Sweet Smell of Christmas

Christmas is All About the Senses!

Christmas truly engages all of our senses. We are bombarded with sights, sounds, smells, feelings and tastes that are unique to the holiday season.

Rag WreathThe Sights of Christmas: Of course, decorating is a huge part of preparing for Christmas. The lights, candles, wreaths and garland all add to the beauty of the season. Our Christmas trees in themselves are often draped in memories from prior Christmas and each seems to have a personality of its own, with no two trees looking alike. Each tree is symbolic and represents the family who displays it. It is the wonderous sights of Christmas that truly bring the season to life.

The Tastes of Christmas:  Our homes become filled with fresh baking and delicious meals are served to family and friends. Christmas is a great opportunity to share the flavours of a great new recipe or a reason to pull out the recipes that represent decades of family traditions. I am sure most of us would agree that many of our memories are linked to the traditional foods our families eat each Christmas.  My mom passed away several years ago, and yet it is amazing how certain foods and recipes immediately taking me back to memories of her. When she was alive, we always had her homemade mincemeat tarts warm from the oven with vanilla ice cream on top, for dessert on Christmas Eve. They were so delicious and mincemeat always reminds me of her!

The Sounds of Christmas: Nothing helps to get us into the spirit of Christmas like the holiday tunes that fill the malls and take over the radio stations. I love to sit and wrap gifts or do my baking with Christmas music filling the house. During December, our church is exploding with the spirit of Christmas. I love to go to church every Sunday and sing Christmas carols during Praise and Worship and watch the children’s church groups perform their holiday numbers. There are always special numbers performed and the message is always “bang-on” and food for my spirit.

touches of Christmas

Eden, Grandpa Bob and Shay cuddling on the couch Christmas Eve 2012.

The Touches of Christmas: The warmth from the fire burning in the fireplace, coupled with  the embraces from loved ones.  There are of course, the “feelings” that may not be physical at all, but “touch” us all the same. The chance to give away that perfect gift you found for some one special, or maybe being the recipient of a gift or even a kind gesture in the spirit of the season.  The opportunity to be a part of making Christmas special for those you love. The feeling of complete joy when your children’s eyes light up on Christmas morning and the smiles and laughter that follows.

The Sweet Smells of Christmas: Don’t you love the smell of Christmas? I find that the smell of cider mulling on the stove, the scent of a fresh tree in the house mixed with the aroma of Christmas goodies all take me back to all of the special memories of Christmases past. I love the smells and to enhance the experience, I have a little recipe that I use throughout the holiday season.

Sweet Smell of Christmas Recipe:

smells of ChristmasI got this recipe many years ago, and honestly have no idea where it came from. It has become a “Roy Family” tradition and I would love to share this simple recipe with you, so that you too can enjoy the Sweet Smell of Christmas!

Cook this mixture slowly on your stove during the holidays to help make your house smell festive.

3 cinnamon sticks
3 whole bay leaves
1/4 cup whole cloves
2 lemon wedges

Simmer over low heat in 1 quart of water. Mix. It can simmer for days.  Add more water as needed.

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