Do you still get that little magical feeling inside at Christmas? Each year I long for that buzz and often stumble across it in the most unlikely of ways. That illusive magic sparkle can be tricky to replicate year after year, especially when life gets busy and the to do lists get long. It was last weekend as we searched for a new Christmas tree that I realised for me this year, the magic is hidden in the aroma of my childhood Christmases.
This year, as we celebrate Christmas as with our beautiful Tallow, the holiday season has taken on a whole new sense of wonder for me and as I began to flick through my favourite seasonal magazines I realised I wanted that Christmas feeling and fast. I tried my favourite Christmas carol, Dean Martin's fetching rendition of Winter Wonderland, I searched through old journal pages, I watched Nigella, Jamie and Heston embrace all the joy of Christmas cooking.. and yet no spark.
They spoke of traditional spices, cinnamon and cloves, chestnuts, eggnog and flaming puddings, but none of these truly evoked Christmas for me. My last resort was a spot of Christmas tree shopping to get me in the spirit. Our current miniature tree has been with us for nine years, since our days renting a tiny duplex on the Gold Coast and while in Mildura we decided to enjoy an outdoor Christmas and made a recycled tree for the front porch. So to celebrate Tallow's first Christmas we decided a new tree was in order and braved the Christmas shoppers for something special to begin our new family tradition. The carols were in full swing, the lights twinkling and the glitter abundant and as I wandered through woodland of Christmas trees that a little spark began to flicker inside. It was the scent of faux pine needles that took me back to my grandparents apartment, five years old, in my special white party dress, waiting patiently by the tree to open presents on Christmas Eve.
Of all he magical smells of Christmas, it seems it's the strangely delightful (to me) smell of plastic pine that brings me joy. Not entirely romantic but wonderfully nostalgic none the less. On further contemplation other festive scents I love include, the sweet smell of frangipanis, baking shortbread biscuits, cherries and of all things, wrapping paper. So when it comes time to put up our tree this weekend, there will be shortbread in the oven, blossoming frangipanis on the coffee table and perhaps even a little Dean Martin playing in the background.
What does your Christmas smell like?