I put up my Christmas tree last weekend. I was compelled to do it early in the season and now I see why. It gives me a feeling of serenity. When the little white lights are lit, there is a sweet, homey aura in my living room.

Part of the appeal is the cleaning and clearing of space. It improves flow. But there’s more. I’m feeling particularly sentimental about my home these days. I’ve lived here six years now. If I crane my neck just right as I look out my bedroom window, I can tell you the Empire State Building is lit in green and red tonight and it’s absolutely smashing. Out my living room window I see a church with lovely stained glass windows.

I remember seeing an Oprah episode once where she said ideally your home should reach out and welcome you when you walk through the front door. I feel that so strongly in my apartment. It is a high compliment when friends tell me how much warmth and personality my place has. I adore the red accents everywhere.

I’m within two blocks of a well-developed waterfront, complete with promenade. When I’m not walking, there are buses, trains, ferries and cabs at my disposal. A variety of restaurants, cafes, parks, and fun shops are just steps away from my front door.

Tomorrow I’ll be showing a friend around town. She’s thinking of moving here. I’ll try not to gush, but it won’t be easy.

I can’t imagine living anywhere else.