Random thoughts from an animal-loving French prof / mom of three on things she finds beautiful, funny, sad, or strange.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

These are a few of my favorite things... or what I got for Christmas

It's Epiphany, aka Three Kings' Day, aka Twelfth Night, aka the last day of Christmas. So, in honor of that, I am finally going to finish this post. (We won't discuss when I started it, but if the subtitle is what I got for Christmas, you can probably take a pretty good guess as to when that was...)

Anyway. I truly had a lovely and blessed holiday with lots of gifts both tangible and intangible. Here are a few of the tangible highlights, along with some of the intangibles they evoke.

A shiny red coffee maker with a few new bells and whistles to boot, the best of which is that it probably won't flood my kitchen counter with half-brewed coffee the way the old one did. And did you note the Keuka Lake Coffee Roasters bag? My lake AND my beverage of choice! Do my parents know me or what?! Granted, anyone who has known me for more than five minutes knows this black nectar single-handedly keeps me acting more or less human most of the time. Still, the fact that this comes from Mom and Dad makes it that much more special.

This bag, which is not just any bag. It is big enough to hold all my stuff and has plenty of pockets. The fabric is among my favorites, and it comes from one of my favorite places in the world, Provence. Just looking at this work of art makes me forget the 16 scant degrees on the thermometer when I left the house with it slung over my shoulder this morning. Notice the "art" bit. It IS a work of art. Even more, it is a work of love, handmade for me by my ever-talented mother. It's not just the bright colors and Mediterranean dreams that warm my soul when I make use of this fantastic creation.

Speaking of places I love, yes, this is the Eiffel Tower. Kind of like with the coffee, my love story with Paris is no great secret to those who know me even a little bit. Some of you might be grumbling "the Eiffel tower? Really? Isn't that kind of cliché?" To which I say "no, no, and hell no!" Have you seen it? It's phenomenal! I mean, I have to be impressed with something that manages both to dazzle and terrify me. You see, I've never been to the top. I can only conquer my fear of heights as far as the first level. Besides, that's not even the point of this particular tower. As you can see, it's covered in bling. Not only is the tower itself another amazing gift from the best parents ever, everything on it reminds me of people I love. I'm not the sort to buy jewelry for myself, so every last piece on there is a reminder of someone near and dear to my heart.

Favorite places seem to have been a theme this Christmas. Granted, the past few months have been, well, rough is an understatement, and I think my family knew that I need to learn to dream again. So my brother found this exceptionally cool map of Paris that now graces my bedroom wall. Perhaps coolest of all is that it is not entirely in French- it appears to have been drawn by German hands. Of course German-French interactions have not always been exactly friendly, and it may be that this map was drawn in a time of crisis. Still, you cannot deny the pull of all those layers of history. At least I can't.

So there you have it, a few of my favorite things from Christmas 2015. I hope yours was just as blessed, and that you, like me, were able to be in the best place of all: home. Happy New Year, and I'll try to be back on here soon.

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