The importance of aromas and fragrances is seen in the Epiphany story when the Wise Men presented their gifts to Christ child. Scented gifts (frankincense and myrrh) outnumber non-scented gifts (gold) 2 to1. Savor the aromas, fragrance and scents this Christmas!
A few of my favorite things at Christmas are more than a few! However, I love the smells of Christmas: the fresh evergreen tree, the cookies baking in the oven, the scented candles, and the homemade peanut brittle. Nothing says, “Christmas” to me like the wonderful aromas of the season.
The fresh smell of an evergreen tree when it is brought into the house reminds me of my childhood Christmases when Dad and I would bundle up, put on our snow boots, get out my sled and begin our quest for a perfect tree. We lived in Green Bay, so the snow had already arrived and our trip on foot was not to the woods but to the closest tree lot. Once we got there, finding the “just right” tree was exciting for me… Dad and I both knew that it had to be perfect to satisfy Mom. We always succeeded, or at least she let us think we had. Following the tree selection, we’d wander over to the ever-present cocoa and cookie vendor at the tree lot. Then there was the long walk back home pulling our wonderful tree and my excitement when Mom approved our choice.
The smells wafting from my mother’s kitchen were always a treat, especially since it meant the fancy cookies she made at Christmas were almost ready to decorate and eat. It was a special treat for me because I was on holiday break from school and able to help make and decorate those cookies.
I still make some of those recipes each year at Christmas to share with our family and enjoy the smells from my kitchen.
Now, the scented candles didn’t come into my life until Dick and I married and had a home of our own. The candles that smelled like evergreens and gingerbread were my favorites, especially when we started buying artificial trees! Also, candles remind me of the candles my mother placed on the fireplace mantle and the dining table when I was a small child. I thought they were so beautiful and when the scents were added in future years, they pleased both my nose and my eyes.
Now, the peanut brittle smells wafting from the microwave is another smell of my adulthood. My husband makes it each Christmas because he really likes peanut brittle and makes enough to share with others. I like the peanut brittle Dick makes, but I love the smell of it cooking and the smell isn’t fattening!
Time to get out the recipes, scented candles, and maybe even a live Christmas tree! I love the smells of Christmas!
~ Nancy Shaw
Giver of every good and perfect gift, we thank You for our senses: for sight, for hearing, for taste, for touch and the ability to smell. We pray for those who have lost one or more of these senses. Bless and keep them. In Christ’s name, we pray, Amen.