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What’s saving my life in December

OK. I fully admit that I’m borrowing this post idea from Kendra Adachi (The Lazy Genius), who records a recurring episode of her podcast each quarter that she titles “What’s Saving My Life Right Now.” It’s a phrase adapted from a question once asked of Barbara Brown Taylor, the legendary author and theologian, and well, the more I delve into motherhood, the more it resonates. I don’t get a lot of time to myself these days, especially around finals and the holidays, and this year has been even more complicated as my daughter and I have both been battling a months-long sinus/cold/gunk situation.

So, here are the totally random things that are helping me get by during this crazy stressful month.

A hand holding a red Starbucks coffee cup

Peppermint mochas

They’re quite simply the tastiest coffee beverage in existence. There. I said it. I wait all year for their return, and I save up my coffee rewards points so I can cash in on free giant peppermint mochas in December. (Because they ain’t cheap, yinz and y’all.) But dang it, they’re so worth it.

College football bowl season

No, I’m not just saying this because I co-host a college football podcast that likes to revel in the month-long bowl season and all its associated frivolity. It’s because after coming home from an exceptionally stressful day, nothing has been more delightful than turning on an absolutely meaningless football game and watching coaches get doused with items that are not water. An example: In the Famous Toastery Bowl (because yes, that was an actual thing), Western Kentucky rallied from a 28-point deficit to stun Old Dominion. The fans threw toast on the field, and players did “toast angels” on the field. What’s not to love about that?

Cracker Barrel Havarti cheese

Hear me out on this one. I’m a cheese lover, but this cheese? THIS CHEESE? It’s another level. As I worked through endless stacks of grading earlier this month, I made a fantastic lunch discovery: Cracker Barrel Havarti cheese, combined with Boar’s Head roasted chicken breast deli meat and a handful of spinach, and topped with plant-based ranch dressing makes quite possibly the most delicious wrap ever. It was so good, I made one almost every day for a couple of weeks and never tired of it. So, yeah. Havarti cheese. Get yourself some.

Non-stop Christmas music

This comes as no surprise to many of you who know me, but I absolutely love Christmas music. I turn on the holiday playlists on November 1, because to me, that’s the soundtrack of all the late-year holidays (and my birthday!). Spending so many years as a church musician doesn’t help this fact; I’m very accustomed to beginning holiday music rehearsals as early as Labor Day. This year, however, Christmas music has especially served as a spirit-lifter. Let’s be honest: It’s really hard to be sad or stressed or anxious while listening to holiday tunes.

So, there. That’s my list for December 2023. Here’s to a happy (and hopefully finally healthy!) start to 2024!


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