Opening a box of christmas chocolates from Hotel Chocolate.
Luxury christmas chocolate box.



1. French concept of pleasure, for its own sake.
2. A pleasure that is not hedonistic, but wholesome.

In Edinburgh I derived my pleasures from chocolate. I was very frugal in my spending and my eating, having only porridge and fruit for breakfast, no lunch, and a dinner of whatever vegetables I had on hand. For chocolate, though, I would not thrift, but instead I would indulge in three boxes a week. 
Every little part of my chocolate ritual gave me pleasure. The excitement at getting to choose a new box, and the sensual joys of untying ribbons, unwrapping tissue papers. I would save my chocolates for study sessions, then, partway into a new journal article I would pause, hand hovering, to choose one at random. I especially loved to buy those seashell pralines, and I would look to my instincts on which shape to eat next, for every different form of the chocolate could imbibe a differing taste on the palate, despite their identical contents. The clam shells were full and rich; the spiraled shells more delicate and break-able on the tongue. As my birthday approached, my family asked what I wanted for gifts. Nothing but chocolate, I replied. 


It's funny to reflect on those things we remember more vividly, or with greater fondness, after a time. Often it is the smaller things, day to day pleasures, that I will remember. My proclivity is shared, if I am to consider the stories of others when they reminisce about how they lived at one time or another. The trick, perhaps, is to pay attention to these smaller wonders and to dedicate part of our day to their appreciation. Otherwise, like Citizen Kane, we might look back on all our great achievements and instead remember our 'Rosebuds,' those things that gave us happiness when we thought about it least. 


Small luxuries
Leonida chocolates in pink wrapping with other luxuries.
Leonida luxury chocolates from Belgium, one small box.
The grass may be greener on the other side, but a single flower that thrusts up through a crack in concrete can give us as much delight as a whole meadow, if only we let it.
Christmas chocolate box from Hotel Chocolate - wrapping and ribbons.