1. The delicious crunch of fresh morning snow when your boot breaks the the surface like crème brulée.
2. The oh-so-delicate clink of spoons lazily stirring hot cider drizzled with silky caramel.
3. The bitter wind howling like ghosts through the naked trees while you’re safe and warm inside, dreamily sipping your steamy, spicy cider.
4. The sizzling cracks and pops of the fireplace warming you inside and out, the flames slowly dying and fading to glowing embers as you drift into sleep.
5. The low, rumbling purrs of your cat dozing next to you, and her contented yawns because she’s happy you’re home for the holidays.
6. The looming silence of the frosty outdoors, save for your own chilled breath in the all-encompassing silence only winter brings.
7. A hundred mall shoppers’ united murmur, mingling together and echoing upwards, filling every nook and cranny as they dart from store to store.
8. Cheerful carolers bundled up and serenading passersby downtown, their breath creating little misty clouds as they belt out good tidings.
9. The clop clop clop of gilded horses trotting down the street, hauling precious cargo through the city.
10. The gentle clinks that shiny, sparkly ornaments make as they rattle against each other in the box, restless to be hung on the tree.
11. The hushed jingle of tiny silver bells hung overhead, momentarily disturbed by a briefly opened door and a sudden gust of icy wind.
12. The rustling sounds your cozy blankets make as you snuggle deeper under them with a good book, shutting out the world for another hour yet.
13. The crinkling sounds of gift wrap covering a present for a loved one as you take special care to ensure bows are placed just so.
14. The dull, mysterious thud that presents make when you gently shake them and excitedly try to guess what might be inside, hardly able to wait until Christmas morning.
15. Your parents muttering faintly to themselves as they fruitlessly attempt to untangle the mess of Christmas lights before eventually giving up and going out to buy a new box.
Flickr: sonofgroucho / Creative Commons
16. The nearly inaudible *click* of electricity as the tree is illuminated for the very first time and the living room swells with ambient, golden light.
17. The skriiiiiiitch of a match being struck to light a holiday candle, knowing your home will soon smell of cinnamon and clove.
18. The snip of the scissors as a present is freed from its ribbon, the first gratifying tear of a present being gingerly unwrapped, and the satisfying gasp when the gift is just right.
Flickr: cseeman / Creative Commons
19. The merry cacophony of knives, plates, pots, and pans in the kitchen, merging into the culinary symphony that comes but once a year.
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