I typically love a good portmanteau, so I’m not sure why I have such a visceral dislike for the word “listicle.” I guess I am opposed to it from a journalistic standpoint, as it just seems… well, lazy. It’s lazy to just throw a bunch of items together in a list without having a beginning, middle, or end; without having a through-line!

But right now, I am so damn full of Christmas “cheer” (sadly, by “cheer” I mean “stress” and not “bourbon”) that I’ve decided to embrace the listicle. In fact, it even sounds a bit like “icicle,” which makes it festive!

So here are the 5 things I am most looking forward to about the holiday season this year:

Decorating the tree. I love this tradition even more now that I have inherited my sister’s Christmas things. From the wreath to the tree skirt to the angel to the picture of her long-dead dog in a Santa hat, everything we use to decorate comes from my sister. It’s a beautiful way to remember her every holiday season, and I look forward to it with bittersweet anticipation every year.

Baking! My work Secret Santa knows what makes me tick: So far, I’ve gotten chocolate, a package of brand-new multicolored gel pens, and a holiday baking recipe book. I want to make absolutely everything in it but am planning to start with the hot cocoa cookies topped with toasted marshmallows and culminate in the Italian cream cake for Christmas Eve dinner.

Ruby’s birthday. I thought I’d hate having a Christmas baby. I thought she’d hate being a Christmas baby. But honestly, we both love it – it just seems like an extra-special time of year, with all the lights and Christmas carols and all the good food everywhere you turn.

Eggnog. People either love it or hate it. I am strongly in the “love it” camp and don’t care if you hate it – more for me! I’ve already had my first cup of eggnog for the season and plan on at least a couple more, including one in daiquiri form and possibly even an eggnog latte. FIGHT ME. (Don’t actually fight me.)

Time off. Now granted, time off in your late 30s is not as much fun as time off at any stage in life from, say, ages 5 to 25. Still, I have big plans for cleaning out my closet and sorting through my clothes and the girls’ outgrown clothes, and I’m having organizational fantasies involving plastic bins and a label-maker. This is what brings me joy in life, and yes, it sounds a little bit lame when I admit it right here for public consumption, but joy is joy, and I can’t wait!

You know what the best part of a listicle is? You don’t have to worry about a clever ending.

Listicle over. Merry Christmas; happy everything!

Excerpted from Eve Crawford Peyton’s blog, Joie d’Eve,  which appears each Friday on MyNewOrleans.com