What fragrances remind you of the Christmas season? And why are these scents so important?
Out of all senses: taste, touch, hear, & see, it is smell that can be one of the most powerful memory provoking senses. Scents represent the holiday season, symbolizing tradition and family.
For many of us, it’s the aroma of cookies baking, filling the home with feel good smells of vanilla, sugar and cinnamon. How about a mug of warm, hot chocolate or a minty candy cane? It’s the smell of snowy pine, spruce & fir that does my heart good.
In the non-fiction novel, “All That I Had”, readers have expressed a feeling like they were placed right in the midst of the story! They’ve traveled back in time and could “smell” and “feel” the warmth of the wood burning fireplace, the aroma of the pot roast dinner and the sweet tree sap from the freshly cut favored Christmas tree. When Catherine & Ken took a sleigh ride on their engagement night, it was the cold, fresh snow that many folks commented on.
In Chapter 4, the scent of fresh pine needles comes to mind. As the winter season brought snow, ice and cold, my grandmother found ways to help contribute financially. After gathering fresh evergreen boughs, holly, blue spruce and German statice, she made blankets of the fresh greens to cover graves of loved ones. Decorated with pine cones & an abundant red bow, the blankets were handmade with care. Included on each one was a “Christmas in Heaven” inscription. With the leftover greens, fresh wreaths were made, a traditional festive Christmas symbol.
I envision her working away amidst the sweet and refreshing smell of earthly mulch and winter greenery. As she and my grandfather trudged through the snow carrying the evergreen covers, the cemetery took on a familiar and welcoming Christmas scent.
Christmas does have many smells that bring back family moments that evoke familiarity. This Christmas many won’t be spending time with their families. Sharing the familiar festivities of trimming the tree, baking together, or attending a Christmas eve service have been put on hold. It’s the holiday season, yet a difficult one for sure.
Adding Christmas smells to our holiday surroundings, (combined with some festive music) can have a positive effect on all of us. Light a candle in your favorite Christmas fragrance or take a stroll in your neighborhood and breathe in the fresh night air while viewing the lights. The scents of Christmas can bring out the best of feelings. For now, they can offer hope and light for future holiday celebrations, times when we’ll safely be together again.
Kathy Ann Corse
Dedicated to all our loved ones who will be celebrating Christmas in Heaven.