I usually am on my way to Colorado this time of year—but not this Christmas.  This year I am sticking around, slowing things down and stepping out in my own backyard. Which always makes me reflect on how long I’ve been here, and then other years, and then other Christmases, and then before you know it, I am so deep in the vat of sheer longing and nostalgia and weepiness I am flailing around like the guy in quicksand in all the Tarzan movies.

So I am not going there today.

I am, instead, going to list 10 Happy Things that came about in 2012. Christmas is in five days and it’s time to be happy.

1. Delray Beach was awarded Most Fun Small Town in America, affirming what we have known now for 22 years at least.

2. The Little House opened, as did The Back Yard, as a new spirit of excitement begins to infuse the Marina District in Boynton Beach.

3. The Lynn Debate went off without a hitch—and I got to be there in the Media Center; the next morning, Obama rocked a packed Delray Tennis Center.

4. Norma Morrison told me the trick to making a perfect martini is shaking it enough; she was exactly right, and I am now the maestro.

5. The Gators took down Alabama.

6. I found a place that sells my favorite soap in the world, and a true luxury——Sapone al Melograno from Santa Maria Novella Pharmacia in Florence—in Key West. It’s called Besame Mucho and I can order it online. And I do not need to tell anyone how much it costs.

7. My dog Sophie had a tumor—and it was benign. She has a new lease on life.

8. Tim Snow introduced me to Super Dave’s Diner in Boca; great barbecue is alive and well.

9. Jeanne Greenberg made jello shots in fresh strawberries—topped with vanilla or chocolate flavored whipped cream—for our summer office party. She changed our lives.

10. I read 10 or 20 great books, caught almost all of the 12-12-12 concert, saw roseate spoonbills over I-75, went camel riding in the Sahara in Morocco and found my favorite new nail color, which is Grand Canyon Sunset.

It was a pretty good year, after all.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.