What does Christmas smell like to you?

They (you know, "They") say that smell is the sense most linked to memory. This is totally true for me. Certain smells trigger instant memories, and sometimes they just bring up a general feeling, even if I can't tie them to specific happenings. My grandparents' house smelled like damp earth, pepper trees, dust, and something sweet baking. The smell of leg of lamb cooking also reminds me of the house in the heights. Lagerfeld Photo cologne always reminds me of a summer trip to Pennsylvania. Night-blooming jasmine for some reason reminds me of Halloween. Victoria's Secret's Amber Romance lotion reminds me of a first date in Laguna. Tonight I caught a scent while driving that smelled like cherry-flavored slush puppies, and I was instantly transported back to Skateway, the long-gone skating rink where I spent some of the most important nights of my junior high life.

Christmas is one of the best times of the year for smells. Hot cider and hot chocolate, peppermint candy canes, and of course the Christmas tree pine smell. Brewing coffee always reminds me of Christmas parties, because they were some of the only times my parents made coffee. Certain types of candle wax, and the smell of the house right after all the candles had been blown out. Also, a perfume my parents bought for me one Christmas when I was about ten, called Sweet Honesty (I suspect they bought it more because they liked the name than the smell), and the plumeria lotion Christi bought me one year. This year I feel like the smells are what's holding it all together. The old traditions, which have been slowly changing over the last few years, are just about completely gone this year. But we still have memories, and some things never change. Turkey roasting has probably smelled the same since time began.

Merry Christmas!

Come, Thou long expected Jesus
Born to set Thy people free;
From our fears and sins release us,
Let us find our rest in Thee.
Israel’s Strength and Consolation,
Hope of all the earth Thou art;
Dear Desire of every nation,
Joy of every longing heart.

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