Christmas Music

I love Christmas music. I am of the strict mindset though that it is only appropriate to listen to between Thanksgiving and Christmas, possibly all the way up to New Year’s if you insist. Outside of that time frame though, Christmas music is dead to me.

After thinking about my favorite Christmas songs I realize that my favorite Christmas music is of the more dramatic and melancholy variety. My most loathed Christmas songs are Feliz Navidad and Simply Having a Wonderful Christmas Time. I disliked even typing that sentence as I have now earwormed myself with both of them. Trust me it is a not a mashup you want running through your head.

Anyway, I’ve decided over the next 25 days leading up to Christmas I’m going to share one of my favorite songs each day. This won’t be a countdown in the sense that this list is being posted in no particular order. It will just be 25 Christmas songs that I really enjoy posted based on whatever I feel like that particular day.

I hope you enjoy, and please feel free to share your own favorite Christmas songs.

My Niece

My eldest niece Katelyn is just a couple weeks shy of three years old. She is the daughter of my sister, who sadly lives all the way across the country in Arizona. That means I only get to see them a couple times a year. My sister, brother-in-law, niece, and parents all came to Baltimore for Thanksgiving. It was fun having them here. I wish they lived closer so I could see them more often. Here’s some pictures of some of the fun we had while they were here.


Here’s a picture of Katelyn and her Aunt Danielle (me).

We walked over to the park a few blocks from my house every day. Katelyn had a great time playing on the slides and climbing. She was also very fascinated by the pine cones and leaves since she doesn’t see those in Arizona. She wanted to stomp all the leaves and pick up all the pine cones.



We also enjoyed some time at some local neighborhood establishments. Katelyn liked the “Katelyn-sized pink (though they’re really red) chairs” outside Atomic Books. She also had a great time running around the store while her Uncle Paul was buying a book. Sorry to all the other shoppers there at that time. She also loved the big, pink flamingo hanging above Cafe Hon, which she determined was the mommy to the flamingo guitar in the window of HonTown. Pink is her favorite color if you haven’t figured that out yet.

Katelyn also had a great time just playing with stuff around my house. She found this hat that was part of my husband’s Halloween costume last year. To her it was alternately either a cowboy hat or a fireman’s hat.

Katelyn holding all the things.

We also enjoyed some Christmasy goodness while she was here. We normally don’t put up our Christmas tree until the first weekend in December, but we decided it would be fun to take Katelyn to pick out our Christmas tree and help decorate it. We always get our tree from Valley View Farms, so we headed up there on Friday to pick out a tree. Katelyn was enthralled by all the ornaments in the shop. She picked out an Oliva ornament to put on our tree and Cookie Monster and Elmo ornaments to take home for her tree. Here she is putting the Olivia ornament on our tree.

We also walked around the corner to see the lights on 34th Street. The official lighting wasn’t until Saturday night, but my sister, brother-in-law, and niece were leaving for home then, so we walked over a day early and saw the houses that were already lit. Here’s Katelyn and her mommy looking at the Christmas lights.

I had a great time with my niece. Hopefully I’ll get to see her soon, though I suspect it sadly won’t be until sometime in May or June after her little brother is born.


Snoop Dogg and Martha Stewart Make Mashed Potatoes

In honor of the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday I present to you Martha Stewart and Snoop Dogg making the most insane mashed potatoes together. My friend Alison and I discovered this video a couple years ago and we still refer to it all the time. The whole thing is pretty hysterical, and Snoop Dogg’s mashed potatoes keep getting better and better. Make sure you watch through the end to see his secret ingredient.

Embracing Who You Are

About this time last year one of my book clubs read The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. One of the things that really stuck with me from that book was her emphasis on really figuring out who you are, what that means in the terms of the way you live your life, and learning to embrace that no matter what. It’s amazing how difficult that is to do. I don’t doubt at all that it can lead to a happier life, but I’m sad to say that even at the ripe old age of 33 I’m pretty lousy at it.

I definitely have a much better grasp on who I am at this point in my life than at earlier points in my life, but living that out is not always so easy. I still get far too influenced by other people’s opinions and am far too worried about what people think about me. As a result I often stay silent about things I shouldn’t or keep parts of myself hidden from certain people. Hopefully this is something I can continue to work on in my life.

I know that the more I learn to let go of the things I think I should like and replace them with the things I actually like the happier I am. For example, I have never been a huge fan of hanging out in bars, but at certain periods in my life this was the only way I knew how to have a social life. This was a little bit more acceptable to me in times past when I was actually able to drink, but since medications ruled that out in my life years ago the prospect of spending hours hanging out in a bar is even more unattractive to me. It’s not to say that I never go to bars or never have fun when I go to bars because that is certainly not the case. I in fact will be spending this evening at Librarians’ Happy Hour, where I always have an excellent time hanging out with some awesome people. But I have also found other ways to have a social life and more and more frequently find myself saying no to people when they suggest that as something to do. Sometimes this means I wind up going home and not spending an evening out with friends and other times it means we find something else to do.

And then there’s the reason that I even thought to write this post, which are my awesome librarian shoes. I am currently wearing these shoes, which I think are super cute, and on which I’ve received many compliments from other librarians. My sister, who is much more concerned with fashion than I am has informed me that they are extremely ugly. I however, do not care. I prefer to be comfortable rather than trying to dress like a model. I care only moderately about clothes and shoes, do very little with my hair, and have never worn makeup in my life. Sometimes I wish I had a little bit more style, but I am never going to be happy spending the effort required to have it, so I live my life as I do and am a happier person for it. 

Neil Patrick Harris and Jason Segal do Les Mis

I am about 5 years too late for the party with this clip from the Megan Mullaly Show, but I just became aware of it today so it’s new to me. I am happy to share it with you in case you too missed it at the time or to bring it back into your consciousness if you didn’t. It really is the epitome of awesomeness and happy making. If it doesn’t create a huge grin on your face, then well there’s just really no hope for you. It also kind of makes me wish Jason Segal and Neil Patrick Harris had been cast in the movie version they’re producing right now.



Little Talks and Young Blood

Here’s a couple of songs currently making me happy for your listening pleasure.

First up, Little Talks by the Icelandic band Of Monsters and Men. This song very much reminds me of  Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes. The first time I ever heard it I thought it was by them until I was told otherwise.


The second song is Young Blood by New Zealand band The Naked and Famous. I’ve been listening to this song for much longer, but it has been gaining a lot more mainstream exposure recently so it’s been in my sights lately. I first remember hearing the song in the background of an episode of Chuck sometime last season. I immediately downloaded the mp3 of it, and have been enjoying it ever since. I heard it on the radio for the first time many months later this past summer on DC101. I was actually in the car with my husband and commented to him about how I had heard the song on Chuck and then bought it. I was highly amused as the song ended when the DJ informed us what the song was and indicated that it had in fact been featured in Chuck. I’ve heard it a number of times on DC101 since then, but yesterday I heard it on WHFS for the first time. Obviously it’s gaining some mainstream momentum, which makes me happy because I really like it.