Christmas is one of my favorite holidays of the year. Isn’t it the greatest? The warm feeling of friends and family everywhere, plans of spending time in front of the fire with my favorite books or a 5,000 piece puzzle and even a cup or two of ridiculously rich eggnog. And I didn’t even get to the presents. Not that they count, or anything materialistic like that.
Not to be cliché, but it really is the most wonderful time of the year.
I’m lucky to live in a state where, more often than not, Christmas is a snowy wonderland. I might grumble about it for the rest of the Winter season, but around the holidays there just isn’t anything better than a snowy front yard on Christmas morning.
Like all good holidays, the smells are what trigger memories of Christmases past for me. The Christmases of my childhood and even the smells of new traditions created with my own little family. They all blend in a happy place in my mind, delicious smells and warm thoughts mixed simmering together. In fact, I have a handful of my favorite smells during the Christmas season, ones I count on as part of my holiday traditions every year.
I’m going to list my top 5 favorite smells + memories, (which sit together in the same part of the brain) of the Christmas season, in no particular order.
1. Fresh pine Christmas trees
As a kid we always went to buy our tree a local Christmas tree lot, run by some Boy Scout troop or another, set up shop in the parking lot of a nearby grocery store. We weren’t allowed to go buy our tree until exactly 14 days before Christmas, so the tree would smell delicious and stay fresh all the way until the holiday. My father would saw off the bottom of the tree and plop the freshly shorn tree into a bucket of fresh water, leaned up against the front porch where it would stay for 24 painfully long hours until we brought it inside and screwed it into our Christmas tree base and decorated with tinsel and home made ornaments. The smell of those trees, of pine sap and discarded needles and even the hot colored lights on the tree branches is entrenched deep into my memory bank.
Oranges are always in season at Christmastime in Utah, so the smell of a peeling orange, the mist that sprays off the peel as you tear open the skin to get to the ripe fruit, is as much a part of the holidays as anything. Santa always brought an orange for the toe of my stocking, and my parents bought cases of fresh Florida oranges for the holiday season. I can almost smell it now. In fact a couple of years ago I crafted a tea light made from an orange; the perfect combination of a Winter tea light with the smell of an orange – heaven!
3. Homemade Muesli
Homemade muesli on Christmas morning actually ties into #2 because as a kid, on Christmas, after we opened our stockings my father would gather all the oranges we received from Santa and use them to make homemade muesli while we opened our presents. The smell of all the fruits and nuts and yogurt together equals Christmas, forever.
I know it might be weird to think of snow as having a smell, but it really does. In fact, the smell before the snow falls might be the best ever. It’s hard to explain, I think, but it’s a fresh smell, a smell of hope and quiet softness.
5. Pumpkin spice and cinnamon
Every year during the holidays my mom simmered a homemade holiday pot simmer recipe / concoction on the back burner of the stove to make the house smell delicious during the month of December. She mixed together a variety of spices, usually the same spices she put in our pumpkin pies for Thanksgiving: nutmeg, cloves, and a handful of cinnamon sticks, along with discarded orange peels as they became available. As a result our home smelled like holiday baking, pumpkin pies, and the delicious smell of cinnamon.
I’m curious to know, what are your favorite smells of the holidays?
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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Glade®. The opinions and text are all mine.