The Happiness Library

What’s on your shelf?

The Happiness Library

My preferred method to relax, calm down, and feel comforted and joyous is reading a novel. Books have gotten me through a lot of hard times. Years ago, when one of my kids was in the emergency room strapped to a bed, I sat in the hallway reading John Grisham’s Skipping Christmas (which would later become the movie “Christmas with the Kranks”).

How could you read at a time like that? people might ask. But that’s exactly when I most need to lose myself in a story — when I’m worried or afraid. Books are my happiness.

Fast-forward to the present. I just read a book (part of one, actually) by a well-known author. Although it was billed as a Christmas novel, the festivities were still nowhere to be seen by halfway through. I’d hoped for a feel-good tale about my favorite holiday, but that wasn’t what I got. So, I changed my gameplan.

Hello, holiday movies!

They make me happy; they make me warm inside. They’re my holiday Zen — making me smile even if I don’t want to. I love them!

Although not a TV junkie (usually), I’m devoted to Christmas movies. And yes, sometimes I start watching them during “Christmas in July.” I keep about a dozen holiday movies recorded on my DVR. They’re my digital happiness library, ready to bring joy at a moment’s notice with the push of a button.

My favorites are “Elf,” National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation,” “Christmas with the Kranks,” “The Santa Clause,” Home Alone, Jingle All the Way,” Deck the Halls,” “Scrooged,” Four Christmases,” and “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

I know many people love the Hallmark holiday movies. I’m not really into romcoms, so they’re not on my playlist. But if you adore them, and they make you happy? Go for it.

Read or watch what makes you smile — especially during the holidays — and tell me what’s in your happiness library!

K.L. Romo writes about life on the fringe: Teetering dangerously on the edge is more interesting than standing safely in the middle. She is passionate about women’s issues and loves noisy clocks and fuzzy blankets but HATES the word normal. Find her on Twitter at @klromo and Instagram at @k.l.romo.

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