because Trader Joe’s doesn’t have product links. But if you find it at Trader Joe’s, the package of all three candles is cheaper–it costs only $8.
Spicy Molasses Cookies: These were in care packages that I mailed last week!
Pioneer Woman’s Chex Mix: These were also in care packages I mailed last week! For years, I’ve made this every fall and winter. When I do, my children arise and call me blessed, and my husband praises me at the city gates.
Mulled Wine: We served this up for Thanksgiving, and it was *chef’s kiss* delish.
24 Days of Tea Advent Calendar: My friend, Rebecca, gave me this for Christmas, and what A DELIGHT it is! The flavors are incredibly diverse and wholly fascinating (favorites have been Butterscotch Chai and North Star). Such a treat for a tea lover like me, and all the teas are caffeine-free.
Hot Cinnamon Sunset Tea by Harney & Sons: I don’t usually like cinnamon to the point it tastes “hot,” but this is really good–great spice but not too much! I did find mine for a better price at Target. This one looks like it tastes similarly and sounds good, too! These are both black tea, so they’re caffeinated.
When Change Finds You: 31 Assurances to Settle Your Heart When Life Stirs You Up: Because it’s both my job to mention this AND because I think it would make a great gift for a loved one, I’m sharing my most recently published book here. With the New Year upon us, it’s a timely season to reorient our hearts to a more hopeful vision of difficult change that helps us see it in light of God’s good purposes. Also, this book of mine is still 50% off on Amazon!
That’s all for now, dearhearts, and I hope you’ve enjoyed reading a Christmas-y themed “A Few of My Favorite Things.” May you have a wonderful Advent season and a very Merry Christmas, and may you deeply know the love of Jesus this time of year and always. Much love to you and yours!