The Table Topic today at Toastmasters (now that’s alliteration!!!) : “What scents come to mind when you think of Christmas?” My fellow club member talked about the way the cold winter air smells crisp, Christmas trees smells fresh, and home cooking smells delicious. I thought my Christmas smells of plastic freedom. Here’s why.
Our fake ficus tree in the dining room is filled (again with the alliteration) my colored “happy” lights. Our fake Christmas tree is filled with twinkle lights. I don’t have to deal with pine needles or disposing of the tree afterward…and all of that smells like TIME FREEDOM to me.
The other traditional Christmas scent found at the RANDISI home would have to be Jigsaw puzzle dust. Each year I cart out a card table to the living room for our annual Christmas jigsaw puzzle. We’ve done everything from lighthouses and golf courses of the world to 1000 piece traditional country scenes. Since we have a fine artist in the family, I’ve been notified never to come home with a Thomas Kincaid ANYTHING. One member in the family has a severe disdain for Kincaid as an artist — for reasons I won’t discuss here. (cough, too commerical)
Now that all three of our children are in their twenties, I had to wait for the perfect puzzle to find me and it did — at the Hospice Community Thrift Store on Matthews Drive. It was there I found a SNL (Saturday Night Live) 500 piece puzzle that features the show’s favorite characters in Andy Warhol style cartoon graphics. See below. To find a puzzle that immediately captured their attention – PRICELESS! (or $3 ) The Coneheads were the first to come together. As of this morning, we have Adam Sandler’s face and two corner pieces located.
Another Christmas scent is the smell of citrus money. You might think – yeah, I know, right! All that shopping for stuff!! It’s just money going out the door and up the chimney. But in our case, our stockings are stuffed with one dollar bills and an orange. For some reason, when I was growing up, my stocking always had an orange in it. Some traditions cannot die.
For kids and adults alike, a sense of continuity over the years can bring even more joy and warmth to the Christmas holiday season. You probably have some traditions (or scents) that you associate with Christmas. If you like, share them here.
If you’re new at this, here are a few ideas.
1. Decorating for Christmas provides ample opportunities to establish traditions. Teach the kids to string cranberries or popcorn for tree decorations Buying the Christmas tree itself can be a fun family outing to plan for every year. Many Boy Scout troops sell trees as a fundraiser. Find a tree stand or farm near you, and take the kids to pick out the family fir.
2. If your kids like hands-on crafts, show them how to make their own Christmas wreathes. You could even set the same date every year in December as your annual crafts day.
3. Light an Advent Candle. Find time either once a week or each night to light a candle of the advent wreath and talk about what the week of Advent represents.
4. Birthday Cake for Jesus. Bake a birthday cake and sing Happy Birthday to Jesus. This is a simple way of reminding ourselves and children why we celebrate Christmas.
5. Keep the journal from year to year and have family members add new blessings every year. For those children that are not yet able to write, a simple picture will do.
6. Family Christmas Pajamas — on Christmas Eve, open one present…new Christmas Jammies! Don’t forget to take a picture and put it in the family journal.
Most of all, savor all the”togetherness” moments when they come. Don’t rush through the holidays. Be fully present and you’ll give your family the most precious gift of all – YOU!
For more ideas, you know I have to say it – get the BOOK! 201 Things to Do When Children Say I’M BORED! The Checklist and Journal for Busy Families.