Preloading

Your Winter Happiness Guide: 21 Ways to Blast Away the Blahs

Here are a handful of the O family's best-loved routes to delight. We hope some of them will become yours, too.

Favorite Way to Brighten Up the Morning


"Before I leave my office at night, I spritz my favorite scent around my desk. The next morning, a hint of vetiver and amber hits me as I walk in. When colleagues comment on how nice my office smells, I tell them it's beauty editor magic. Then I spray perfume in their eyes. Kidding! Just kidding."
—Valerie Monroe, O's Beauty Editor

Favorite Thing to Hear from a Loved One


"When my youngest son, Jordan, was 4 or 5, I'd say to him, 'Daddy loves you!' and, to tease me, he wouldn't say he loved me back—he'd laugh and say, 'Oh.' Then I'd get him with a big tickle, and he'd say, 'I love you,' and I in turn would say, 'Oh.' And with great exuberance he would always teasingly say, 'Don't you say "oh"!' That was about 20 years ago, and we still do it to this day—it's an inside joke we both treasure."
—Dr. Phil

Favorite Kitchen Tool


"It's actually tools, plural. For years I searched for the perfect spatula, until I figured out that there's no such thing—there's only what's perfect for you. My husband is left-handed, and he likes his wide and thin, but I like mine small and sturdy. So after ten years of disagreeing about which was best, we each got our own. His is made for lefties, and it's big. Mine is a pipsqueak, with the perfect amount of flex and a rosewood handle. It's compact and sort of muscular, and I love it. I think of it as the Mary Lou Retton of spatulas."
—Michelle Shih, O's Director of Digital Editions and Lifestyle

Favorite Holiday Candy


"For me, this is the time of year for chocolate-covered gummy bears, the treat that scratches my candy-freak itch in the most amazing way. One Hanukkah my wife made a homemade batch—a not-so-simple undertaking—and they've since become a tradition."
—Kate Rockwood, O's Senior Editor

Favorite Animal Hero 2012


"As a huge animal lover, I was touched by the story of Amanda, a German shepherd mix in Chile who rescued her 10-day-old puppies, one by one, from a house fire. Maybe you're not an animal person—but if this doesn't win your heart, nothing will."
—Betty White, Star of Hot in Cleveland

Favorite Holiday Memory


"My mother wasn't easily affectionate, but every Christmas she'd gather us kids and pass out notes in which she reminded each of us what we'd accomplished that year: You learned to dive from the high board! You made new friends! We were supposed to read them aloud, but often we were weeping too hard to finish. The last part of the note was a gift we'd longed for—a permission (as in 'You can get your ears pierced') or an experience (as in a concert ticket). But the real gift was knowing that our usually distracted mother had been paying attention all along."
—Marie How, Author of The Kingdom of Ordinary Time

Favorite Reminder


"I've talked about the gold earrings I always wear—but I also have a necklace I've worn almost every day since 1991. It was a gift from a spiritual teacher in India who put it around my neck and said, 'This will protect you.' The pendant is a 16-petal lotus with an upside-down triangle, the symbol of the Vishudda chakra—the power center of your voice. It reminds me that nothing is more powerful than our words, and that each one needs to be kind, necessary, and true."
—Suze Orman
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